Saturday, September 22, 2007

Greetings Sabre Faithful!

My oh my, what a year it was! I wanted to take this opportunity to chime in on a few matters.

First, thank all of you who contacted me during the last year. Your passion and support were greatly appreciated, and I hope that you all have kept up the good fight in your own way.

Secondly, I want to thank Charlie for keeping the protest alive, and for his excellent work on digging up hard numbers and information about how the slug came to be.

Finally, an overall update.

We are a year removed from the Fix the Logo drive, and while some of you have "gotten used to it," or let it "grow on you," I myself am still insulted and disgusted by the incredibly weak, trendy, and downright ridiculous logo that the Buffalo Sabres have chosen to represent them.

For any who are wondering what happened to me and the protest, when the season started, and our worst fears proved to be true, I decided to stand back, and enjoy what was a wild ride of a season. It was no sense being the lone wet blanket as the entire Western New York community, and even abroad, was swept up in Sabre Fever.

The 15 home games in our true uniforms brought a smile to my face, and only cemented my belief that our original uniform and logo remain our best to this day. Here's hoping the Sabres "brain trust" (and I use that term very loosely) don't screw up what should be a no-brainer for our retro third jersey next season.

Lastly, if you are still looking for somewhere to point the finger on the origin of the slug, I am here to reaffirm that the blame lays squarely on Reebok.

I have been privy to a plethora of information and history on the uniform and logo development in recent weeks. I have even seen a locally-designed logo design that tested extremely well, among fans and Sabres management alike, that was all but approved prior to the 04-05 lockout. I wasn't looking at a graphic on screen either. I was looking at the actual physical crest that would have graced a jersey. Believe me when I tell you that it would have been FAR greater than the slug in every respect.

It was during the lockout however that Reebok swept in, and all of the work that was done locally was shot down, and full control was seized by Reebok. The rest, as they say, is history.

Now, more than ever, I believe that while the company line is that "teams have final say" on all logo and uniform decisions, it is in fact Reebok who holds most of the cards. The Sabres current uniforms were not very well received when Reebok unveiled them to management and players. Sales might have changed their opinion, but if teams are so involved in the process, why should they have been surprised and disappointed in what they got? When a team like Chicago openly states that it had to fight hard to keep their uniform intact, that is telling.

Here's hoping that the NHL asserts more control over their own image in the future, but given who runs the show, it's doubtful.

In closing, I just want to encourage everyone who still loathes the slug to never give in. Don't buy anything but the vintage merchandise. Leave the slug sitting on the shelf. There is plenty available if you know where to look. Ice Jerseys has some nice items on sale, and they will be getting in vintage jerseys in October. Check out their current Sabres selection here.

So here we are, after quite a tumultuous off-season, Larry Quinn is still in charge, and the slug remains. Vote with your wallets, and don't let management nor ownership off the hook. Take them to task at your every opportunity. Call into the cheerleading "Voice of the Sabres," WGR550, and voice your opinions. Write the Buffalo News. Write on hockey forums. Stay vocal.

But whatever you do, don't be complacent.

Go Sabres.

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