ONE Buffalo!


OneBuffalo

The year was 1983, a very important year in Buffalo sports history. On January 23rd, a not quite 2 year old version of me watched a sold out Memorial Auditorium crowd scream and cheer our Sabres to a 5-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. This was my first game, my first taste of sports and the excitement that comes with it. We had amazing seats, two rows from the glass, my father says he had to pull me down from the rafters after every crushing body check into the boards. Needless to say I was hooked, the fast pace and high energy was mesmerizing and I couldn’t get enough. I am fortunate enough to have a puck from the game that my dad engraved the date on to commemorate that special moment in time. This same year a very passionate and determined businessman named Terry Pegula said some very special words to his partner, “if I ever have more than two nickels to my name, I’m going to buy the Buffalo Sabres one day”. Who could have fathomed the magnitude of those words three long decades later.

Now lets go to 1985, I am a little bit older and my love for hockey and my Buffalo Sabres is growing stronger with every passing season. Prior to this year my interest in football was limited to playing catch with my dad. See, we are a family of Bills fans and as a rambunctious 4 year old, back to back 2 and 14 seasons didn’t do much for my attention span. However the Chicago Bears playoff games and a Super Bowl victory over the Patriots did peak my interest. I remember very little from way back then but the excitement of my dad, uncles and their friends after every QB sack or crazy run by “sweetness” definitely drew me in. I remember running around the house singing the Super Bowl Shuffle song. This was the start to my love for football. The next few seasons for the Bills were still rough. I remember looking forward to Sundays to yell and cheer on my team but sadly finding interest in something else by halftime because we were losing so bad. It wasn’t until 1988, with our first winning season came a new hero, a hero named Jim Kelly. Kelly’s winning attitude accompanied by the immortal voice of Van Miller was all I needed to bleed red, white and blue for the rest of my life.

Fast forward to T-Peg day, February 22nd, 2011. A typical cold Buffalo day, that is until the news broke that Mr. Pegula has the winning bid to keep our Sabres here in Buffalo where they belong. Just a few short years later the City of Good Neighbors once again gets to celebrate and thank the Pegula family. This time for ensuring that our beloved Buffalo Bills will be a staple of our community for generations to come. Other than the obvious reasons such as economic benefits and the fact that we are the best fans in sports and adore our teams, there are many other reasons that we should be thankful for the Pegula family. They are once again bringing not only our sports teams back to the forefront where they belong, they are also helping to revitalize our great city. They are building two class franchises and filling them with star players that my son and every other kid in Western NY can look up to and root for. I feel for children over the last few decades. Heroes wearing football or hockey jerseys have been few and far between but thanks to Terry and Kim that is all over.

As I sit here writing this story with a smile, I cant help but think about all of the traditions my son and I can start. Sports teaches a lot and as my son approaches his 2nd birthday I am looking forward to him building a love and appreciation for our teams as I did. I feel that sports is a very important factor in the growth and development of our children. So in closing I would like to say cheers to making sports memories with our kids so that some day they can share stories with their kids about how they got to see our great city bring home Super Bowl Rings and Stanley Cups. New heroes like Jack Eichel and Sammy Watkins will go a long way to help make this happen….

So…

LETS GO BUFF-A-LO!!!!!

letsgo

 Image Credit: buffalosabresnation.com

 

– Chris Monroe

TWITTER: @turtle868