Howie Rose: Nassau County ‘Aspires to Be Minor League’

Kevin Schultz

Islanders play-by-play man Howie Rose has had his fair share of rants on the air over the last few years and, when an opportunity presents itself, he doesn’t shy away from telling it like it is. Here’s a quick recap of his recent memorable rants: 
  1. Asking if it was time for spring training yet (Rose also does commentary for the Mets and this one only sort of counts because it wasn’t intended to be on camera).
  2. Going off on ESPN’s Neil Greenberg for not including John Tavares in a Top 25 list
  3. Going off about Kyle Okposo’s snub from Team USA

This video isn’t quite on the soapbox/mic drop level that some of the aforementioned events were, but Rose certainly has some #realtalk for the politicians of Nassau County (despite never naming names, that’s how it’s aimed for the most part).

Here’s a transcript of the important part:

“Long Island was major league in every respect. Once the Islanders leave and go to Brooklyn, now the objective is to bring a minor league team here? So, you look at this place and you think of what was and this is all you need to know about what’s happened here in Nassau County. Now they aspire to be minor league. And that’s just an absolute shame.

I can’t help it, it gets me worked up. When I look at those Nets banners and those Islanders banners and I remember the noise and I remember what was and what was for a long time — a good run by the Nets and a long run by the Islanders — that’s why I wonder about Bill Torrey’s innermost thoughts.”




50 comments
Macacawitz
Macacawitz

Howie doesn't get it.  Nassau County WANTS to be major league.  They just don't want to be major league in partnership with a con man like Wang.  

Faye Barth
Faye Barth

One of Howie's best rants was after Furious Friday, when the NHL and its shills came down on the Isles as if they were total barbarians (or worse).  

David Sisler
David Sisler

Rose's idea of major league is for the hard working overburdened taxpayers of Nassau to give millions of welfare to billionaires like Wang and millionaires like Taveras, DiPietro, Bailey, etc.  They overwhelmingly rejected it in election that was set up to pass. Shills like Rose don't understand and are afraid of democracy.

Warren Gorodess
Warren Gorodess

That maybe true, i wouldnt expect him to not stay a Ranger fan even though he works for the Isles, but No doubt he is a big Isles fan now, hes been working for them for almost 20 years and like u said hes a big hockey guy, I personally love his personality when he does games, and have no issues when he takes off for vacation especially like tonite cause he has to do the Mets game. I 100% approve of him bringing in JIGGS for any game he wants to take off. They are both AWESOME!

tpjm
tpjm

NYI wanted a new arena since the late 80s soon after the dynasty and it went nowhere. Torrey wished it. The common denominator in no arena since then has been nassau not different NYI owners or only Wang. The arena referendum a few years ago was for many events not just NYI and the public voted NO to a $52 a year tax increase for it. I spend more than that for dinner. Only 11% of eligible voters voted. Nobody cared. The privately funded lighthouse was shot down by republicans to keep the political party status quo not to avoid Wang's big plans. It is all nassau’s fault and nassau aspires to be minor league as Howie said and he is 100% correct.

Matt Peros
Matt Peros

if you read his book he says even though he is a Rangers fan he respected the Islanders. Also the Islanders allowed him to interview some players while he was attending Queens College

John Richards
John Richards

There's so much blame to go around!!!politicians/isles ownership past and present/building lease/changing demographics etc!! Perfect storm of incompetance/corruption/neglect/stupidity/etc!!

bubbamac19
bubbamac19

The Islanders are only one in a long list of once viable companies to move out of Nassau County in the last 20 years. There are many factors as to why, but it would be an understatement to say that Nassau County is a  very difficult place in which to operate a business. County leadership, lacking from Democrats and Republicans alike, can share the blame over the decades. 

Wang gets a lot of heat on here for supposedly buying the Isles as a "land grab". To my recollection the land was never for sale, but he did want to develop it (as did previous owners), which I as a lifetime LIer appreciated - though I did not want 20+ story buildings in the burbs, I thought most of his plan pretty cool. And if he made $ off that development and it made going to games more attractive and entertaining - like at EVERY OTHER venue in sports, kudos to him.

NIMBYISM and politics killed the Lighthouse prolonging the process over a 10 year political chocolate swirly. The added revenue would have helped fund the team - as every team is funded by something other than TV and ticket revenue. Computer Associates is no Cablevision and even Dolan gets massive tax breaks in MSG that the Isles do not. 

After 10 years Nassau County told Wang that they would approve a project 1/2 the size of his proposal. The only criticism I have of Wang is that he did not try to negotiate that up but after 10 years, it's likely he knew what he was up against and thought it best to simply withdraw. 

