June 19, 2019 marked the twentieth anniversary of Brett Hull scoring the game winner in the third overtime of game six, giving the Dallas Stars their fourth and decisive victory over the Buffalo Sabres in the 1999 Stanley Cup final.
The No Goal controversy stems from Hull having his left foot in the crease before a sprawling Dominic Hasek when he scored the goal. The NHL had introduced a rule in the 98-99 season not allowing offensive players to score from inside the goaltenders crease. Goals scored by players in the crease had been overturned all year long, but not Hull’s, which sealed the cup for the Stars. After the game the NHL produced a memo they said was distributed to teams before the playoffs, which amended the in the crease rule, thus allowing for the goal. No one recalls ever seeing the memo until the game was over that June night at 2am in the morning.
Twenty years later No Goal is seemingly bringing out the worst loser tendencies in people all over Western New York.
Cheryl Wopnewski, an X-Ray technician at Sisters Hospital says, “Every year at this time, not only do I get seasonal allergies, but every loser thing I ever did seems to come back to me. The threesome in the park back in high school, voting for George Bush, the tramp stamp I let Jimmy talk me into. Normally I have perspective about these things, but it gets to me at this time of year. It’s been especially bad this year on twentieth anniversary- all of the sudden my friends are sending and posting pics of me from that summer I was into nu-country and wore nothing but cowboy hats and boots and was all over social media saying I wanted to have Toby Keith’s love child. It’s so embarrassing. Makes me want to cut off my hair, get a giant tub of Ben & Jerry’s and lay on the couch in my sweatpants and binge all eight seasons of the Gilmore Girls
Declan Muldoon, a producer at WECK radio feels it too. “Yeah, at this time of year I seem to let every hater I ever knew back into my head. I think about that time in school when I kicked Joey Flett in the stomach and he puked all over the floor. I know, he was like ten and I was fourteen, but he still had it coming to him. This year I also can’t seem to stop thinking about my old girlfriend Daffney Pinkerton. My 401K went up her nose, she slept with all my friends and she burned down my house, but there she is, occupying every third thought. And, you know what, I’m such a fucking Buffalo loser I would take her back in a heartbeat and start that shit all over again. I love that girl. If you see her, tell her my 401K is back up to two-hundred grand.”
Jon Spickler, an Operations Manager at the Erie County Sewer Authority has been waking up in a cold sweat for weeks. “I quit smoking about twenty years ago and all of the sudden I’m dreaming about cigarettes. I’m all disoriented when I get up and feel like a total loser because I think I started smoking again. It takes a moment to realize it’s only a dream, but those are some harrowing moments. Worse than that, in the last couple of weeks I’m feeling like I want to join the Church of Scientology. A few years back a bunch of were drinking downtown and took a tour of the church on Main Street, as a joke. But lately, I’ve been a little directionless and some of the things they said about achieving a State of Clear are really appealing to me. I’ve been rewatching the A&E show with Leah Remini about the dark side of Scientology on demand, but still feel helplessly drawn to it. God, I hope this passes before I do something really stupid.
People of Buffalo and Western New York realize a single sports championship won’t change their life prospects, but they do think a Stanley Cup or Super Bowl win would go a long way in keeping their worst, loser tendencies at bay.