Tonawanda News —
I will point out the irony, however. Kelly points out Buffalo's insignificance throughout his diatribe, but isn't it a bit strange he attacks the one American city where hockey — Canada's national sport — actually matters?
OK, there are a few spots that the sport isn't on life support. Detroit is Hockey Town and Chicago really supports those Blackhawks — when they're winning. But for the most part hockey is as important in the U.S. as soccer. Well, soccer is actually growing its following in the states.
I'm not surprised by Kelly's attack on our city. Aren't we used to it by now? Buffalo is a loser town, filled with losers, who cheer for losers. I've heard it all.
But when you sit back and think about it, the vitriol is born out of bitterness.
No matter how hard other cities try they can't quite manufacture what we have in this city. This is a community of blue collar people who stick together and face all comers, including the litany of individuals that continue to pile on a city trying to rebuild.
Buffalo knows sports and we love our teams. We're the 12th man and this has been dubbed "Hockey Heaven" for a reason. Check out a game in Carolina or Phoenix and watch as the Sabres sweaters outnumber the Hurricanes and Coyotes.
Buffalo may not matter to you, Mr. Kelly, but it's where hockey lives in America.
If Toronto/Buffalo isn't a rivalry, as you surmise in your column, there would have been no gloves on the ice Sunday night in a meaningless preseason game. And a walk down Washington Street or a post-game beer at Pearl Street wouldn't include a back-and-forth between Sabres and Leafs fans that would alarm even the most well-versed trash talkers.