The tax referendum (NOT a referendum on the Isles or their popularity as so many like to think) to finance a new building was poorly timed, poorly supported and the results predictable - especially in light of the financial collapse from which so many were still reeling. It was, to my mind, an opportunity to vote yes for the benefit of the future of the County; to take some pride in having a facility that we can all share as families, residents and businesses - one that had an anchor tenant.  I respect the fact that it was turned down - those were tough times and it was a lot to ask for; surely there were greater priorities for most folks. Nonetheless, I thought it was short sighted. Isn't it ironic that the place will be refurbished and made "minor league" - or is it just appropriate...?

I live in Nassau County. I love it, it's beautiful and has so much to offer - it truly does. I am heartbroken that the Islanders are moving. Heartbroken. But if it means that they will have the wherewithal to better fund the team, and even regain a glimpse of their glorious past - my past - then so it should be and good luck to them. I'll do my best to be there. 

tag1
tag1

I wish Howie still had a call in show because I would point out to him what's even more minor league than Nassau County was wang hiring his just retired back up goalie GM, that move was probably one of the worst moves by a owner in the history of sports, but you have to remember who cuts Howie's checks so you can't expect him to bite the hand that feeds him.


Under 14 years of wang ZERO playoff series wins and you expected to get things done out here?

1940isdead
1940isdead

The only reason the Islanders exist is that the NHL wanted to torpedo any chance that the WHA would succeed in NY. They hastily approved franchises for LI and Atlanta with very little long-term planning about the viability of the LI or Atl Franchises. The Atlanta team would relocate to Calgary after the 79-80 season. The only reason the Islanders lasted this long was the amazing work, luck and timing of Bill Torrey and his scouts to put together a dynasty team in just 8 years. But that is 30 years ago and not enough to sustain keeping the team in what is a very small market. Brooklyn is their last hope to remain in the NY Metro.  

camb33
camb33

Only thing missing from Howie's rant was he should have ended it with, "Thanks a lot Charles Wang!"

PCap
PCap

Thank you Howie for always saying what's in my mind and making it sound even better.

Robert Klein
Robert Klein

Can we finally put the "Ranger fan Howie" thing to rest?  He has been one of the most vocal people in the local media supporting this franchise's fans.  He may have gotten flack for the spring training comment but you would be lying if you weren't thinking the same thing at that point.  He articulates the fans feelings better than any play by play announcer in the area.  Oh yeah and he's pretty good at calling a game too.  

David Schwartz
David Schwartz

Politics aside anyone who does not believe that Howie Rose is a genuine Isles fan is just an idiot.  The guy grew up with my mother I have met him on many many occasions and he bleeds orange and blue all the way through. 

stanleycup
stanleycup

Look, you can blame Nassau county politicians and the residences that voted it down. However 90% f the blame goes to Charles Wang! Him and only Him has been the Failure. From Hockey operations to wanting a little city (for a hockey club?) and never wanting to make the Islanders RELEVANT in Nassau County!

Charles Wang did not even want to talk to the guy Monte who was first to win the bid from Nassau County.

You can say all you want about Politicians, but they do not own the team. Wang is a complete Jack @ss along with Garth Snow. They Destroyed a Winning Franchise and now are moving them. If you think for one second that a New Building is the answer to winning your a fool. Wang is not a winner.

@isles23 I just Hope that they do not Hang those Stanley Cup Banners in the Barclays because Charles Wang had nothing to do with it. They should stay in the building to be built as a monument of history on long Island that once had winners.

Charles Wang should only Hang the Accomplishments that he has done up in the rafters, and do you know what they are NOTHING! Just pure wind, Charles Wang Sucks period.

Bill Strong
Bill Strong

I live near Hartford. The city has died around the Civic (Now XL) Center since the Whalers left. We have an AHL team there now and nobody cares because it once was "big league" hockey.

Jarett Pearsall
Jarett Pearsall

Howie grew up a Ranger fan.... The isles have been a part of his life now for 15-20 years he is most def an isles fan these days

Paul Blake
Paul Blake

Howie nailed it. Nassau and Hempstead Town should be ashamed of themselves; but, being two bit politicians, they are not.

isles23
isles23

Stan said it when the move was first announced. LI used to be a place were tons of things happened, not just sports. The lem for NASA was built on LI and cannons headquarters were two examples he gave among others. Its still a great place and somewhere that will have a place in my heart but it is a shame what's happened.

Mike Corbett
Mike Corbett

He still might be a Rangers fan at heart, but he is big on NY hockey overall and knows of the impact the Isles have had on hockey in the metropolitan area.

Warren Gorodess
Warren Gorodess

Some say he is still a Rags fan, but from what he said about the Isles and Nassau county yesterday i find that hard to believe, He was very passionate and totally truthful about everything he said. It truly is a disgrace what happened and I look forward to greener pastures in Brooklyn. FU Hempsted :)

shlo
shlo

Do you really think the politicians care? someone was paid off.


