With the Buffalo Sabres’ early exit from the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Buffalo sports fans didn’t have closure as the summer began. When our season ended on account of four starting defensemen suffering major injuries, hockey understandably remained foremost in our minds well after the locker rooms were cleaned out for the summer.Therefore, word spread quickly about a rumored new logo for the team in June.

Angry fans drafted names for the new symbol such as the slug, the flying alien fetus and Donald Trump’s toupee. As part of the jersey as a whole, though, I was mildly impressed with the new scheme.

I was hoping that a jersey proposal I found online would have been accepted, but it was not officially commissioned by the team’s front office. Drafted by a professional designer, the jersey was essentially a post-modern rendering of our original sweater, a buffalo above crossed swords.

Like many Sabres fans, I will continue to pine for a primary logo that actually contains a sabre or two – since that plan met this criteria, I was upset that it was not chosen by team officials. However, it still survives as the insignia for my fantasy football team, Rochester City FC.

Our neighbors to the north, though, aren’t too keen on the new sweater. After the Sabres drubbed their Maple Leafs in an exhibition game this week, writers at the Toronto Sun had nothing but bad things to say about the new logo. Granted, we said the same things they did, especially the slug epithet.

On general principle, though, one never allows a rival to talk smack and get away with it. The only slugs Toronto fans will be seeing next spring will be on the front nine, when we eliminate their team from playoff contention once again and send it packing for the golf course.

Admittedly, due to their tradition as a founding member of the NHL, they can get away with only making slight changes to their jersey – changing the sleeves and the piping every so often seemed to do the trick for them. Their logo has remained the same since the Nixon administration, which is when, ironically enough, they last made the Stanley Cup finals.

As a consolation for the insignia traditionalists, though, our – notice the usage of the first person; Buffalonians refer to their sports teams in the first person, not the third – original away jersey will serve as the alternate jersey this year – a dozen or so games have been apportioned for the use of these classic threads.

Sabres fans yearned for the traditional blue and gold to return soon after the black and red color scheme reared its ugly [goat] head in 1996. Additionally, Buffalo sports fans – myself included, when I return home for fall break – will gladly oblige and summarily buy the new jerseys. Then again, I consider a hockey jersey and cargo shorts to be haute couture – the black and red jersey won’t become vintage for a couple years, so I definitely need to add the new one to my wardrobe as soon as possible.

Hopefully the NFL will take note of our sports memorabilia buying habits and thus produce those new NFL Equipment hoodies for the Buffalo Bills. As soon as I first saw their commercial – the one with the announcer extolling the virtues of the indestructible hoodie – I immediately scrolled over to the NFL Shop’s Web site, prepared to spend upwards of $80 for $5 worth of workmanship and material.

However, I was supremely disappointed to find that the Bills were one of a handful of teams without them. Statistically speaking, I can understand the NFL’s rationale – we aren’t the most affluent and not the largest of sports markets in North America.

Nonetheless, mindful that we Buffalonians derive the meaning of life from the fortune of our sports teams, we’ll be the first ones to dish out hundreds of dollars for grossly over-priced team merchandise as soon as it hits the shelves. Thus, the new jersey for the Sabres will be an easy profit.

The only thing better than a new jersey, though, will be Lord Stanley’s Cup raised above the blue and gold next June.

Scott can be reached at tscott@campustimes.org.

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