The Rangers Win! But Who’s Gonna Take You Home… OJ? Plus Tigers with Motown Revival

One more mountain to climb, baby!
One more mountain to climb, baby!
One more mountain to climb, baby!

When I woke up today, May 20th 2014, I looked back at where I was 20 and 30 years ago. I can’t help using not just family milestones, but also those milestones which reside in the friendly confines of my “mental library” for  1984 and 1994. Red Letter days from those two special years immediately came to mind and for GOOD reason!

May 20th 1984-I was hitting my “late” twenties. It was also my 18 month wedding anniversary. My bride (with me as midwife/coach) was completing a 48 hour marathon of labor which culminated with the birth of our first child. Back then, most of us had no idea whether it was a boy or a girl. (before the birth, duh) We did have a mondo of time tested opinions from our family, friends, gas station attendants, etc. Scientific hypotheses like the “needle on a string” over the belly test, to the simple visual “she is carrying high or low,” to what did you eat before conception? (I guess a few beers?)

Kristen Courtney was born at 8 pounds 8 ounces just short of 2 am back in ’84. I remember being sent home to catch some Z’s a few hours later. As I headed home, the song “Drive” by The Cars came on the stereo 8 track (remember those?) in the car and only then did reality slap me head on!

Uh, what am I going to do with this beautiful little girl? I had the obvious mental images of chasing and beating down young “gentlemen callers.” Then through the years, (with apologies to Kenny Rogers – either one – really) I was blown away by what lay ahead. Education costs, wedding expenses, it was adding up in my now frightened mind. I also thought about where my sports activities would wind up. Anyway, I got back to my one bedroom apartment, where that new cable station, ESPN was giving sports updates that included news that Jack Morris had  improved to 8-1 as the Tigers beat the Oakland A’s the night before. The Tigers dominated the American League, leading from wire to wire that year. The Tigers went on to defeat Steve Garvey and the San Diego Padres for the World Series Championship that year. As the 30th anniversary of their last championship approaches, the Motowners appear to have set themselves up for another one. Long time coming! Hey, Met fans: Who was the third baseman for those Tigers?

35-5 start!
35-5 start!

Over the next ten years we added a son whose sports schedule rivaled any Bo Jackson 80’s commercial.  Hockey (he and his mom are Devil Dog fans) Soccer, Baseball, Basketball ruled our lives. My daughter? She let us know early on that she’d rather follow in the footsteps of her first cousin once removed, Microscopic Matt and take up dance. Many recitals and Ranger games have followed  since then. And my daughter had many recitals as well.

10 years later, my thoughts and focus were on my NY Rangers grinding out a 3-2 win and taking a 2-1 lead vs the DEVIL DOGS of Rutherford. Stephane Matteau netted the game winner and the first of his epic OT goals that series. As we ALL know, the Rangers had to  go seven games to advance to the Stanley Cup finals and a date with destiny! Matteau! Matteau! Matteau!

Do you see my thought pattern here? While my “BOLD” predictions may seem arrogant, there is real HISTORY on my side. The Rangers went to 7 games in the Eastern Conference Finals and the Stanley Cup Finals where they beat the Canucks and finally ended 54 years of suffering. This Rangers team is hitting its stride under coach Alain Vigneault’s system. With the Rangers holding not just a commanding 2-0 lead against Les Habs in the Eastern Conference Finals, our boys also hold a 3-1 advantage on both the BlackHawks and Kings  in the 2013-14 regular season. The Blueshirts have beaten them with both Hank and Cam Talbot in net and Rick Nash had a game winner in one of them . Hopefully his “selling peanuts after the parade is over” goal on Saturday will jog his muscle memory in remembering how to score! Rangers will beat the Habs either way. I said it again.

Best of '94
Best of ’94

So as any sports pundit does, I am justifying my enthusiastic rants with real life Anniversary milestone blarney! Happy 30th to Kristen, Happy 31 1/2 years Anniversary to my beautiful and tolerant wife and to ALL Rangers and Tigers fans? WE GOT THIS!

In NBA news…..The Knicks are planning an online contest and the winner will be coach as long as they can spell triangle.

kirkAlso today in 1984- Microscopic Matt discovered his special purpose.

Ps… Jack Morris should be in the HALL of FAME!

And Kirk Gibson raises his arms in victory not only for the Tigers, but for the once in a lifetime pinch hit homer he belted on one leg vs the A’s in the World Series.

Our Kirk Gibson, Angry Ward, tomorrow.

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About GrindingAx 135 Articles
"Grinding Ax" Walter Hynes (GAW) comes from the same Sports Royalty bloodlines as Short Matt... He's heaving hatchets off the heads of any deserving Sports Personalities... His favorite teams are the NY Rangers, Detroit Tigers, Dallas Cowboys, NY Jets and Manchester United... A suburban husband and father of two, Walter understands what it takes to be a second-guessing, sideline-heckling parent and coach.