When we see who is building what- not on paper  , when the shovels start digging, we'll know who made the payments and who got it....

Don22
Don22

I like Butch's comment at the end.  It's like the Berlin Wall - somebody built it and now somebody is tearing it down.

Vinny Piccolo
Vinny Piccolo

you forgot his amazing rant after Vanek's disallowed OT GWG against the Blues. Howie is THE MAN,

jepliberty
jepliberty

@David Sisler

This nonsense coming from a die hard Rangers fan,why the hell should he care what transpires with the Islanders, or Nassau county, unless he believes he will be out of one of his gigs working Islanders games. Hey Howie, baseball has started, you fraud.

tag1
tag1

@bubbamac19 "After 10 years Nassau County told Wang that they would approve a project 1/2 the size of his proposal."

It was the TOH which cut the size of the project and wang should have known he was going to have to deal with them that the County didn't have the jurisdiction on the size and scope of the project and yet he basically spit in their faces during the process.


If you don't think that games weren't played in bklyn and local politicians didn't get any "perks" from the Barclay's crew to get that arena built then I think you're a bit naive.


The LHP was a 4 billion dollar project that was way too big for the area and not to mention wang coming up with 4 billion dollars is good for a laugh. If everyone is leaving Nassau then who was going to buy and rent all that residential and commercial real estate wang was going to build?


As far as the referendum goes I voted yes but after seeing what's going on in Glendale Arizona when they got involved in the arena building business I might have been wrong to vote the way I did sorry to say.




wangbegone
wangbegone

@tag1  Exactly. Look, I don't think anyone really has a problem with what Howie said - it's partially true. But it's not the whole story! It focuses only on politicians and totally overlooks the fact that the Islanders lost their political viability by stinking for the past 2 decades+. And Wang, who has owned this team with ulterior motives is to blame for the past 13-14 years. 


He is the worst owner, ever. 


Congratulations on that accomplishment, Chuckie baby!



jepliberty
jepliberty

@1940isdead

Brooklyn may be their death knell, without any improvements to the assets, and players they will die on the vine in Bklyn, bet on it.

wangbegone
wangbegone

@1940isdead  Okay, there Ranger fan. Way to conflate fact with fiction. Yes, the Islanders were hastily conceived, but the market was and still would be a sure thing, if the team was run with any degree of competency.  

chris7777
chris7777

@1940isdead  VERY SMALL MARKET?NASSAU COUNTY AND EVEN SUFFOLK COUNTY LOVE THE ISLANDERS WE CAN SELL OUT THE COLISEUM IF IT WAS JUST A WINNING PRODUCT ON THE ICE. F U WANG 

slapshot18_rs
slapshot18_rs

@David Schwartz  he openly grew up a Ranger fan, but he seems like a hockey fan first and obviously likes the islanders as well. 

David Schwartz
David Schwartz

@stanleycup @isles23  Your hopes are unrealistic.  Name me one sports franchise that went to a new stadium and didn't bring their former championship banners with them?

isles23
isles23

@stanleycup, did I even mention Wang? I mentioned what has happened on LI that has nothing to do with him. Yes he's been a terrible owner but as long as they are the NYI the banners will be where they play. Did the Yankees not bring their history just because its a new stadium?

bubbamac19
bubbamac19

@tag1 @bubbamac19  Yes, you're right the TOH did limit the scope; i just read up on it - to 1/5 of the residential (500/2500) and 36 stories (holy crap) to nine as a max height. But Wang never spit in their faces, ever, that I can recall. All he ever asked for - that I saw - was an answer, quickly.

I'm not naive - they had to move mountains to get Barclay's done; and I am of the belief that puh-lenty of political wheels were greased in Nassau to no avail. Likely not in the TOH. Those folks are already in jail. :)

I agree, as a resident I didn't want something so big, but if someone offers to do something like that with his own investors, you don't take almost 10 damn years to make a counter proposal. That's on politicians, both Dems and Reps in TOH and Nassau. It's bad business. In fact, I'm sure wang was made promises by politicians when he bought the team - promises they could not keep. 

With the Islanders as an "anchor tenant" and a "Fourth Street Live" type of community around the Coli to draw other interest, affordable (maybe) housing surrounded by colleges, the plan was to have an appealing central destination that would create jobs and attract and keep young folks on LI. To me, without a train line right to it, it was always a tough sell.

And your point about Glendale is well taken, though having lived in AZ (awesome place, visit if you haven't) it's a very different sort of community and lifestyle.

It's just amazing to me, Tag, that each and every one of our local sports teams has received permission and funding for the (now completed) construction/renovation of new arenas - except the team that needed one the most. I don't think that can be laid at Wang's feet. 

