Day: October 9, 2011

Rangers Play Like Swedish Chef Cooks

See the resemblance between Henke and the Swedish Chef?

No? Well, they both have similar facial hair.  The resemblance was more of how the Rangers played in Sweden, and how the Swedish Chef cooks.  Disorganized, disjointed, a bit haphazard.

I suppose starting a year 0-0-2 could be much worse.  I hate those goddamn shootouts.  And OT games need not apply in the first two games of the season. Just sayin’.

Few things: I watched only Friday’s game, since I was away from home most of Saturday afternoon.  I followed the game closely on Friday, since I watched it, and Saturday I followed on Twitter.  It was funny listening to Sam Rosen calling the game for Rangers on Friday, as every time he stumbled over Mike Richards from the LA Kings’ name,  like he wanted to say “RICH-ter.”  Saturday, I heard that Bradley Richards scored his first goal.  Welcome to New York!  Or rather, Stockholm.

It just sucks though because I think the Rangers just aren’t used to a guy who not only knows how to score but can set it up too.  What a novel thought. It’s almost as if they weren’t prepared though they’ve been practicing with him for quite some time.  It’s like – holy crap, we’re no longer Smurfs On Ice!

Like, the whole la-la-la look-at-me I’m-so-pretty thing is no longer applicable.  Except it kinda is, cause if they’re not prepared for a shooter-and-doer like Richards, then we’re in bigger trouble than we thought.

But fear not, Ranger fans, we’ve got this one.  So we drop two in Sweden to start the season, big deal.  Though it was kind of a big deal for the homecoming for King Henrik or “Henke” as they call him in his homeland.

So how appropriate that the Swedish Chef throws shit around in his kitchen, and the Rangers threw shit around during their games in Sweden?  They must have thought he was saying “Bourque Bourque Bourque,” like it was code for something for Ryan Bourque, rather than “Bork Bork Bork,” like his usual tune.

Ah well.  Get back to the states boys, I miss you. Bork Bork Bork indeed.

Advertisements

Phrontrunners

Every sport has them.  I couldn’t help but think of them today when I thinking about my last post on the New England Patriots, and how much I dislike them.  No one ever talks about how they could barely give tickets away in previous years, when no one really gave a shit about them as a team, especially in their own region, especially before they became Brady’s bunch.  Well, maybe that’s a little harsh.  But I suppose three Super Bowl championships in the last decade, and also in a span of five seasons can get some national recognition, especially with a pretty boy quarterback.

A fine recipe for frontrunning.

It’s tough to see what came first: the frontrunner or the fan.  I couldn’t help but think of that during the baseball playoffs this year, especially with two teams, the Yankees and the Phillies.  Of course, I have a direct hatred of both these teams.  The Yankees pretty much for what they represent.  The Mets could literally pitch their first no-hitter in history, and the local papers would say, “Mets Lose Perfect Game in Third, Get First No-Hitter.”  This has to do with the Yankee-bias in the local media for sure.

Fuck GMJ and His Old Man!

But homerism abounds in the Yankee world as well as in Philadelphia.  See, Philly cries (like Sarge said the Mets do) each year whether they win or lose, claiming they are in New York’s shadow, but they bring a lot of that on themselves.  When Jimmy Rollins stands up at the parade in 2008, and calls out Jose Reyes…and player he didn’t even FACE let alone who didn’t even make the friggin playoffs that year…it says to me there’s a little bit of a bias in their own eyes, and it didn’t even fuckin matter then.

I guess my point of this ramble is that I’ve seen a lot of frontrunning on either side of that spectrum, and it’s a question I’ve raised with myself: are these people “fans” before the team starts to win, or after?  It seems simplistic, and I’m sure it’s an open-ended questions.  Yet, I feel in the case of the Phillies and Yankees, it’s worse more-so in the case of the Phillies simply because they rarely win anything.

Prior to 2007, no one went to Mets/Phillies games at Citizens Bank Park.  NO ONE. I could go to Mets/Phils there and it would easily be 65/35 in favor of Mets fans.  Then 2008 rolled around, and there was probably close to 50/50.  Today, you’d be hard-pressed to see someone in blue and orange, and even if they do root for the Mets, they might not be wont to wear their colors.  Funny what “winning” will do to a franchise.

Here’s my thing: everyone will point and say no one cared about the Phillies prior to 2007, and they’d be right.  Hell, I think even Philly sports fans agree with that.  I’ve often said five World Series rings mean nothing, as they’d trade it all in for one Super Bowl.  Even when the Flyers made their improbable Cup run, I theorized the same thing (a few Philly fans shot me down, but I know them, and I know they are real fans…like, two out of the five I know).  Anyway, my point is, booing Ryan Howard as he collapsed from an Achilles injury, as he made the last out the second year in a row to end the Phillies’ postseason run, means that Philly fans have met our expectations loud and clear, literally.

Winning can also bring the worst in storied franchises.  Look at the Yankees.  I know they are deep-rooted in baseball history, they are the winningest franchise, etc etc etc.  If you’ll excuse me, barf.  Anyway, I get it.  But prior to 1996, no one was a Yankees fan.  None, at least, were out and proud about it.  And I will venture to say many “lifelong Yankees fans*” (*Since 1996) were turncoat Mets fans.  I know this, because I know at least five people in my family who qualify for that title (after we openly rooted for the Mets together in 1986…wearing Mets stuff…that had nothing to do with an East Coast bias, trust me). Meanwhile, the Yankees main concern is whether their overweight overpaid “ace” CC Sabathia will opt out.  As Tyler Kepner said, the Yankees after an unsuccessful postseason is akin to a banker running to Tiffany’s to fix a damaged relationship.

