Blogs | 5/12/2009 3:36:15 PM | John Gurtler
A Denver native, John Gurtler has been the voice of the Buffalo Bandits the past six seasons. Gurtler has also done play-by-play with the Rochester Americans and Buffalo Sabres and has served as the stadium voice for the Buffalo Bills. Gurtler will share his thoughts and unique perspective each week with Bandits fans.
Just when you thought is was safe to run out on the field and express your delight about the Bandits turnaround victory against Boston, something trips you up and you land square on your tousch. Dazed and confused from a New York Titan minute, now it begins to hurt.
And indeed it did. What happened? Where is Ted Koppel when you need him?
A couple of weeks ago, I said it stung to loose a game. The loss to the Titan’s really hurt. It's tough to fall from the top. That feeling was emphasized on the quite bus ride from the arena after the game back to the hotel. Over? Who said it was over?
While I thought nothing of it early game day, looking back, this might of been the first indication, omen, something was not right.
Saturday morning on the way to the Bandits shoot around at the Prudential Center, the bus rolled from the hotel without your typical mad rush outside the Big Apple. The team's mood was good and focus was there.
Then a video started to illuminate the led-screen monitors that were affixed from the overhead compartment. Looming sound started creeping louder. It was a music vignette of the Bandits victory over Boston, loaded with all sorts of Bandit shots of players, goals, hits, expressions, fans and more.
However about halfway through the video, it stopped. It froze. Was it over? No, there was more because some of us had seen it on the web site. And it started back at the beginning. Hmm. And it stopped and froze at the same place (Darris Kilgour yelling on the bench). A third time and it stopped again.
Not that I am superstitious, but it was a little strange and I think the strand that started the unraveling.
You really should watch it. It is a very nice piece - on the audio/video part of the Bandits web site - and solid tribute to the team.
Call the Eastern Division Final loss to New York what you want. I am going with "Purge at the Prudential." Not a good time to have a bad game and to leave what was a good season out on the floor.
Many questions will be asked of this game. And evaluations will come about and some decisions will be made.
In review, the season started off as expected with the Bandits confidence and talent flying out to a 5-0 start and 7-1 halfway through the 16-game schedule. Then a slight wobble of the gate with two one-goal losses. Kind of a reality check and I was thinking that was not supposed to happen. This was a team that scored the most goals, had a chocking defense and great goaltending.
The last real dominating game was the 14-4 win over Portland but the fact of the matter is, and I am not talking one, two, three-goal games, no, this team's strength was it's inner self: Confidence and attitude with waves of passion and uncanny talent.
"Circumstances! I make circumstances," said Napoleon Bonaparte, French general and emperor. Maybe the Bandits lost the meaning of that word and let the other teams take a turn.
While it's going to be a long off-season, reflect back on the great times you had going to the games and enjoying the true domain of Banditland!
Congratulations to the fans for setting a new NLL attendance record. Thank you for the support.
And, big high five for the NLL goaltender and defensive player of the year to Ken Montour and Billy Dee Smith, respectively. Well-deserved honor.