David Schwartz
David Schwartz

@chris7777 @1940isdead  It goes well beyond that though unfortunately.  Even when this team did sell out in the 70's and 80's it still wasn't a viable franchise due to the terrible lease they signed with the County.  

David Schwartz
David Schwartz

@slapshot18_rs @David Schwartz  I am not here to deny who he rooted for as a kid living in bayside queens.  He has been nothing but a loyal announcer and fan to the Isles for longer then he was a childhood Rags fan.

isles23
isles23

@David. Franchise that moved with in the same state...

tag1
tag1

@bubbamac19 @tag1 "can't blame him one bit for supporting her opponent." 


and you can't blame her for not bending over backwards for wang. Do you realize that studies have been done and new stadiums and arenas are not necessarily good for a area and doesn't necessarily help out the local economy. If that area is built up the proper way they will probably get more out of that land then what they would have with wang's plan.


"Many TOH building inspectors and their overseers went to jail or were fired/fined  - let's call them "budding" politicians. Just emblematic of TOH corruption and "pay for play"

Please that happens all over not just here and there are more higher level politicians from the city getting locked up then out here that's why I laugh at the city people who come on here and cast stones at the LI politicians when the city politicians are much worse.


"The Lighthouse Project was expected to take 8 to 10 years to be completed, and cost about $3.74 billion"

that has trouble written all over it when you have a nut job like wang involved. Like I said if that project ever got off the ground it would have been a mess I think wang's problems with running a hockey team would have reared it's ugly head here too.

bubbamac19
bubbamac19

@tag1 @bubbamac19  can't blame him one bit for supporting her opponent. Not the same as bad mouthing her. Right or wrong she was obstinate, he played all his cards. Never read or saw him badmouth her and I don't imagine if he had supported her that she would have reversed course.

Many TOH building inspectors and their overseers went to jail or were fired/fined  - let's call them "budding" politicians. Just emblematic of TOH corruption and "pay for play".

Not sure where the 4 billion number came from but that's certainly a tall order for anyone; my recollection is that it would have been built in many, many phases with each phase helping to fund the next including the coli renovation; so it wasn't necessary to actually raise 4B cash all at once. And times have indeed changed since the initial proposal. Islanders can't catch a break, with their hands out simultaneously with the financial collapse.

Jets and Giants fans with the PSL thing...(is that what you mean) well, they chose to pay that additional stuff and I think they're foolish to do so.  Not the same as making an investment in your county's future, for sure. THAT was a money grab of epic proportions - geez, they didn't need a new stadium anyway. And blew through a 20 year waiting list to sell those seats. AND for the first time in your life or mine, we have seen ads selling tickets to the Jets. In any event, Wang took a major risk but he did try, for many years, and I don't fault him for pulling the plug and moving down the road. I take greater issue, as you know, with his hockey decisions.

tag1
tag1

@bubbamac19 I was at a Caps/Isles game at the Coliseum where wang had Kate Murray's opponent campaigning in the lobby between periods, you think that went over well with her?


Which TOH politicians went to jail as far as I know most of the time when I see politicians getting arrested in this area they are from the city and as far as wang greasing palms it was probably the palms of Suozzi and his people considering how they went from holding on to those plans for years to pressuring the TOH to approve the plans yesterday, you have to wonder about that.

If you want to believe that wang was going to come up with 4 billion dollars go ahead but I think that whole project would have turned into a clusterf*ck if it was allowed to go ahead and wang would have come up short with the cash.


Nassau county was in no position to fund a arena and times have changed I don't think you will see anyone in this area get breaks anymore when it comes to building arenas. Aren't the Jet and Giant season ticket holders getting taxed because of that new stadium?

wangbegone
wangbegone

@David Schwartz @chris7777 @1940isdead  The lease you refer to was signed in 85 and didn't become a huge problem untll the 90's. Those lease terms were amended in 09', so really aren't in play as we speak. 


It's not the market. It's not the lease. It's the owner. 

David Schwartz
David Schwartz

@isles23  Oh I love NVMC just like I loved Shea Stadium(It might have been a toilet bowl, but it was our toilet bowl).  On the other side it will feel good to see this organization being showcased in a major metropolitan area and hopefully will soon be run by actual NHL professionals.

isles23
isles23

@David. I'm not gonna kill NVMC cause I do love seeing games there and will miss it. That being said I'll never forget bringing one of my friends there a few years ago and him comparing it to the local rink we used to play our high school games at.

David Schwartz
David Schwartz

@isles23  Most franchises technically move "in state" they move from a dilapidated piece of garbage(I don't think I need to spell out which arena I am referring to) to a brand new one that is usually(not this time) paid for by tax payer dollars.