Spitballing a Sabres intro video

Something that has been a popular point of contention these past few seasons is the mausoleum-esque atmosphere inside the F’N Center.

I don’t fancy myself to be a game presentation guru, I like to leave that expertise to Eric at 3rd Man In as he has a much better grasp on what it takes to put together a successful game presentation approach. However, I do enjoy spitballing ideas and seeing if they make any sense (this is how I come up with all of my brilliant patent pending ideas.

One thing that I’ve maintained for some time is that the atmosphere in that building does not rest solely on the shoulders of the game presentation staff. While some things they do could certainly be improved, I strongly believe that the fans carry a great deal of the responsibility. Most of the time it seems like the fans are just waiting for something bad to happen so they can jump down Tyler Myers’ throat or boo the players off the ice. Perhaps it is because of their overflowing #hockeyIQ that so many fans act like this. I’m not quite sure. But that’s not the point of this post.

One thing I picked up on this season at the few Sabres games I attended is that there is simply too much going on during pre-game. There’s just too much substance for the fans to pay attention to and, ultimately, to get riled up with. On an individual basis these are all quality ideas. The flag, the kids skating over to the bench doors, pump videos. Each one of these ideas works in their own right. Unfortunately there are too many of these things happening at once for them to have their desired effect. Perhaps, in this case, simpler is better.

What I’d like to see is the team to scale back on a few of these ideas – I’d probably begin by cutting the big flag and I’d probably replace the kid flag bearers too. Basically I’d want to bring the sole focus of the fans on one singular entity. And 350 words later I’ve finally gotten to my main point. Continue reading

Are Canadian ticket holders to blame for the quiet FNC?

Every Sabres-Leafs game is played in a hostile environment. That is a fact of life. Leafs fans can’t get tickets to their home games, there are seats readily available in Buffalo and they make the trip to enjoy a “road” game.

A portion of the Sabres season ticket base is from Ontario. So, a large portion of those seats are likely going to be claimed by Leaf fans three times a year. Add in the fans who are looking to get back into the black after buying Sabres season tickets, and there is an additional market for buyers. The secondary ticket market is also a viable option. Obviously there are avenues for Leaf fans to invade Buffalo.

What is interesting is the atmosphere that is created for these games. If last night’s contest wasn’t a 50/50 split, it was 60/40. As for which side had the edge, it is anyone’s guess. The back and forth chants between the fans created a playoff-like atmosphere that made an entertaining game even better.

The players responded to the fans and their play showed as much. Buffalo’s players reflected this in their postgame comments as well. Thomas Vanek’s quotes were practically calling out the fans for sitting on their hands every other night aside from yesterday and the Boston grudge match. He has a point. Continue reading