For a sports nut who likes to write about being one, I haven’t had much to say about the Rangers lately. I’ve been doing most of my writing about the Jets and football, which to me is my weakness because I haven’t found my true “football voice” yet (unless you can count angry neurotic and pissed-off Jets fan…which yes, then I have it down pat). The Mets have been quiet this offseason, therefore, I’m very pleased that I don’t have to focus 100% of my efforts on writing about them.
But the Rangers. It’s a funny thing, my story with the Broadway Blues. I guess they’re not pissing me off yet this year. I guess that’s a good thing too. But I mean, give ’em time, they’re the Rangers for crying out loud.
I’ve often said that baseball is not for the feint of heart. It takes an incredible commitment to be a fan, and not a short attention span. Football is for those who like to devote themselves to sports once a week. It’s for commitment-phobes, really, ADD ridden (with shades of hyperactivity), and they’re pretty much in and out by winter time. Then there’s hockey, which falls somewhere in between. It’s an 82-game schedule, there aren’t games seven days a week for your team. And you’re only forced to watch multiple games if you choose.
I’ve been following the Rangers since I was 13 years old, but our relationship is a little weird right now. My next game is December 8th, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility that I attend more games. Since MSG was still under construction earlier (and still is, I think it’s scheduled to be “done” sometime in December), the Rangers haven’t had a tremendous amount of home games. At least, none that I’ve been invited to which is a rarity. But then, I have a feeling come the winter time, it will pick up.
I don’t necessarily like watching hockey on TV, but I made a conscious effort to try to do it more often. I suppose it’s easier that my husband is not a big hockey fan. When the Mets are playing, as an example, we have to rush home or be near a radio or find out where we can watch the game if we are not close to home. Not to mention, we’re season ticket holders, go on road trips and manage to see the Mets all the time. So I do become a bit complacent watching or lack thereof during the hockey season. My husband doesn’t rush me home or make me watch or listen to it. Couple that with my not-liking-to-watch-hockey-on-TV thing, and I am fine following reactions on Twitter or following on my GameCast.
I’ve watched the last two games. What I think is funny is at the beginning of the season, I was all concerned that even with the big shit signing of Brad Richards, that they would not get their act together. Even better, they have and seem to be clicking. When they went on a 5-2 tear in their last seven games, I wasn’t actually all that concerned with their losses. I know, it was only two…but I’m a Ranger fan. We flip out about everything. But I found myself enjoying the games on television too. Funny, huh. I remember when I was in grade school and high school, my mother would be working late, and me, the quintessential “latchkey” kid, would sit and watch my sports on TV (I lived in the suburbs…there was no “walking around” unless someone’s mom came to pick me up to go to the mall).
Though I’ve seen this team win a championship in my lifetime, I always have to sit and wonder…is this our year? At current, if the playoffs were to be decided today, they’d be scraping for a position, but they’d be in it. Tonight, the Rangers face the number one team in the conference, the Penguins and the hates Cindy Crosby, erm, SIDNEY.
And the funny thing is when I watch them these days, I don’t think they can lose. I don’t know if that’s a fan’s hopeful optimism or just that I might see a different team this year. Sure, I still see the dancing skating Smurfs on ice, but I see less of a dependence on Henrik Lundqvist, which is never the worst thing in the world, but it’s good that every win is not just on him every night.
They seem to be coming together, much like the rug in The Big Lebowski, sans pee stains of course.