The Buffalo Sabres Alumni Association’s annual golf tournament was held this past Monday at the Park Country Club in Williamsville, NY. In another of our ongoing “bloggertunities,” we invited Zach Zielonka of DieByTheBlade.com to join us at the event. Here’s his look at the day’s events.
|Larry Carriere (Photo: Bill Wippert) |
When I was asked to hang out with the alumni at the golf tournament, I was reluctant. You see, I am a kid of the 90’s. I grew up watching Derek Plante eliminate the Ottawa Senators in the first round of the 1997 playoffs; the Steve Shields/Garth Snow fight in the second round of that year; and the unfortunate Stanley Cup Final in 1999. I wasn’t able to witness the majesty of the French Connection or Mike Foligno’s leap. I wasn’t even a twinkle in my parent’s eyes when Rene Robert scored the game winning goal in the fog game. That being said, the opportunity to hang out with some of the biggest legends in Sabres history is something that you can’t pass up.
SABRES ALUMNI GOLF TOURNAMENT PHOTO GALLERY
Pulling into the parking lot to get ready for the tournament was an experience in its own right. With the alumni milling around, catching up with old friends was the one thing on the docket in the early hours. I wasn’t the only fan hanging out in that parking lot. There were a handful of fans in the parking lot trying to get autographs with the legends they didn’t have yet. The alumni were more than willing to oblige with a handful going around and signing a few things. That included the only current player there, Patrick Kaleta, who signed a handful of autographs himself.
After the call to carts though to start the tournament, the real fun began. While dodging raindrops, the alumni along with their foursomes started play with the ultimate goal of enjoying a day on the course. The requirement of hitting good shots wasn’t the first priority, but an occasional good shot was found here and there. When a good shot was hit, all of the groups within a three hole radius knew instantly. Sitting at one of the main thoroughfares on the course gave us the opportunity to enjoy all of the action without having to worry about getting too wet.
There were plenty of sights to be had on the course as well. Park Country Club is a very scenic course with one of the best views coming up the 18th hole. The best sights on the course weren’t left to the course itself though. The golfers brought some had some unique things on them for the tournament. From Brian Duff’s hockey stick putter to Ted Black’s loud golf pants, there was no shortage of interesting things to check out on the course.
The ability to talk to some of my idols made it the experience that much more special. I had the chance to find out that Rick Jeanneret doesn’t single out one particular call as his favorite. After chatting with Michael Peca before he teed off, I learned that his favorite moment as a Sabre was the playoff victory over Ottawa in 1997.
Even though I didn’t get a chance to watch many of the players at the tournament play, getting the opportunity to hang out with the legends of the game was something that I won’t soon forget. A casual observer like myself can tell that these guys truly enjoy hanging out with each other.