By HOWARD BERGER
BUFFALO (Jan. 13) – If I didn’t like this city and its people so damned much, I might have difficulty crafting this blog. But, I figure the folks down here have developed an innate sense of humor about weather patterns, so why not have a little fun?
Any person offended by what is seen below – and has a ticket near the press box at First Niagara Center tonight – can personally boo me. For whatever reason, I usually get a “Howard Berger… Howard Berger” chant from Leaf fans in the upper corner of the rink here, though not until inebriation sets in, sometime during the middle period.
Given the blizzard-like conditions, the Leafs were kept away from the arena this morning (bless Ron Wilson’s little heart). Exercise options beyond the front doorstep of the hotel were obviously limited, so the Leafs entourage stayed in and stayed warm. There were more than a few Wisenheimers on Twitter this afternoon, though serial Buffalo-blaster Joffrey Lupul took it rather easy, Tweeting a photo of the early-morning white-out from his hotel room with the corresponding message: “I’m a little upset none of my Buffalo fans told me to pack my beach towel.” Sitting fifth in NHL scoring, ol’ Loops must be in a good mood these days; either that, or he’s lost his cutting edge.
Carolina Hurricanes’ broadcaster Chuck Kaiton read my earlier blog today and emailed: “I’m glad I’m not an Adams Divisioner anymore… had my fill in the ’80s” – a reference to his numerous visits here with the ‘Canes forerunner, the Hartford Whalers. My close friend and former radio colleague Barb DiGiulio offered her own bit of grief, emailing that a normal 25-minute drive to the Sportsnet-590 studio today gobbled up 90 minutes.
Otherwise, an offer to Twitter followers for some “observations” of the scene here yielded the following results:
@Clevareno: “The weather is very Aud in Buffalo.”
@ericwfrew: “Monster storm and monster goalie attack the Buffalo Sabres.”
@ghetto_sousa: “Snow is falling as fast as the Sabres in the standings.”
@stelo26 (to me): “You live in T.O., enough said. Get some puffs and dry your eyes.”
@AustdoneGallery: “Buds in Blustery Buffalo For Battle With Sabres.”
@SabresBuzz: “Tom Jolls (the old WKBW Channel 7 weatherman) created this forecast specifically to tussle Joffrey Lupul’s coif and to chap his supple skin.”
@sstoveid: “RIP snow-less Buffalo 🙁 – we had a good run. Go Leafs Go!”
@Dreadvolt: “Those pics look like Barrie on any given day between January and May.”
@rockgoaliedad: “My God, Howard, have you never seen snow before? Typical Toronto person. Call the Army in.”
@BNHarrington (Buffalo News hockey writer Mike Harrington, to me): “It’s not even snowing hard yet, LOL – just wind whipping it around.. And, really, it’s the first ‘snow event’ we’ve had.”
@Woodman301 (living in balmy Houston): “Hey, it’s 45 degrees here and that practically paralyses the city. Have fun tonight and Go Leafs Go.”
Here’s how the afternoon unfolded, in pictures:
BUFFALO CITY HALL (ABOVE) ON A DESOLATE FRIDAY.
O CANADA AND OLD GLORY (ABOVE) WERE WHIPPED INTO ALL SHAPES TODAY.
THE COLD BEYOND FROM THE WARMTH INSIDE (ABOVE).
RICHARD, SHOE-SHINE MAN AT THE HOTEL HERE, HAD PLENTY OF TIME TO CATCH UP ON HIS CROSSWORD PUZZLE, AS HE LAMENTED (ABOVE).
EARLY IN THE AFTERNOON SPAWNED A FULL-FLEDGED WHITE-OUT HERE IN DOWNTOWN BUFFALO; HECK, YOU COULD HARDLY SEE THE ENTRANCE TO THE KING’S COURT RESTAURANT ACROSS DELAWARE AVENUE (BELOW).
MIRACULOUSLY, 45 MINUTES LATER, THE STORM HAD RUN ITS COURSE AND NARY A FLAKE COULD BE SEEN IN THE OL’ TOWN (ABOVE AND BELOW).
Facebook: Howard Berger [Thornhill ON]