Support local businesses now that hockey is back

Hockey’s back in Buffalo and across North America, and not a moment too soon. With yet another dismal Bills season over, we Buffalonians need something to cheer for, and over the last few years the Sabres have provided the most constant source of optimism. We need to embrace hockey wholeheartedly and do what we do best here in Western New York – hope for that elusive championship season.

That said, it is important to recognize that this lockout has not only affected the players’ and owners’ pocketbooks but also those of a multitude of other people and businesses in Buffalo. Through the petty bickering and the sometimes unreasonable demands on the part of both owners and players, everyone has suffered. The owners and players cannot be let off scot-free for this. Hit them where it counts – their wallets.

So here is my proposal, let’s support the Sabres as a team. Go to games and cheer. Go to bars and cheer just as loud. They are our beloveds and we should support them with all of the vigor of a rabid dog. Instead of buying that new jersey, buy that locally printed hockey-themed T-shirt. Have your pregame meal at whatever local restaurant you fancy. Have that extra drink (responsibly) at a local watering hole. Pump those extra dollars into those bars and restaurants that haven’t had your business for the last three and a half months.

That way the players and owners can each have their 50 percent of revenue sharing, but not before we have demonstrated with our wallets that this lockout was unacceptable and detrimental to Buffalonians and hockey fans everywhere.

Elise Haremski