A team with a $200mm payroll has to spend more in order to gather goodwill with its fans?  No wonder they are all spoiled brats: winning the World Series each year is an unrealistic goal.  Period.

Sports teams all over have frontrunners.  But I couldn’t help but wonder when the Mets start winning, will all those annoying fans be ours?  I know that I’m not going anywhere, I know I’ll have my season ticket package, will still follow them on the road, will still write about them.  I feel like because I am super connected with all these folks that I’ll be rejoicing with several close friends whom I also consider family.  Yet, there will be a shit ton more people who are going simply because the Mets are winning.  I know they are hard to watch at times now, but I still manage to watch, even live, even on the road (even chronicled here, as a devoted female fan in the area!).  Am I somehow better than the people who won’t go?  Can’t say I am.

All you hear is silence in CitiField now.  But the Yankees and Phillies fans have shown they can be spoiled brats because of a taste of winning they have.  Which is frontrunneritis.  Their players better get used to it, especially Ryan Howard, whose 5/$125mm contract goes into effect next year…which he’s already projected to be out.  This should be entertaining (also, for other Phillies schadenfraude, read Studious Metsimus‘ post on Phorecasting the Phuture).

I know sports are not immune to frontrunneritis.  It’s just something to keep us entertained when teams win, then their ultimate downfall when they lose.

The HATETriots: An East Coast Bias

I really have no idea why I dislike Boston (and Massachusetts, and hell, most of New England) so much.

I don’t *hate* the Boston Bruins, although a rivalry would be realistic between my Original Six team (the Rangers) and their O6 team.

I don’t *dislike* the Boston Red Sox, although my Mets played them in the 1986 World Series, but you know the old saying…”The enemy of my enemy…” Etc., etc.  (And well, I really REALLY dislike the Yankees, for certain).

My mother makes fun of me.  She claims that my bias against Boston and surrounding areas is a “New York Superiority Thing.”  I can’t disagree, although it’s not a conscious thing.  My friend Ms. Chap said it best…when she moved to Boston for three years after spending most of her life in the New York surrounding areas, she said, “I hated it on sight.”  I felt the same way the first time I ever visited Beantown.

No disrespect to my Boston brothers and sisters.  I just don’t care for it all that much up there.

But hey, my dislike of the New England Patriots? Yeah, it’s intense.  And it’s for shizzle.  For realz.  You get the idea, I’m sure.  I certainly have an East Coast Bias, and it has nothing to do with their location.  They’re certainly my Jets’ enemy, and I relish that like no other.  Like I’ve said before, there’s no shit talker like an NFL shit talker, and there’s no bias like an NFL bias.

Look at these two pretty boys!

Possibly because their pretty boy Tom Brady is their star QB.  Although I think he’s kind of like the “Derek Jeter” for lack of a better term QB of NE.  He’s a media ho’, a guy whose likeness is everywhere.  I can’t deny he is talented.  I really can’t.  And yes, I can acknowledge that my guy, Mark Sanchez, is a teensy bit overrated.  That, I think, has more to do with New York-sized expectations, though.  This is the pretty boy bowl, for sure.  And no one likes a pretty boy.  Unless, you know, you root for one.

So the Jets have a huge amount of expectations steeped upon them this year.  Two years in a row, the young-ish team has made it to the Conference championship game, to fall just short each year.  To say there’s a high level expected of them this season is without a doubt an understatement.

Yet, after a strong home start, then falling short two games on the road, people are freaking the funk about them potentially coming back to JetLife Stadium next weekend being 2-3.

Yet, they seem to forget that this is a team that goes through these hiccups each season, that they could just as easily be 3-2 coming back home.  It wouldn’t be the best case scenario, but it’s a decent case and they could make up for the lack of goodwill these last two games by taking this from the Patriots.

It also would intensify the rivalry.  I mean, look at Twitter during these games.  Lots of shit talkers on each side.  It’s fun, and it’s real.  It’s East Coast Bias, through and through.

The Jets are taking this game seriously too.  The Jets know they’ve been knocked around, they don’t need to read the local papers and listen to the Monday morning QBs about it, they are very aware. They also realize how important it is to win against the Jets.  Key to the game this week: Make it Physical.

Nick Mangold has been out nursing an ankle injury.  There was a chance he was to come back last week, but he’s declared himself fit for duty today.  This will certainly change the dynamic of their running game, which happens to be the Patriots’ strong point.  Either way, the dynamic needs to change.  One game can change that dynamic, for better or worse.  Things can get a little hairy, as Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress and Derrick Mason have voiced grievances over the playcalling (recent whipping boy Brian Schottenheimer coming under fire too for it).

You know what I say about that?  PUT ON YOUR BIG BOY PANTS AND DEAL WITH IT!  You’re playing the New England goddamn Patriots, for fuck’s sake.  Take the bull by the balls, and kick their asses all over Gillette Stadium.

Now, that I’m done with that.  I really really don’t like the Patriots.  So we win this week, and do what you want when you get back to JetLife, as long it means winning.  Kthxbye.