As tonight's Sabres/Flyers Game 5 showdown gets closer and closer, tensions are high. With that in mind, here is a word-for-word counterpoint from my Buffalo-bred soul mate, Michael McLachlan. It was originally printed as a comment on this post, but I thought Mike's thoughts were meant to be viewed by the entire world.
Why Steve and the Flyers will Fall to the Elation of the Gentleman Thief from Tuffalo,
I cannot begin to describe the profound respect and adoration I have for the talents, hilarity, art, and person of my close friend London Steve. We're brothers in life, in the respect that our every decision is in part based on a life philosophy so clearly articulated by Hunter S. Thompson: to sleep late, have fun, get wild, drink whiskey and drive fast on empty streets with nothing in mind except falling in love and not getting arrested. We frequently seek each other out to exchange the most absurd of life experiences -- connoisseurs in the art of poor decisions -- and I've vowed to watch the man be buried. This kinship, however, in no way prevents me from pointing out that Steve's beliefs and opinions on this latest Flyers/Sabres series can only be viewed as his latest attempt at fiction.
The logic and reasoning Steve presents on the Flyers is all well enough, but it's got no balls, no panache. It's unconvincing, and the flaccidity it exhibits has not been since Pronger demanded a trade from one of the greatest hockey markets in the history of the sport based on the shopping preferences of his Mrs. (that removed, the man is my hero and I'm glad he's not coming back soon).
Editor's note: All reports indicate that Pronger will play tonight.
The Sabres make sense because they don't make sense. Conversation about talent and what should be happening based on the output of the regular season is not the early debate of championship teams. Counting easy categorical victories but lacking the conviction when discussing your team's future is a sign of losses to come. But when will it come?
Buffalo hasn't had a team so seemingly unexciting for a number of years. For many, it's difficult to pick who to watch or who's going to need to step up. For my eventual roster-featuring back tattoo to commemorate the winning of the Cup (and yes, a friend's dad had the offensive and defensive line-ups of the 1990 Buffalo Bills tattooed on his back), I'll probably need to bring the depth chart with me. Yet this team has been dominating everyone over a significant period of time. The argument should be what needs to go wrong for this team to lose, which, when you try, isn't as easy as it would seem...with the notable exception of Miller being un-Miller, which you could point our current losses to.
So does this mean the Flyers fate now rests solely on Miller not showing up? Is this reality why Steve's words create nothing but a smile on my face as I anticipate the waves of Schadenfreude that are due to wash over me with a Philly loss? This time, I think so, and I will think so when I again watch the game drinking vodka out of a jar tonight, streaming the shitty Internet version of the game on a wall projector to enhance its shittiness just because that's how we did it two nights ago.
Sorry I'm not sorry, Steve. I had begun with the thought that I'd discuss how you've grown soft on the incredible successes of your fine city, but that won't be necessary to lessen your belief in the only NHL team to wear full-length pants. Hope Briere dies. Remember, there are men and there are cowards, and that one day we'll sit together and in Brett’s voice you’ll say, "The Flyers could have had such a damned good time together."
"Yes," I said. "Isn’t it pretty to think so?"
I love this fucking guy.