Ruff love

I’m pretty scared when it comes to commitments. Yes, it goes beyond having my heart broken at the age of 19 after two and half months of riveting Blockbuster Video nights (I was a wimp. I had Mike Grier like moves). It goes to knowing people who are married and boy, some of them do seem miserable. Sure, some are happy, but the ones that aren’t…that sticks with me more. Now, I’m not going to get into what is wrong with them, but what keeps them together.

As a objective observer, I think their relationships last because of crazy love and repetition, repetition being the key. There’s just some sort of comfort level that you have with your significant other even though s#$t has hit the fan. You try to accentuate the positives and hide the ugly negatives. After so many years, you don’t wanna go back out there and find someone new. No one likes dating. No one likes having to interview each other during a beer or pizza. For some, you take the good with the bad because you don’t wanna go out and try and make it work again with someone else. The unknown can scare you.

Besides being use to each other, there is also the fear factor. No one wants to be lonely, but you also don’t want to see the former love of your life find true happiness. Come on, people can say all they want that they are glad when their ex finds happiness, but if you are not happy, forget it! It’s like a bad romantic comedy that doesn’t have a happy ending.

What the hell does this Dr. Phil or Jerry Springer thought have to do with Buffalo sports? EVERYTHING! OK, not really, but it has to do with a certain coach.

For the last month or so, I’ve been doing research on an investigative piece (alright, just chatting with some Sabres fans) about why we love Lindy Ruff. Yes, it has been rehashed about 1,000 times by talking heads, bloggers, and fans on corner bar stools in South Buffalo. In case you forgot, these are just some of the reasons why Lindy will never be fired and will bequest his duties to his son when he dies in 2030.

1) Blue-collar: He has the type of mannerisms on the bench that any Buffalonian would love. He’s emotional in a league that for the most part has coaches who just stand with their arms crossed. Oh, and his pressers? “I want the guy suspended! Jordin Tootoo!” Come on, they are comical.

2) Buffalo loyalty: Amazingly, this is Lindy’s 25th year with the Sabres (coach and player). Buffalonians have seen him grow from a young player to the Sabres captain during the 80′s and then watched him go from an unknown assistant coach to being the equivalent of a Buffalo founding father. In a way, all of us have watched each other grow up. Plus, the guy has never left.

3) The media won’t shut up: Off the top of my head, I could probably name you five Sabres coaches (Ruff, Nolan, Bucky’s boy-Dudley, Muckler and the Punch guy). However, I could name more than five media personalities who are smitten with Ruff. From Paul Hamilton laughing hysterically at Lindy’s not so funny jokes to all those announcers who say that Ruff is the longest-tenured coach (fun drinking game), he’s well-loved. Of course, things have changed over the last month, but for the most part, people kiss his butt… and if they are kissing his butt and denouncing those who want him fired, it adds to his longevity.

4) He’s a good coach: I’m not gonna tell you what you already know. We know what he’s accomplished. It’s been echoed about 1,000 times. He’s an institution…blah, blah, blah.

Let me now add another reason why fans want Lindy here: fear.

It’s the same fear I mentioned with couples hating each other but sticking it out because they don’t wanna go find a new partner or see the other spouse become happy while they are miserable. How many times have we heard that if Lindy was fired, 50 GMs across the professional sports landscape would fire their coach and hire him? A LOT.

How many times have we heard how special it would be to see Lindy raise the Cup over his head instead of someone else?

Can you imagine what would happen if Lindy went to say the Leafs and won a Cup there? Just picture it. Now picture the vomit on my keyboard for thinking that.

It would be yet another stake in the heart for Buffalo fans. Sorry, but Rob Johnson winning a Super Bowl as the backup in Tampa is a little different than this. I think Buffalo fans are worried that Lindy will burn them if he goes elsewhere. It would bring a new point of attack on the souls of Buffalo fans who have lived through “No Goal” and “Wide Right.” If you don’t believe me, would your opinion change if say Ruff decided to retire and spend more time with his family? It makes you think a little, right? It’s like a clean break without having to worry about how the significant other is doing.

I think some Sabres fans are nervous about firing Ruff because there’s a sense that the hockey world as we know it would fall apart. Yes, worse than what we are going through now. Maybe its the stereotype of Buffalo fans thinking about the worst-case scenario. So, going back to the whole romance thing, I think fans who are on Ruff’s side are just scared he’s going to make it somewhere else, and they don’t want to break-up because they are so use to him, problems and all. 

Fans, I’m here to say that there are a lot of fish in the sea. Don’t stay together out of fear of being lonely or for the kids’ sake. For once, we should think Buffalo sports teams can do better.

BTW, when I was dumped during my first relationship, I was devastated. However at that time, I thought it was more about the actual girl, when in all honestly it was more about the thought of having someone. Again, it goes back to our love for Lindy. Are we really in love with him cause he’s this amazing coach or are we just in love with the fact of having someone we love?


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The Lord of Buffalo Wins