Every professional sport has its own version of “America’s Team,” and are the Buffalo Sabres currently holding the title in the NHL?
Earlier, Shayna Goldman of The Athletic proclaimed the Buffalo Sabres as “America’s Team” on Sabres Live. So does Goldman have a point, or is another NHL team better-suited to hold the honor? Before you conclude one way or the other, why not listen to what Goldman had to say?
Goldman is right in the fact that the Blue and Gold epitomize what we love to see in the modern game, using the term “high-octane” to describe them. If you’ve been following us here at Sabre Noise over the past 10 months, it’s also become an adjective I’ve used for this young team on multiple occasions.
And I’m sure others (whose work I’ve probably cited in the past) have also spoken about the Sabres in identical or similar words or phrases. So it’s safe to say their reach has undoubtedly expanded far beyond Western New York as of late in terms of interest.
Buffalo Sabres could be “America’s Team” in the NHL for several reasons
Living in the Pittsburgh area, I remember 10 years ago when the Pittsburgh Pirates of Major League Baseball experienced a renaissance not seen in over 20 years. While that team flamed out by the time 2016 rolled around, they nonetheless garnered a lot of support from the MLB community hoping to see a once-proud franchise make a deep playoff run following a two-decade absence.
The same holds true for the Sabres, who boast the second-longest playoff drought in pro sports behind the NFL’s New York Jets. But the difference between the Sabres and the NFL’s Jets is, of course, that America would rather see a young, upstart team take their respective league by storm as opposed to a quarterback in his career twilight seeking one last chance to win a Lombardi.
Then there are the constant tribulations the entire city has suffered over the past two years, which also draws America closer to this hockey team along with their cousins over in Orchard Park, the Buffalo Bills. Throw in the sports-related misfortunes, plus the small media market that is Buffalo, New York, and it’s easy to see why the Sabres and Bills have caught the nation’s attention.
So are the Buffalo Sabres America’s favorite NHL team at the moment? It’s a subjective answer, but if we were to conduct a poll, I could honestly postulate that the Blue and Gold would win in the voting, hands down.