|It's a sea of 11s at the First Niagara Center|
21 years ago, a much-younger BfloGirl – recently graduated from college and thinking she wanted to be a writer and photographer – had the chance to interview a much-younger John Tavares, just going into his fourth season with the Buffalo Bandits. Little did I know that 21 years later, I’d still be writing and taking pictures (and actually making a few bucks doing so), and that then-young Johnny T. would be the G.O.A.T. of the National Lacrosse League – and would have played 24 seasons for those same Bandits.
Last night, 18,500 or so rabid Bandits fans (myself included) watched as the No. 11 he made famous in the lacrosse world joined Buffalo’s original No. 11, Gilbert Perreault, a few other Sabres and a couple of Bandits in the rafters of the First Niagara Center – and the Bandits won the game 13-10 over the Rochester Knighthawks.
Throughout the night, there were video tributes to the new Bandits’ assistant coach, including one from Gilbert himself…
…and some other guy named John Tavares (who should be playing in Buffalo – yes, I’m greedy!).
Many years ago, the first Sabres game I attended was the retirement of Perreault’s No. 11 – now the retirement bucket list is complete. Congrats to Johnny T!
all photos: paulathompsonfreelance.com