Kevin SchultzYou’ve probably had the conversation over the last week or at least pondered the idea. Do you support the Rangers in the Finals because they’re from New York?
My hunch is that the answer for the vast majority of people reading this blog is, ‘hell no‘, yours truly included.
When you get Local Sports Team into Important Sports Territory such as the Stanley Cup Final, it attracts a lot of attention and a lot of people who don’t usually follow the sport. And to be fair, if you’re not invested in the cross-town rival, it makes sense to support the locals. But if you’re on the other side — in this case Islander County — it’s weird to have people not understand that no thanks, I’m rooting for the Kings this week.
It depends a bit on the sport, too. As a Jets fan I tend to be indifferent towards the Giants since they usually only play in pre-season, but I’m also not a football super fan. In baseball, there’s been no love at least since Interleague play started and the basketball rivalry has gotten heated lately (and the two basketball owners kind of hilariously hate each other).
When a league you’ve followed all season gets down to four or two teams, it’s natural to consciously or subconsciously pull for one team over another. I’m sure there are Islanders fans who genuinely enjoy or respect the Rangers and wouldn’t mind if they won, just as I’m sure a good portion of the state of California wants the Kings to crash and burn. The possibilities are endless. That’s the beauty of sport.
But standing around a water cooler trying to explain, “I don’t like these guys because I just don’t” can be exhausting. This is a primal emotional response that is often tied to a lifetime’s worth of built-up hatred, personal history and anxiety. It’s like explaining why water is wet.
So, out of scientific curiosity as to how the general internet populace feels, here’s a quick poll:
OK, maybe that poll is a bit biased.
In Calgary, Brian Burke — yes, he’s there now as President of Hockey Ops — took shots at both his team’s and the Islanders’ arena.
The Scotiabank Saddledome, headquarters to the Flames, was built in 1983.
The rink seats 19,289.
“You know what’s embarrassing?” said Burke. “There is one building worse than ours. Has anyone been there? Islanders (who play out of dilapidated Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum). So we don’t actually have the worst building in the National Hockey League. But we have a state-of-the-art 1988 building.”
But the joke’s on Burke and the Flames (and he likely knows as much) because after this year the Flames will be playing in the worst building in the NHL, Brooklyn sight-lines be damned. The full story here is that Burke is watching his cross-province rivals in Edmonton get a new arena deal that will see the Oilers and their No. 1 picks move into a new arena in 2016, while the Flames are in a 25-year old barn that was flooded out about a year ago with no visible movement on the issue.
Whether you like the move or not, it will be nice to know the Islanders aren’t in the worst arena in the league anymore, a title they’ve held now for quite some time.
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, right?
On Friday, things got a little wacky when Lou Pellegrino, a producer NBC Sports, was going on and on about an Islanders sale being done and to be announced after the final. The tweets are now deleted, as well as the whole account, but it started with this one which we can still see thanks to the magic of topsy.com (the internet never forgets, remember that):
Pellegrino went on talking back and forth to fans for a while…
Before issuing one of the worst “I was hacked!” excuses in Twitter history thus far…
And so here we are, with random rumors and no solid news. But there’s been a lot of smoke, a lot of people who seem to know something’s up or something’s going on.
Charles Wang is, as we all know, reviewing offers and since that’s the case it makes sense that people would either make things up because they hear something from someone and it gets a little mixed up in a telephone game type of scenario or, maybe, for the attention. Or maybe there’s a bit of truth in this and a bit of truth in that and they are just waiting for the Finals to end before announcing it. We’ll have to wait and see…
And finally… Someone help out Target, please.