All right, I admit it, I’m a little late to the party. This is my first blog of the new season and the season is already well under way. My apologies, and I am going to get into the good habit of commenting after each game or two, even if it’s just a recap and a few thoughts. Hope you guys don’t mind the shorter content of my future entries; as B.D. says, not every blog has to be a home run…singles and doubles are good, too. Couldn’t have said it better myself. Damn those baseball metaphors and the fact they work so well.
So to begin my commentary on this New York Islanders season, I will start with an event at the Coliseum that has nothing to do with hockey: last night’s Muse concert.
It’s been awhile since I attended a concert at the Mausoleum. Thanks to its outdated, old-timey charm and small seating capacity, it generally doesn’t attract the stars it used to. But, as luck would have it, one of rock’s most popular and trendsetting groups, Muse, was obviously tricked into playing there. My friend Renee procured tickets back in April and we and some other friends were off to the show.
So there I was, pretending to know the words and pumping my fist along to the anthems. All of a sudden, in the middle of the blistering guitar solo of “New Born,” complete with flashing green laser lights that bounced off the championship banners, there was a huge, loud POP! An amp had blown (or something along those lines – honestly, I’m not sure what happened technically). The sound was dead, the lasers gone and the crowd in shock.
Dripping with sarcasm, I turned to my friend and said, “Oh nooooo, we don’t need a NEW building! Obviously this one is friggin’ PERFECT!” Of course, I don’t know if it was actually the building’s fault, but it was obvious that the row of guys behind us saw this failure as a reflection of the building’s inadequacies. And thus began the cheer.
Let’s go Rangers!!! clap, clap, clap-clap-clap Let’s go Rangers!!! clap, clap, clap-clap-clap Let’s go Rangers!!! clap, clap, clap-clap-clap
Ugh. I was pissed. My facility was once again the laughingstock.
I don’t like confrontation, so I kept my trap shut. But suddenly, a group of women seated behind those guys started to react. “What?!? NO! The Rangers suck!!!”
Ahhh, a sigh of relief. These ladies had the guts to shout back! And it started. A chorus of female voices defending their…umm…team.
Let’s go YANKEES!!! clap, clap, clap-clap-clap Let’s go YANKEES!!! clap, clap, clap-clap-clap Let’s go YANKEES!!! clap, clap, clap-clap-clap
Now I was embarrassed to be an Islander fan.
And a woman.
The concert started back up in less than five minutes, with everything in working order once again. I forgot about the Ranger chant until the show was over. That’s when we were all herded into the single concourse that extends around the perimeter, trapped because the geniuses who run the place refused to unlock enough doors for people to exit, literally creating a serious fire hazard. The chants started again, this time including the various takes on Mr. Potvin, you know, because obviously he’s the one keeping the doors locked.
Can I blame Ranger fans for pointing out the flaws? No. Because these same flaws are what upset me, not the recognition and mockery of them. And for the record, there are Ranger fans capable of recognizing the potential of the Islanders. I had the distinct pleasure of riding back on the Long Island Rail Road on the evening after the Rangers’ home opener, eavesdropping on the conversations after the Rags’ suffered an OT loss.
“How’d the Islanders do tonight?” one asked.
Checking his phone, the other answered, “They lost in overtime, like us.”
To which the first responded, “Man, their roster sucks. But they play hard.”
Some Ranger fans even have a sense of humor. On my way to the train that night, a beggar walked up to the Ranger fans in front of me, saying, “Look man, can you give me something? I’m so poor this is my only shirt.”
One fan said back, “Sorry buddy, I’m broke too. This is my only shirt,” referencing his Ranger jersey.
His friend added the finishing touch. “And you know what makes that even more tragic? That’s his only shirt, and he’s an Islander fan.”
All joking and rocking out aside, I have actually been paying attention to the team and their performance so far. Very happy with the grit. Loooove the unis. Like the Wiz. Tsk tsk at the gesture. Like The Nino. Haven’t tried the cupcakes. Love that the Islanders were the NHL feature story on ESPN.com a few days ago. Got a laugh out of one of the lines -
“Dwayne Roloson, 41, and Rick DiPietro, 29, will decide whether or not there’s playoff hockey in Long Island this season.”
Oh, Pierre! We say on Long Island, not in Long Island! I’ll let you slide this time.
What, you thought I was laughing at the thought of playoff hockey? Of course not.
Those Ranger fans on the train were right. The Islanders DO play hard, and they are going to continue to do so, and that’s wonderful – but they can only get so far without some of their key players. As a realistic fan, I’ve accepted the fact that no matter how much their hearts are into it, eventually they’ll get physically worn out. That’s just how it is, an undeniable fact, an indisputable consequence, an inescapable fate for any human being on earth. There is simply no way to avoid it.
Unless, of course, you’re Dwayne Roloson.
Filed Under: New York Islanders
About the Author: An Islander fan since first grade, Brenna is waiting for the glory days to return. God-forbid the Islanders move, she's praying they leave a casino in their wake, so that she can drown her sorrows at the Let It Ride table. And boy, is she a lousy gambler.