We Love Music

Song of the Day: “Walk Away Renee”

rene rancourt

It’s here: Game 1 is upon us. But we, oh town of ever-so-many expats, should remember our roots and the embarrassment of sports riches into which we walked. Moving to Boston in 2003, I felt split in my desire to both root for the home team and remain true to a semblance of Buffalo pride (Buffalove, if you will). The Bruins and the Patriots were not friends. The Red Sox were a curiosity because there is no MLB in Western New York. (Though I recall recognizing the curious power of Fenway on Roger Clemens’s arm during Game 3 of the 1999 ALCS).

Buffalo’s adored teams wile in prolonged mediocrity but call to me. I recognize Rene Rancourt as a cultural icon, but I don’t connect with him like I do Rick Jeanneret, the Sabres’ play-by-play announcer. When I think of memorable first games of the Stanley Cup Finals, I remember not Patrice Bergeron’s bitten finger, but rather Jason Woolley’s overtime goal in 1999.

I’m conflicted, and it’s not because Blackhawks star Patrick Kane is from my hometown. He punched a cab driver there in 2009, so I have no warmth toward him. Rather, it’s been a tough decade for the Sabres (and the Bills). I remain a hockey fan nonetheless, but the decade of Boston championships are bittersweet when I feel what’s lacking 500 miles west on I-90. “Just walk away, Rene(e): you won’t see me follow you back home.”

Getaways, Things to Do

Buffalo Athletes Host Solidarity Run

Buffalo Solidarity Run

From signs and cards, to television testimonials, to readers’ posts on social media, there has been tremendous support this week from the rest of the country for Boston and Bostonians.

I’m glad to recognize the denizens of Buffalo for that support. That city, my hometown, is known as the City of Good Neighbors, and Buffalo’s goodwill does not end with joining last night’s hockey crowd to sing the National Anthem. Buffalo runners Julia Burke and Beth Weinberg are leading the Boston Marathon Solidarity Run on Sunday in Buffalo’s Delaware Park.

Writing for Buffalo’s The Good Neighborhood, Burke said, “Runners are a compassionate bunch, and the Boston bombings shook our entire community to the core. When we’re feeling angry, or sad, or frustrated, or hurt, we all do the same thing: we run––ideally, together…We have a real opportunity to raise money for the bombing victims and the recovery effort, encourage folks to donate blood, and show Boston and the world how much we care. I’ve never been more proud to be a runner, and I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together on Sunday.”

Donations are accepted on behalf of the Red Cross. You and Who, a Buffalo apparel company, is printing commemorative shirts with all profits donated to The One Fund.

In November, Hurricane Sandy prevented Burke, a journalist at Buffalo Spree, a regional magazine, from running the New York City marathon. Instead, she ran a marathon in Delaware Park and was joined by over 800 supporters, Beth Weinberg among them. She raised $5000 for hurricane relief efforts.