Sunday, April 24, 2011
I was sitting on my couch gripping a pillow. I was making a noise that was a combination of a dejected sigh and a whimper. I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach that convinced me that I may get physically ill. I put my head in my hands and muttered something that sounded like a prayer that hopefully the hockey gods could hear. Yep, it was overtime in the playoffs. I don't think there is anything in pro sports that can match the intensity and wave of emotions that an overtime playoff game in hockey can.
Late in the 3rd and during intermission going into overtime, I couldn't help but think to myself, "I REALLY hope no one on the Sabres is feeling the way I'm feeling right now." I just had a bad feeling in my stomach that developed after Briere scored the game-tying goal and it wouldn't go away. I'm an optimistic person by nature and that transfers over to my fandom, and I was trying really hard to remain positive and optimistic, but I had a tough time getting rid of that terrible feeling, despite the fact that the Sabres played a pretty strong 3rd period.
I regained some confidence and positive vibes during the overtime, because the Sabres looked really good and I could tell that they weren't playing scared and they were trying to end the game. I've been in this position before and I've experienced both ends, when the Sabres lose a big playoff game and when the Sabres win a big playoff game. I know what it's like to experience that awful feeling of seeing the other team score and celebrate on the ice while our team skates silently off the ice. I also know what it's like to see a player on the Sabres score and for that moment nothing else matters and you're shaking with excitement and pride and you feel that there is nothing that could possibly go wrong ever again.
I wanted that feeling so badly, and I found myself pleading to the Sabres on TV to let me experience that feeling again. I was actually planning my night and Saturday around whether or not the Sabres were going to win. I was thinking how I wouldn't be able to go out after a loss because I'd be in such a foul mood that it wouldn't be the wisest of decisions to add alcohol and socializing to that equation. I was thinking how I wouldn't be able to go to the Broadway Market the following day because I wouldn't be any fun to be around because I'd be so pissy. I was dreading that feeling you get when you wake up after a Sabres playoff loss. I didn't want to experience any of that.
But even though I was scared and nervous that I would feel that utter disappointment if the Sabres lost, I was able to stop and think about how fun it is to be so emotionally invested in this team, through the good and the bad. I couldn't stop caring about this team even if I wanted to. And that's what made Ennis's game-winner so much more sweet. Everything else is worth it. I really wouldn't trade it for anything. And the feeling of victory is indescribable...the whirlwind of emotions that you experience in every game is awesome, and we get to experience it all over again in Game 6...