I want to be able to write about the game, but like the beginning of a good movie or a good book, I really just want to know what's going to happen. How will the game go? Will the team respond after a tough weekend at Bowling Green? Who is going to take an early lead in securing a point for the annual Canal Cup race between the two schools?
The answers to those questions are the reasons we play the game, and by the time this gets published those questions will have been answered.
Rivalries are one of the greatest things about sports. People often hear the cliché from coaches and players when it comes rivalry time, "we're just going to treat this like any other game". I understand the thinking that they don't want to do anything out of the ordinary and want to treat every game the same. But to put it simply, when anybody says that, they're lying.
Rivalries wouldn't be rivalries if players and coaches had the same feelings and emotions going into rivalry games as they did going into the other 30-something games during the year. Rivalries can bring out the best and the worst in athletes and fans and that's why we love them so much. It's the build-up going into the game and the complete uncertainty as to how the game is going to unfold that gets us wired. It's the mutual despise between the two teams that tests who can bring their "A" game without letting their emotions get the best of them.
I don't like Niagara. We don't like Niagara. Niagara doesn't like us. Obviously. I'm grown-up enough to know there are great people at Niagara and in their program just like there are at Canisius. I'm sure if I was recruited by Niagara and donned purple proudly, I would feel the same disdain towards Canisius. Alright maybe not the "wearing purple proudly part" but I think you get the idea.
Either way, I don't play for Niagara, my teammates and I play for Canisius. In order to have respect for a rivalry, there has to be mutual dislike between the two sides. Knocking Niagara out of playoffs last year was an awesome feeling - one of the best in my hockey career.
With 12 new freshmen I'm looking forward to getting them involved in the "Battle of the Bridge". Tuesday was the first night of this year's chapter of the Canisius-Niagara rivalry. Energy and tensions were high with both teams fighting for a win. Two league points and bragging rights were on the line. If only I knew what happened...
Until next week, keep your head up.
Scott Moser, #24