Conversation Hearts

Emotions are difficult to describe.

We ask people how they feel all the time, but we rarely mean it. Politeness gets in the way of the truth because the real answer is much too complicated to be brief.

Ask someone how they’re feeling sometime. The answer will either be extremely meaningless or indecipherable. The effort is there, but the understanding is not.

A ‘fine’ is just as pointless as a more specific answer because the exchange of words is marred by perception and point of view and all those things that cause communication to break down.

Emotions, much like people, are impossible to define. Controlling your own emotions is a challenge in itself, let alone trying to understand everyone else in the world. It is no different in sports. Those intangibles, momentum and all that, are difficult to really pinpoint yet extremely powerful.

Here’s what I know: Pat Kaleta got his face punched in by Milan Lucic last Wednesday and the Sabres got excited. Something changed. First Niagara Center came alive, the Sabres perked up and a 1-0 lead became a 6-0 pounding of a much different sort.


I have no idea. What I do know is that things were very different around this team. The Sabres were healthy and had — amazingly — broken out of the doldrums much faster than that worthless lout Milo ever could.

(Sidenote: I loved The Phantom Tollbooth when I was younger. Was I on drugs when I was in fourth grade? I dont remember being on drugs in fourth grade…)

The Sabres, the proverbial bullet-riddled car bouncing up and down on hydraulics in the desert, finally turned the ignition and got back on the highway. They were, dammit I’ll say it, fun to watch again. I even paid to see them play on Saturday and, despite the loss, enjoyed myself. It was a damning loss, but at least I didn’t feel three hours closer to death after the final horn.

A few days later, 5-0-1 is two games closer to a .500 stretch and fans don’t know what to think. I don’t know what to think, either. Detachment, it seems, is easy to achieve with this team. At least for me it is.

I think that’s sad, really. Not caring is no fun. The worst part about the Sabres being bad is that I have very little to say about it. I wish I had opinions on any number of issues with the Sabres. I wish I had concrete ideas and theories to fill blog posts.

In reality, I have half-thoughts and trailing sentences. Nothing of substance. I have theories about Leino and Miller and Ruff, but nothing I really want to hang my hat on. In this particular conversation, I’m not even wearing a hat. I don’t own hats, because in this hypothetical, hats are too boring and uninspiring to warrant purchase given my meager salary.

The truth is, I could really use a hat right now. I used to buy hats all the time. I look good in hats.

It’s easy to pull away from this team. Maybe that’s a reflection on me more than it is this particular season, but that’s the way I feel. What I do know is that I really wish that were not the case. More than anything, I want that to change.

I don’t know what the answer is. Like I said before, emotions are difficult to weigh. I do know mine are wanting right now.