Blogs | 2/17/2009 12:47:51 PM | John Gurtler
The weekend of February 14th was emotionally strung-out; just plain weird knowing that so many people were affected by the ill-fated flight 3407 late last Thursday night. I did not have someone with connection related to that horrific night. But my heart aches and I have been overwhelmed with uncontrollable emotion.
Hearing the interview Friday morning with Barbara Burns from WBEN radio, talking to the woman who survived while her house was destroyed by the plane crashing down on it, was amazing. While I was driving the highway, her story was so compelling, tears uncontrollably streamed down my face. Too, reading Saturday morning's paper again caused a passionate outburst.
Regardless of our billboard, city of good neighbors, we are indeed a close group of people. Outsiders can call it what they want, deep down we respect and care for each other - across the street or across town. When something like this happens, we are deeply affected and emotionally touched. I don't care where you’re from or where you live, Thursday's occurrence struck everyone in some sort of capacity.
While the National Hockey League gave the Buffalo Sabres the opportunity to cancel their home game Friday, the decision to move forward was not based on competitive or position in the standings. By going forward with the game, it was a chance for people from all parts of the community to come together sharing emotions and escape for part of the night.
It was the same for those that make up Banditland Saturday. Even at the start of our pre-game radio broadcast, as trivial as the whole game might seem, I offered a trail of relief for the three hours we were on the air.
Following a moment of silence for the crash victims of Flight 3407, the Bandits took to the turf in their third uniform with style. While those questioned the heavy orange look, nobody was questioning their sweetheart dominance of the game, 3-0 in the first five minutes. And the new uniforms got better looking as the game went on. Those second set of eyes are pretty cool.
Later, with double the lead, the Bandits rattled of eight straight goals, extending their take to 14. Oh, it was a night of perfect connection all right. The passing and playmaking was superb. The defense and goaltending was just as good. And, too much of the delight to the coaching staff, the Bandits stayed out of the box, allowing only one real Toronto power play.
For those in the seats, watching online and listening on the radio, scoring history was established by the 17-point performance of Mark Steenhuis (4-13=17). The orange flare was everywhere and truly one of his top performances.
The good part about the game Saturday night? The two teams meet each other again Friday night in Toronto. Regardless of the 101 minutes in penalties and the punches thrown, you can bet the Rock will recoil with a strong attack. It is inevitable. The Bandits will have their hands full as Toronto tries to rebound from their embarrassment.
And through the week, life will return to everyone's pace but with more appreciation for life and true check of our emotions. If anything, we are grateful of our community and for those of us close, the community that makes up Banditland.