It’s another world here
The streets are gleaming
I was even dreaming
that they’re paved with gold
Seventeen at half past ten
All the crowds are surging past
An electric display
I worked in the New York City Financial District (right by the Canyon of Heroes) in 2000. I was waiting for some electricity to spark, so to speak, but I never felt it. It could have also been that at that point in my life, I had been going through some transition, and I wasn’t fully available to take it in anyway.
A few months ago, the Super Bowl was set on the main stage of the New York City metropolis (Okay, fine, it was in New Jersey). Walking down Super Bowl Boulevard was fun. But it certainly wasn’t hair raising.
It was different this time. Just a few days ago, the Rangers opened the Stanley Cup Final in Los Angeles. You’d never know it though, with all the blueshirts on Broadway, the Rangerstown logos and basically the taking over of Bryant Park by Rangers fans, young and old, and Rangers alumni, some older, some more recent.
If I wanted fireworks. Well, this was it.
I was in high school, just weeks away from graduating when the Rangers last visited the SCF. We all know how that ended.
It’s hard to believe it was 20 years ago that I graduated from high school. That September, I entered college. But I was still riding high from that Stanley Cup win. I had visited the city a lot, which was still somewhat pre-Disneyified, with piss on the corner, coupled with drug dealers and summer heat. And every time I visited, I made sure to swing by Madison Square Garden. I didn’t get to go to a live game in that series. But my dad and I made sure we watched every single game. The Garden had opened up during the road games to watch the games from Vancouver. I got to see the Pavel Bure penalty shot from the Garden, though it occurred in Vancouver. The feed apparently showed the reaction of the fans in the Garden. My friends told me that they saw me celebrating on TV.
It was some of the most cherished memories of my life. And this is coming from someone who was at the last World Series championship winning game of her baseball team.
Yet, the last time the Mets were in the playoffs in 2006, it was the 20th anniversary of their last championship. When Carlos Beltran looked at strike three, thus began the next eight years (and counting) of futility. But the 2006 team was special. It was fun going to games, even when the likes of Jose Lima pitched.
This season was strange, as a Ranger fan. I didn’t opt for my mini plan that I usually purchase from my friend. I mused that because of this, losing my playoff option, they were SURE to get to the Stanley Cup Final. Of course they did.
But after game two, I saw something on the main stage. I didn’t like it. I saw that the team had given up. They were making excuses. This saddened me, because shit happens in the span of a best-of-seven series. And if I know this team, they have fight and spark and have surprised us every step of the way. But it looks like they might have ridden this moxie as far as they could take it.
Whether they get swept or lose in five, or somehow manage to bring the series to seven games…I have a feeling about this team like I did in Game two in the 2006 NLCS.
I just don’t think it’s their year.
This saddens me, as a fan. Obviously, I have a rooting interest here, and I want them to win. I want that parade. I’ve tentatively cleared my calendar for the days it could potentially be. But it’s okay for me to say this, because I’ve made peace with the scenario. I’d hate for the Kings to hoist the Lord Stanley at the Garden. When I know in my heart of hearts that a few timely bounces here and there, this would have been the Rangers.
Even so, while we were watching the game on Saturday, I was saying that I felt like Jake Blues, when he was leaving Bob’s Country Bunker. “Let’s get the hell out of here.”
Or better yet, the Rangers probably wished they were leaving the town Jake and Elwood were headed towards.
In the meantime, that whole thing about me not going to the Stanley Cup Final…I’ve been monitoring the ticket prices for Game Four. They are no longer astronomical, and have what I feel to be a reasonable mark up. So…win or lose, do or die. I might be there for what could potentially be not only the last Ranger game of the year…but the last hockey game, period, of the year.
I’ve made peace with the outcome, but it still makes me very sad.
Things don’t have to end badly. You can be sad that it ended, but you can thankful that it happened.
And if the Rangers lose on Wednesday, I’ll be proud of how far they come.
If they win, well, when there’s light, there’s hope I suppose. I am not banking on it though. It is a nice thought, however.
I’ll just know that as a resident of New York City, I’ll always carry fond thoughts of this year’s Ranger team, as they took over the lights on Broadway for a brief time.