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Welcome to Bob’s Chair

June 30, 2010

Grandpa aka Bob aka "ye olde Brooklyn Dodger fan"

So I’ve decided to devote my first ever blog post to my grandpa, as he is the inspiration for this blog.  He was always writing about life’s events with a humorous spin, chronicling his entire life story.  We were never able to convince him to give the Internet a try, but if we had, I know he would have loved the idea of a blog.  I hope that my writing can live up to his standards.

Gramps was born and raised in Brooklyn, and he had to settle for the Yankees when the Dodgers skipped town and broke his heart.  If the Dodgers hadn’t moved to LA, I’m sure I’d be a Dodgers fan now.  Some of my earliest memories with my grandpa involve watching the Yankees together. 

While baseball was definitely Grandpa’s favorite sport, he also loved football.  The Giants.  He adopted the Bills as his second team after moving to Western New York from Long Island to be closer to his grandkids.  He allowed us to be Bills fans because we got to grow up in the Kelly/Levy era, during which it was very hard NOT to be a Bills fan.  Every season for the last decade I’ve wondered why I still bleed blue and red come fall, but I stick with them none-the-less.

Grandpa was never into hockey- I’m not sure why.  He always lamented the lack of sports to watch between the end of the NFL season and MLB’s Opening Day, and hockey would have filled the void quite nicely.  Not to mention that hockey would have also provided something to watch between Sundays during the football season. 

Whatever his reasons for not watching hockey, it is the sport I had to come to love without his guidance.   Before this year, I’d occasionally read up on the Sabres if they were doing well, but never watched any games because I just didn’t think I could “get” hockey.  During past Olympics, I only ever watched hockey if it happened to be on and nothing else was on.  Of course, being in Western New York, leading up to the Vancouver games there was a ton of buzz about the US Men’s Hockey team, given that Buffalo’s goalie (some guy named Miller?) was expected to be a big contributor to the success of the US team.  I also have several Facebook friends who are BIG hockey fans, and their excitement about the tournament combined with the buzz I’d been reading online about this Miller dude made me tune in to the first US/Canada matchup.  I think the rest is probably self-explanatory.  It was an amazing tournament, Miller was awesome, I realized that I’d been missing out on being a hockey fan for way too long, came to my senses and have been completely obsessed with hockey since February. 

I’m so into hockey now that I even followed the playoffs and Stanley Cup finals despite Buffalo’s early elimination.  If the Yankees are eliminated from the post season, I don’t keep watching.  I definitely don’t care enough about football to follow the playoffs religiously, just enough to figure out which team I’ll cheer for during the Super Bowl.  With the NHL playoffs this year, I found myself reading up on all the Western Conference teams as well as the Eastern Conference teams (with the Yankees, I only read up on the teams they’re currently playing or about to play in the postseason).  I was baby-sitting my nephew during game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals, and I remember praying that he’d go to bed on time so that I wouldn’t miss the start of the game.  I’m completely and totally converted as a hockey fan, and just having baseball now is leaving me a bit disappointed.  No fights, no checking- baseball’s awfully tame.  No one’s more excited about my conversion than my good friend Caroline, who is a lifelong Sabres fan, and, until this year, the only one in our circle of friends- she was the one who turned on the Winter Classic as soon as she walked through my door when I hosted a New Year’s Day brunch in 2008.  I remember I was a bit annoyed over it then.  I hope she forgives me; I don’t know what I was thinking.

I’m sorry that my grandpa was never into hockey- I think we definitely missed out on some extra bonding time there.  Anyway, it’s 100 days to the Sabres’ first game, according to the countdown I wrote out on my calendar when the 2010-2011 schedule was announced last week.  Here’s hoping the Yankees can keep me occupied until then.

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