At the end of the day, it is said that the little things in life matter the most.
Terrence Pegula swooped into Buffalo out from a fog, it seemed. A billionaire out of the heavens of Forbes Magazine’s richest of the richest, of the mightiest on the mountaintop, high above the clouds. If that sounds a bit childish in perspective, well, it should – but more on that later.
No way any one in our blue collar town ever dreamed that someone would come stampeding out of the fog of that mountaintop, and do his almighty best to rescue and magnify a franchise shrinking into doomed mediocrity.
Still, that is exactly what happened.
“Sometimes thing are too good and also true,” said Pegula on the day of his first public presser regarding the purchase of the team. He would go on to detail that he would use every resource he had to make the Sabres champions, that he would do every little thing necessary to ensure the franchise was a destination – a “Hockey Heaven.”
“Starting today, the Buffalo Sabres’ reason for existance will be to win a Stanley Cup,” he said. Right now, there is a plaque bearing those words in the HSBC arena – one of those “little things” he spoke of.
Today, in the National Post, there was a nice little run-down on all the little things that Pegula has already done for the team, the franchise, and how the city has responded in kind.
He installed a $20,000 carpet bearing the team’s logo in the locker room. The players were so reverent of it that they immediately banned anyone from stepping foot on it.
He saw to it that a fan suggestion box was installed on the team’s website – and the suggestions have all been read, and many are being implemented – all the way down to the temperature of the water in the ladies restrooms.
As for the players, “He’s a great owner and will do whatever it takes to make you feel comfortable and make your family feel comfortable,” Jason Pominville said.
“Terry has come in and been such a nice guy around the room,” said Tyler Ennis. “We see his face almost every day. It’s nice to see him so excited about us winning. That definitely gives us confidence.”
Again, just being around, and reminding the players that the man who writes their paychecks is there to boost them at any given time, is just another little thing that matters so much in any business family these days.
As mentioned previously here on buffalo74, Saturday night, @LindyRuffsTie of Twitter came up with a little idea of his own – why not get as many people as possible together and gather the next day at the HSBC arena and sing “Happy Birthday” to Pegula at noon? There was less than 12 hours to go to make it happen, but the idea spread like wildfire.
Most of those that attended heard about it as they woke up late on Sunday morning, and many didn’t have the time to get down to the arena. But it was just enough time for a small “flash-mob” to get together and sing a little thank you to Pegula on his 60th birthday party. From the National Post:
The city has embraced Pegula. He received a prolonged standing ovation when he was introduced prior to his first home game as owner. And on Sunday, a group of 30 people showed up at HSBC Arena as part of an impromptu birthday party for Pegula, who was turning 60. The idea for the party was hatched by some die-hard fans who spread the word over Twitter. Pegula did not attend the event, billed as a flash mob, but the message was sent.
And the message was received, according to the Pegula clan over Twitter. It brought a big smile to the man who has brought so many smiles to so many Sabres fans over the last month or so.
But, billionaires, franchises, players, fans, and newspapers aside – there were some other folks that attended the birthday rally that day that will never forget it.
Kids don’t dwell on things – they don’t worry about billionaires and the bottom dollar, the state of the City, or expensive carpets. They live by the rhyme of joy, by the dreams of who they will be when they grow up, and by the heroes that are showing them that achieving anything is possible.
For us big kids, the dream of a Stanley Cup is possible again. But for the kids, for our little ones, there is a new hero in town – there is a face and a name telling them, by example, that there is a way to become big, and to never give up on your dreams – even if it takes until your 60th birthday.
For the little ones, that was well worth singing for.
Like I said, it’s the little things in life that matter the most.