Friday, November 26, 2010
... and there shall be light, dear Islanders Fans.
It's not often there is a real joy in life. We all have wonderful things in our lives, I have my wife, my cats, my family and friends, as many of you readers in blogopolis have. We cannot take away from those at all. But I'm talking more of a selfish pleasure. Something that in truth, only you truly "get" and no matter what anyone says or does, they cannot take that away from you.
It was a while ago, I believe I said to a friend, "friend, it's fun to be an Islanders fan, at least right now". I believe the Isles had just beaten the Rangers. I looked at the stats and saw the holes in the armor, the 4 goals allowed by Dipietro for the second straight game, for instance. But I looked at the game, the score, the whatever, and I said:
"Who cares? They won."
Oh how little did I know that this would become a not a mere two points in the standings, but a general treasure in the suddenly depleted Islanders Country.
Fast forward. More than a month later, the Islanders are mired (I hate the word "mired"... totally overused by uncreative sports broadcasters)... ahem. The Islanders were punchless in a 14 game losing streak. It's a Friday, a day or so past their last game, a 4-3 devastating overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. (Currently my second favorite team, boy do I know how to pick 'em) The Islanders were all over the B-J's in overtime (dear GOD... I just realized what I just said!!!) with Travis Hamonic showing, at least for one game, that he belonged. But on fateful little run back down ice, a missed assignment and boom. Let's think about next game.
I myself have become a running gag to the guys at work I think. Silly Montreal Canadiens fans. I'm a fan of Carey Price and all, but the team in front of him is still nothing more than smurfs in Red shirts. (Take all the Star Trek fun you want out of that one) Anyway, we're getting off point. A little while back, I wrote a little note on how hard it is to be an Islanders fan. It's runs like these, not just the 14 gamers, the questionable management decisions, the strange PR issues, the nutso broadcasters waiting for baseball season to save them. (Seriously? The METS?) All of these things truly make it difficult to be a fan. But in the long run...
... it's not every day a guy can get up, look at himself in the mirror, and feel awesome. For that one briefest of moments, nothing is wrong, and nobody can change that. For that one brief moment in time, the world is alright...
... and the Islanders win a game. :D
Not only do they win a game, but they do it in the funnest kind of way. a 2-nil shutout of the perennially boring New Jersey Devils. ALSO... in the grandest show of true class in a world where there is so little, Rick Dipietro turned to the people who have stuck with him through thick and thin, and thanked them genuinely. He could have simply said the usual "uh... we needed this two points.... uh... we had to pull together as a team... uh... the guys in front of me..." BLAH BLAH BLAH. He turned to his fans, and thanked them, as if they were part of his team, and he had let them down for so long that he felt he had wronged them in some way. There was no PR training, there was no "Garth Snowsheild" blocking unwanted questions and stopping unwanted answers. There was a true and genuine person, saying thank you.
Cheers to you Mr. DiPietro. Cheers to you. And...
... you are welcome. No thanks necessary. We're behind ya til the end buddy.
DiPietro on ending the streak