Long live the Blue and Gold

Though I may root for a number of NHL teams, my deepest loyalty belongs to the Buffalo Sabres.

Having grown up in Western New York, including a few years in Buffalo’s West Side (corner of Albany and Barton streets, attending Public School No. 18 and taking Sunday morning walks to the Bluebird Bakery), it was a given that you’d root for the Sabres.

It was easy, too. The Buffalo Evening News, the now-defunct Buffalo Courier-Express and the Olean Times-Herald all covered the team. Every Sunday night, I’d tuck my red transistor radio under my pillow and listen to Ted Darling (long since passed now) call games on WGR 550-AM.

It was a great time, too. We had the French Connection –- Richard Martin, Gil Perreault and Rene Robert. We had a rock ’em, sock ’em defense that included Jim Schoenfeld, Jerry "King Kong" Korab and Lee Fogolin. And who can forget Al Smith’s salute to management after learning on-ice that Donnie Edwards was starting in goal?

Or how about infamous draft picks Morris Titanic and Taro Tsujimoto?

To this day, I still get tingles (like, right now) remembering the chant "Thank You Sabres! Thank You Sabres! Thank You Sabres!" echoing through The Aud.

Every once in awhile, I listen to the original "We’re Gonna Win That Cup" although I remember crying when the Flyers, and not my beloved Sabres, became the 1974-75 Stanley Cup champions on Bob "Hound Dog" Kelly’s winner in Game 6 at The Aud and Bernie Parent’s near-mystical goaltending. But I also remember, earlier in The Fog Game (the third of the series), when Jim Lorentz plucked a bat out of midair and Robert’s overtime bullet gave the Sabres new life.

Even today, when Colin and I play street hockey, I become Danny Gare and register a hat trick in the 1975-76 season’s final game to reach a magical 50 goals.

I bring up this walk down memory lane today because the Sabres -– my Sabres -– are showing off their new uniforms today. The red-white-and-black scheme is gone. The Blue and Gold is back. Granted, some may believe the new logo (shown above) resembles a slug, but the colors, which, along with a retro jersey, take me back to the team's early days, are more important to me.

"Thank You Sabres! Thank You Sabres! Thank You Sabres!"

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