Buffalo, NY—Friday night marked the end to the fifty-one year run of Buffalo Sabres play-by-play man Rick Jeanneret. His glorious final call featured a walk-off overtime goal by Casey Mittelstadt securing a 3-2 win over Patrick Kane and the Chicago Blackhawks. The come from behind win which saw the Sabres rally from two one goal deficits was momentarily marred when the Wave swept through the near capacity crowd at the KeyBank Center in the third period.
The Wave, which gained popularity in the 1980’s is a spontaneous group behavior at a sporting event where a section of fans moving in a clockwise manner briefly stand and throw their arms in the air followed by the next section of fans repeating the process until the act creates a visual wave like simulation.
Throughout the 80’s the Wave was the rage at nearly every large sporting event throughout the world. But by the 90’s it had largely died off as a phenomenon except for when a fan base was maybe feeling a little nostalgic or ironic. Or when a town’s fan base is grievously stuck in the past and has an inferiority complex as big as Dr. Phil’s fleshy Texas sized forehead.
And if any fan base is entitled to an inferiority complex it’s Sabres supporters. Not only have they not made the playoffs in twelve years, they also haven’t won the Stanley Cup since their inception in 1970. Even with nine time Stanley Cup champion Scotty Bowman at the helm for six seasons in the 1980’s the Sabres failed to make it out of the semifinal round. This kind of continuous, unrelenting failure wreaks havoc on the collective psyche of a community and produces things like the largest Dyngus Day Parade in the country, the invention of the electric chair, Millard Fillmore and this pitiful, never-ending display of lameness, long dead in other sports cities—the Wave.
Buffalo Mud asked members of the community their feelings about the Wave:
John Toosenberry of Clarence said: “You know how Bills fans break tables? Those pathetic Wave doing Sabre fans should go to the top of a parking garage and jump off and break their faces on the asphalt.
Elaine Mackerel of Sloan replied that: “My family has season tickets and there’s this guy in our section, I think his name is Jimmy and he’s so hot. He has most of his teeth and a little beer gut and he always really goes for it during the wave part of the night. I get so worked up when he throws his arms in the air and his Chris Dury jersey inches up so I can see his little hairy beer belly. I’ve been trying to catch his eye but it just hasn’t happened yet.”
Clinton Botwin of Buffalo fumed: “Forget the fucking wave, beers are thirteen fucking dollars at that shithole.”
Mayor Byon Brown of Buffalo said: “I think with the wave what you’re seeing is the movement of people. It’s mostly a vertical up and down movement. But no matter how people move during the wave, you cannot dispute that it is movement. I’d like to add that the game of hockey, which is played on ice, features movement, often because of the ice very fast movement. And, that’s what I think about the Wave.
Marc Roodenthump of Williamsville shook his head and said: “Of course it’s lame, but what have Sabres fans had to look forward to for the last twelve years. It’s like when we’re at the bowling alley on Saturday nights and “Don’t Stop Believing” comes pouring out of the sound system and in that blissful moment the world stops for the lonely, for the dispossessed, for those with seven-ten splits and for those trying to get into the new waitress’s pants without their wife catching on. Let them have this—you Buffalo Mud pricks.