but I love the Sabres and now I love them even more. Yesterday I did something that's pretty lame. I went and watched the team practice at our local ice rink that is near our house. We bought tickets to one of the pre-season games, including one for Annabelle. She has never been to a hockey game before and I thought she should go to one practice just to have an idea what it will be like. The noise, the cold, the crowd, though on a smaller scale, at least she wouldn't be too out of her element. We ended up having a fantastic time.
Firstly, Annabelle was being exceptionally cute, even for her. She was singing the song she had learned in pre-k to prepare for saying the Pledge and Supercalifrgilisticexpealidocious from Mary Poppins, loudly, while dancing. She was asking questions about what each player was doing, what was his name, then saying hello to each and every one of them as they filed past us off the ice between periods. Most of them ignored her at first, but a few waved to her, which only encouraged her:)
Then when they started straggling back onto the ice after the first intermission, Paul Gaustad (whom I have mentioned before) told Annabelle that he loved her Winnie the Pooh socks. He then hunkered all 6 feet 5 inches of himself down next to her and had a conversation with her. About their mutual love of Pooh and telling each other their names. Annabelle was so delighted to have someone give her that kind of attention that her face was all smiles.
After the next period she got more attention from other players, they all knew her name. Patrick Lalime, our back up goalie, gave her a puck. Thomas Vanek tapped her head with his glove and many others waved and said hello.
They didn't have to do any of it. They could have walked right on by and ignored her. It's happened before. She loves to wave and say hello to people where ever we go. I mean, they are at work, even if it's not a job that everyone else would consider serious or important. They are being paid to get on the ice and work their asses off to have the biggest hit, the best goal, the most amazing save. They aren't being paid to make a 4 year old girl smile and giggle for he rest of the day.
So the Sabres may not be the best team out there. They have never won a championship and sometimes it feels like they never will. I can scream and wail at the TV when I'm watching a game, telling the players what I think of them. That they stink. That we need better players,players with more talent and leadership. But in the end, I'll look back at yesterday with fond memories at my "boys". So when they go their separate ways, I will still always think of them as the best players out there because they went out of their way to be sweet and friendly. It makes me love this team even more than I already did.
My salute right back to you, boys.