March 7th, the day had been circled on my calendar for weeks. The disenchanted masses were gathering for a showdown. Time to let the fat cats at MSG/Cablevision know us Blueshirt faithful weren’t going to take it anymore… that Glen Sather was no longer welcome in our town.
The Fire Sather Rally was scheduled for 5pm sharp on 7th avenue side of the Garden. Mike Zippo and his crew did a wonderful job setting up and pushing this shindig. Even the credentialed press like Steve Zipay, Larry Brooks and Andrew Gross were mentioning the event in their online blogs.
So what went wrong? Well other than Cablevision brass being distracted by their own ABC fiasco?
With 1,200+ confirmed guests on Facebook plus those attending the game that would most likely filter in; I was half expecting a 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention moment. Tear gas, riot gear… Hubert Humphrey.
Here was the golden opportunity to take full advantage of having a public forum to express our dismay and rage at how our beloved team has been run amok for the last decade.
OK, maybe riot gear and tear gas was going a tad overboard. However, having hundreds upon hundreds of die-hard Rangers’ fans gathered in unity and showing the Rangers’ brass that here were fans no longer willing to take it… no longer willing to watch sub-par mediocrity being shoveled on the ice season after season like steaming horse dung.
So, why did only 100 something people bother to show up?
Where were the masses?
Where was the outcry??
Don’t get me wrong, I tip my hat to the 100 who came with their signs and chants. I especially enjoyed the fella behind us yelling, “Sather is a baby killer!”
What truly irked me were those passerby fans that may have not known about the event but stumbled upon it. I mean, you’re heading to the game you just spent hundreds of dollars on tickets to watch a team who despite their overinflated salaries were once again going to have to scrounge for every last point just to make the playoffs…
Hark, what’s this? A mass of angry fans gathering to protest the man that has single handedly brought disappointment to our lives with his dreadful decisions and bloated contracts! Shall we join in? Nah! Let’s just gape and watch for a few minutes then aimlessly wander inside to piss away more money.
And, that’s how the great Fire Sather Rally went down that fateful day. 100+ faithful stood closed together in barricaded pens outside the Fuse building as onlookers casually watched from across the street. Two very bored members of NY’s Finest held the peace and urged everyone to keep clear and stay within the barricade. Whoopity doo.
On a positive note even though Rangers’ suits snickered and sneered from across the street the NY press did take a serious notice. The Fuse Building sidewalk was lined with the press elite all jotting notes and witnessing the event. Larry Brooks even received his own chant to which he waved playfully to the crowd.
Zippo’s efforts were not completely in vain. In the end the Rally did get mention in the Post and Newsday; however what cannot be ignored is that our fellow fans failed to do their part and show their support as they promised to do behind their Facebook pages.
Mike Zippo attempted to spearhead a coup, a movement. Instead it was more like a newest version iPhone pre-sale at an Apple store. He was undone by the very people he was trying to help.
Apparently Rangers’ fans are angry, just not angry enough. Or maybe, just plain apathetic.
About the Author: Couch potato blogger extraordinaire. Scott was a regular writer on Hockeybuzz.com for two years before venturing out with his fishstick blogging brother on their own site Hockeyindependent.com. Along with BD Gallof, Scott is a co-creator of the Sibling Rivalry franchise.