Blogs | 5/6/2010 9:15:40 AM | John Gurtler
Ouch. That hurt. Just like that heating guy on TV: “Burr..It’s cold.” And no matter how many years you’re involved as one who follows the team week-by-week, loosing out of the playoffs just down right stings. And it hurts for a while. You know, the “what-ifs” ramble during the time.
Slowly your senses come back, the daily routine takes over and life goes on.
I pretty much felt that Sunday morning as I approach Customs at the US Boarder. Upon tender of my passport, the inspection officer barked similar tones we’ve all heard coming back: “What was the reason for your trip to Toronto?” I spoke clearly and slow. “Buffalo Bandits Lacrosse playoff game vs. Toronto.” His eyes rolled up as quickly as his head and closed my passport, taping it on the seal of his booth. He just stared at me and said, “go.”
Kinda felt like I was crossing into the German front with the barricade officer pitching the same stare and tap with the passport. His leathers making squeaks as he stood near only to say in broken English accent: “Your paperzz are in order you are frrrree to go.”
The boarder guard was a Bandit fan and mumbled “6 noth…” OK, that was all he said and I was on my way back home.
Saturday night’s loss to Toronto had everything the Bandit’s experienced this season. Some great games and some not-so-great games. The team played so well in the first half, like they have pretty much all season witness the stats as the Bandits lead the League with the most first quarter goals.
And to have the score 7-4 at halftime. I mentioned that to halftime guest Dave Buchanan of WGR Sports Radio 550 here in Buffalo. Did the bad thing and said that was the same score a couple of weeks ago when we were in Orlando.
Oh, and the next topic, I mentioned playoff tickets for a possible home game with Boston. They were leading Orlando at the time something like 8-3.
Right after I said it, I thought to myself “are you sure you wanted to say that?” Much the same when a goalie is pitching a shutout, you want to steer clean of calling attention.
Come to think of it, Toronto scored their first goal of the game when I mentioned the Bandits had shut the Rock out for twenty minutes and 43-seconds. Oh well, season over.
One thing that remained number one in the NLL all season long: You, the Fans of Banditland.
With a perfect attendance record at home and outstanding performance by those of you that traveled to see the Bandits play, you remained number one in National Lacrosse League in turn-style count. Some 16,600-plus average per game. The Bandits and the League thank you.
Just reflective of the colors so proudly worn by you. Even more orange worn than the Denver Broncos fans during then Orange Crush days.
And the fun everyone has at the game. From dancing in the isle to the crew that brings “The Box” pinwheel to every game. You make it quite an event.
I am sure the Bandits merchandise department loves it. I was told they sell over 100 orange wigs, foam hats and fingers at each Bandit home game! Now that’s getting aboard and into the game.
Ask any player in the NLL, they say Buffalo is the toughest house to play in. But they, too, mention how great you, the fans, are.
And from each Bandit player I interviewed for the pre-game show, there was always mention about how much they appreciate you in the stands. Chris White said it: “It’s such a good feeling to play at home in front of all our fans. It gives me an extra step or two.”
Feeling better already and hope you are too.
As PA Announcer Chris Swenson sparks: “Buffalo what?”
Have a great summer and thank you, again, for your support.