FARMINGDALE, NY – This past Tuesday signaled my triumphant return to the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum – hadn’t been there since attending WrestleMania II when Mr. T and Rowdy Roddy Piper headlined the event in a boxing match. Today’s Mausoleum has had a face-lift; one similar to the reupholstering an old, mold-ridden, rickety chair. Meanwhile, the building’s sole occupants, the New York Islanders, are as sturdy an organization as that moldy, rickety chair. Quite simpley, the NY Islanders Stink Like Fishsticks.
During the first intermission of the Bruins 4-1 victory, a twenty-something Islanders fan caught my glance while waiting to use the restroom and yelled, “Bruins suck!” Still on loo queue in a road-white Bruins jersey, the only response I could muster was a stare and genuine laughter from my pie-hole and tracheal tube. In hindsight it was the best response; other Bruins fans smirked and giggled.
The Islanders haven’t been relevant since Ronald Reagan’s first term ended when, symbolically, their dynasty ended with a Cup loss to the Edmonton Oilers. George H. W. Bush was Vice President and even the Kansas City Royals won a World Series more recently (1985). They Royals and Isles share the same blue and moribund losing blues.
Owner Charles Wang should be applauded for sticking it out this long in an archaic building housed by non-playoff season after another haunted by absent time and the memory of banners hanging from the rafters signifying the bygone era of Bossy (hog), Trottier (dirt-bag), Smith (mother effer), Gillies (HOFer? puhleez), and Potvin (SUCKS!). Hope you Rangers fans enjoyed the non-sequiturs. Save for that 4-OT, Easter morning, three-beer-run, epic playoff game in 1987, Islander fans haven’t enjoyed a goal or player like Pat Lafontaine since.
Yet thanks to StubHub, where visiting team (Bruins) fans can get choice seats against a suck-ass home team (Isles) at a deep discount, $64, got us the $168 seats. This turned the venue into a de facto home game for Boston. There were pockets of empties all around and as the Charlestown Chiefs’ play-by-play man Jim Carr once proclaimed, “There are plenty of seats are available.”
The opportunity to sit five rows behind the Bruins bench was euphoric. Amusing, was seeing 19-year-old defensemen Dougie Hamilton and a few other B’s ogling the Ice Girls (ala Al Trautwig) to give the impression the Icelanders weren’t capturing Boston’s full attention. Funnier yet, a NY fan had an Islanders jersey on with the number 30 and THOMAS on the back as their fan base awaits the supposed return from sabbatical of 39-year-old Tim Thomas to hitch the wagon to. In return the Bruins received a 2nd-round + conditional draft pick but more importantly relieved themselves of $5M in cap space, making them buyers at the trade deadline.
Since Tuesday’s game, Rick DiPietro was sent to the minors, contemplated suicide (who wouldn’t after spending a career with this team) and reminded us all of how sorry an organization the Islanders truly are.
Bruins suck? Ha!
D.J. Eberle, tomorrow.