O, by the Way THE KICKOFF

May 15, 2007|By BILL ORDINE

I walked into a bar in Fells Point on Saturday night and an amazing thing was going on.

There was a hockey game on television and people were actual ly paying attention. Yeah, here in Baltimore, people were watching hockey. And not just watching, but riveted, and cheering and moaning. Attention fixed on all nine TVs.

This was Fletcher's, at the cor ner of Bond and Aliceanna, a gathering place for Buffalo expa triates who, on this and every oc casion the Buffalo Sabres and Bills play, assemble to drink Genesee and Labatt beer, gnaw on (what else?) Buffalo wings and cheer for their heroes. When I was there, I estimated 80 to 100 people, all wearing Sabres blue and gold.

This crowd is between 21 and 45, and most said they'd rather be back in Buffalo, but many were forced to leave because of hard economic times back home. As a result, the educated young adult population of the Buffalo region is spread across the country.

A Sun colleague accurately de scribed it as the "Buffalo diaspora."

bill.ordine@baltsun.com

For more O, by the Way, go to baltimoresun.com/ordine

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