I hate the New York Islanders, I have since I was a kid and I always will.
I hate them more than I hate the Philadelphia Eagles and Boston Red Sox. I hated how their fans would get liquored up on the LIRR on the way into Madison Square Garden to face the Rangers on game nights. I hate that when those games are played that they have the audacity to try and be as loud as Rangers fans with their “Let’s Go Isles” chants.
I hate their stadium, their goal horn, their uniforms (I really hated the Gordon’s Fisherman ones in the late 90’s. Whose bright idea was that?) and everything else to do with them…
… What I will hate more than anything is if one of my favorite teams to hate has to leave New York.
That’s what the Isles are facing if they don’t get a deal for a new arena and get one fast. Owner Charles Wang’s recent attempt at getting a replacement for the decrepit Nassau Coliseum in Long Island was shot down this week and their chances of getting a new arena are slim.
Taxpayers don’t want to pay for a new arena when they already pay the highest property tax in the country (I can’t blame them for that actually). Even though Wang really wants to keep the team in Long Island he only has two real options;
One, pay for it out of pocket with the help of some investors (and you know that will never… EVER happen with any owner.) and two, move the Islanders.
Wang does have some time to figure this out, the Coliseum’s lease expires in 2015 and figuring out a solution shouldn’t be too hard. That is of course if the Coliseum doesn’t crumble to the asphalt before the lease is up.
To say that the Islanders need a new stadium is like saying Brian Wilson needs to shave. The place is a dump, even more so than the Oilers home The Rexall Center. There are always leaks, breakage, worn down seats, the locker rooms are trash, basically the homeless wouldn’t live there as a last resort yet the Islanders have to play their games there.
With all of the talent on that team and a renewed interest from their fans, a new arena would be a shot in the arm for the franchise. The Islanders care about putting a good product on the ice, now all they need is a good venue for fans to enjoy it.
If they can’t get a new arena where would they move to? Quebec City? Wisconsin? A second team in Toronto? There is a rumor that they could move to Brooklyn in 2015 and share a venue with the Nets. I would be opposed to this for one reason and one reason only… I’m from Brooklyn, but I’m a Rangers fan. That would be a conflict of interest to the 13th power if my least favorite team in the league moved to my home town.
Thing is, I want them to stay in New York. I want to watch their liquored up fans start a ruckus and challenge our fans to a chant off. I want to hate John Tavares and Michael Grabner just for wearing a sweater that reads “New York Islanders” on it.
If the Islanders leave New York it would kill one of the league’s best longstanding rivalries and kill a legacy.
There would be no mentioning of the “Drive for Five” dynasty of the 80’s, no hanging banners that read “Smith 30” or “Bossy 22” or any of that. The team would be a ghost and that’s not what the franchise or its fans deserve.
Hopefully something can get worked out in the end. As much as I hate the Islanders and every move that they make on the ice, I would hate watching them leave and destroy some of my most times watching Rangers games.
I can still hate the Devils, Flyers and Penguins, but it wouldn’t be the same as the other team in New York.