Here's a tip for John and every other fan who thinks it's the media's job to support the team through thick and thin: That's not our job. It's our job to be objective, to be a fair, critical voice in a sea of people with an emotional stake in their team. It's not easy. But I think smart fans understand that journalists are professional skeptics. A good fan can love his team and still be highly critical of the players and management. Many of them pay good money and invest a lot of emotional capital in their teams.
Everyone has a right to an opinion. But it amazes me sometimes how little some people understand about the sports writer's role. Heck, a lot of athletes don't get it, either. I'm told one of the Sabres actually thought the reporters would get their names on the Stanley Cup if the Sabres actually won it all.
I'll admit, sometimes it seems like we go to extremes. I'm the first to gush when a Buffalo team makes a run, or to praise a head coach for getting the best out of his team. But I'll also rip them when they demonstrate confounding stupidity or lack of vision -- as this Sabres management has done. And you bet I'll call out an owner who hides from the media, because we're the only conduit the public has to management, for better or worse.