You know even though I gave up on the Rangers back in 1972, I still felt bad seeing them get eliminated last night in game seven. And yes, the Devils too were quite a depressing sight falling to some “unknown” team from the South.
You see I grew up a real spoiled child of the 80’s. And that’s because my New York Islanders made all my wishes come true after I started following them in 1972. Yes, I even made my own “magic marker” Islander jersey that I wore on East Fourth before they even marketed it, and sold it at Paragon. I was a fan before they were good, and the guys from the block can back that up.
I was also fortunate enough to share season tickets from 1977 through 1987 with my old boss Nick LoBianco who lived in Wantagh. I was there for every Stanley Cup they won including Bobby Nystrom’s overtime goal against Pete Peters. No, guys, that wasn’t Bernie Parent, that was Pete Peters.
And the Islander “parades” were not exactly New York City “Broadway” parades you know. Oh man, they were really horrible. I think the first one just circled the parking lot of the Nassau Coliseum, but then again we were all drunk and never even noticed.
The second and third ones after they won the Stanley Cup were on some exit ramp or something. Hey the victory parades sucked, but at least they won the Cup.
And the fourth one?, who the hell knew where the parade was, and who cared. Because we were “The Champions” and we played that song over and over to our Ranger friends.
And then something happened in 1985, I was watching them play the Edmonton Oilers in the finals over at Circles in Bay Ridge and they lost. The Islanders lost, and there would be no lame parade over on Stewart Avenue or the exit ramp by the Coliseum.
Then the next year passed, and once again no Cup.
What the hell was going on here? Was it something I said?
Yes, I was spoiled. I just expected it to happen every year.
Psst… want to know a secret? I dated Mike McEwen’s ex-wife, he was actually both a New York Ranger and New York Islander. Got to hear all the stories about what went on after the games. And yes you guessed it; the Rangers were party boys, while the Islanders were boring as hell. Late nights at Studio 54 with Carol Alt for the Rangers, vs. afternoons at Arbys on Hempstead Turnpike for the Islanders.
But then again, McEwen only won his first Cup after he got shipped to Long Island. So I guess the curfews worked in his favor.
Now, what the hell was this about anyway? Oh yes, being spoiled.
Whenever this time of year comes around I get this strange sensation to drive out to the Nassau Coliseum and catch the Islander victory parade. Because it’s been more than 25 years since the last one and some old habits are hard to break.