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Sabres Need to Win Games, Not Votes

by on November 10, 2009

Can we watch hockey without getting a political lecture?  Please?  Apparently, the answer is “Nope” regardless of how poorly the two subjects go together.  The Buffalo Sabres aired a packaged segment during the first intermission of Saturday’s game based upon the suspicious notion that we have reason to hope for an end to the never-ending Canal Side project.  According to the producers, we have an elected official to thank:

Congressman Brian Higgins has been instrumental in securing federal funds for the project.

It was nice of everyone across the nation to pay for Buffalo’s waterfront rehabilitation.  The report didn’t mention how some feel that trying to get more money than we send to Washington is a game where everyone loses.  But intermission only lasts so long.  Besides, they needed to give Higgins time to present his fascinating worldview on economics:

The fundamentals of economic development is to import new wealth into the community that isn’t ordinarily here.

It used to be that economies developed by letting people open companies, work, invest, and engage in voluntarily transactions.  But Higgins would have to trust his constituents enough to let them make their own money and by extension improve this area’s quality of life without his aid.  That’s apparently why he’s intervening: you didn’t think you could get by without federal help, did you?  While it’s not shocking that he’s so ignorant of basic commercial tenets, it’s refreshing to hear him admit it so candidly.

 

What’s more irritating is the Sabres’ active support for the plan.  Like everyone else in the area, they’d like to see more development near the team’s home.  But the franchise is a little too eager about endorsing the particulars.  Of course, Sabres managing partner Larry Quinn just happens to have thrown money at Higgins before, so such flattering coverage might not be coincidental.  Quinn is also similarly unenthusiastic about free markets.

 

It’s little wonder they’re working together.  Both Quinn and Higgins are inept doofuses who are reviled by many of those whom they supposedly represent, whether they bleed blue and gold or live in NY-27, respectively.  As with life in Higgins’s district, any success the Sabres enjoy comes despite Quinn’s oafish efforts.  The Skyway remaining standing is the equivalent of Pat LaFontaine and Chris Drury leaving.

 

Worst, Higgins was the last person some of us wanted to see on Saturday evening.  Some political junkies were trying to escape the gloomy drudgery of tracking Washington’s efforts to put Washington in charge of our health.  Instead of switching to hockey and getting a respite from House members embracing boundless spending, we inadvertently found ourselves enduring a spend-happy political lecture during a Sabres/Bruins game break.  We may as well have stuck with C-SPAN.

 

It’s always frustrating to be told that the government spending our money will fix our problems.  But it’s additionally inappropriate to hear it while waiting for the second period, especially if it cuts into the amount of time devoted to Mike Robitaille amusingly jousting with Rob Ray.  Instead of doing public relations work for Higgins or bragging about how much sales tax revenue the project will allegedly generate, the Sabres should be working to ensure that being outplayed in consecutive games is an aberration, not a trend.

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