Thursday, March 11, 2010

Top 10 Reasons the Rangers Suck

As they would say in English "football," 6-3! We beat The Scum 6-3! We beat The Scum 6-3! We beat The Scum 6-3!

They might also say, to the tune of "The First Noel"...

Brodeur, Brodeur, Brodeur, Brodeur! Born is the King of Prudential Center!

The Devils actually blew leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 last night at the Prudential, but so what. They blew it open, and chased Queen Henrietta out of the Broadway Boozehounds' goal.

Six different Mulberry Street Marauders scored: Rob Niedermayer (Scotty's little brother has grown up nicely), Bryce Salvador (who is having a sensational season by his standards), Zach Parise (soooo close to being an Olympic hero), Jamie Langenbrunner (O Captain, My Captain), Brian Rolston (partying like it's 1995) and Travis Zajac (maybe we should start calling him "Zorro").

Ten different Devils had either a goal or an assist: The preceding, Mike Mottau (assisting on Niedermayer, as did Rolston), Andy Greene (assisting on Salvador, as did Langenbrunner, and on Langenbrunner, as did Mottau), Dainius Zubrus (assisting on Parise, as did Zajac, and on Zajac, as did Parise) and David Clarkson (assisting on Rolston, as did Niedermayer). And it was 5-3 Devils on even-strength, with only Parise's goal coming on a power play.

The Devils hadn't done too well lately, winning only 6 of their last 20, including the Olympic break and bad losses in Alberta (to both the Calgary Flames and the suddenly-woeful Edmonton Oilers) in their last 2. This was the first home game since the break, and what a break-out.


As we all know, the Rangers suck. I'm presuming you do know, because, as the song goes...

If you know the Rangers suck, then clap your hands.
If you know the Rangers suck, then clap your hands.
If you know the Rangers suck, and they'll never win the Cup
If you know the Rangers suck, then clap your hands.

Yeah, I know, it's Islanders fans, but they know that much.

Top 10 Reasons the New York Rangers Suck

I'm not going to rank these... though the Rangers themselves are quite rank, if ya know what I mean. I'm just gonna put them down in the order I think of them. The hard part is going to be stopping at 10.

1. They think 1994 makes up for 1941 to 1993 all by itself. Does it, really? Even if it does, then, does it, all by itself, make up for both 1941 to 1993 and 1995 to 2010? Seriously, I'd rather have 3 Stanley Cups since Oklahoma City than 1 Cup since Pearl Harbor.

In fact, since the Rangers last won the Cup, here's the tally: Detroit Red Wings 4, New Jersey Devils 3, the Colorado Avalanche (who didn't even exist until 1995) 2, and 1 each for the Dallas Stars (who didn't even exist until 1993), the Tampa Bay Lightning (not until 1992), the Carolina Hurricanes (not until 1997), the Anaheim Ducks (not until 1993) and the Pittsburgh Penguins (at least they were an established team).

It gets worse: Since 1940... over the course of 70 years...

Montreal Canadiens 20, Toronto Maple Leafs 10, Wings 9, Edmonton Oilers 5, Islanders 4, Devils 3, Boston Bruins 3, Penguins 3, Philadelphia Flyers 2, Avs 2, Chicago Blackhawks 1, Calgary Flames 1, Stars 1, Lightning 1, Canes 1, Ducks 1... Rangers 1.

Pathetic, isn't it? (That's 68 Cups awarded: None was awarded in 2005, and the 2010 Cup remains to be awarded.)

Howie Rose said it best: "This one will last a lifetime!" It will have to. 16 years down, 38 to go... if they're lucky... again. What are the odds of Ranger fans getting lucky twice in a lifetime?

2. They think they have better fans. Oh really? You think it takes courage to ride the Subway to The Garden? Try spending years walking across a barren parking lot in frigid winter, like Devils fans had to do (and Isles fans still have to do).

3. They put up with Sean Avery. The man is a supreme cunt, the most hated player in the game. He makes Claude Lemieux look respectable. (But then, I loved Claudie. No Devil ever hated the Rangers more. Except maybe Stephane Richer.)

4. They taunt Martin Brodeur, the greatest goaltender on the planet. When have Ranger fans ever seen a better goalie in their own net? Let's see, the Rangers have won 4 Cups in their 84-year history, and when they did, those goalies were... don't help me, don't help me... Lorne Chabot (good, but not in the Hall of Fame), Andy Aitkenhead (not even as good as Chabot), Dave Kerr (also good, but hardly great) and Mike Richter (he might have been as good as Brodeur during the 1996 World Cup, but that's about it).

There are 3 Ranger goalies in the Hall of Fame: Richter, Chuck Rayner (who got them to overtime of Game 7 of the 1950 Finals, but didn't win the Cup) and Eddie Giacomin (who got them to the 1972 Finals, and their cheering for him on his return in 1975 may have been the last time Ranger fans showed any class). And Henrik Lundqvist is not better than Brodeur, either.

Sure, under the First Amendment, the have the right to chant, "Marrrr-teeee!" But what did Jesus say about the mote in your neighbor's eye... (Then again, if Jesus were to watch hockey, that would be the least of his concerns.)

5. The Olympics. When the U.S. won the Gold Medal in Squaw Valley in 1960, their uniforms -- as we saw when the U.S. wore "throwback" uniforms for their 2010 group-stage game against Canada, 50 years later -- were almost a perfect copy of the Rangers' uniforms, right down to the drop-shadow lettering.

But how have the Rangers done in the Olympics? I'm not counting how Olympians-turned-Rangers (including 1960 goalie Jack McCartan and 1980 "Miracle Men" Rob McClanahan and Mark Pavelich) did, I'm talking about since 1998, when players already in the NHL have gone from their club to their country.

Richter and Brian Leetch helped the U.S. win the 1996 World Cup (prior to that, that tournament was known as the Canada Cup), but in the Olympics of 1998, they were busts, and in 2002, they failed in the 3rd period and let Canada beat them for the Gold.

And now, in 2010, current Ranger Captain Chris Drury was awful for the U.S. Whereas the Devils' Jamie Langenbrunner made a fine national Captain and Zach Parise nearly saved our bacon in the Gold Medal game. And don't get me started on Gold Medal-winning Devils vs. Rangers for other countries, such as Brodeur and Patrik Elias. (Yes, Jaromir Jagr was on a Czech team that won Gold, but he wasn't a Ranger at the time. He sucked, anyway.)

The New York Rangers are not just a metropolitan disgrace, they're a national embarrassment. Indeed, they are an international joke.

6. The Dumbest Chant in Sports History. Islander defenseman and Captain Denis Potvin's February 25, 1979 hit on Ranger center Ulf Nilsson was totally clean -- Nilsson himself said so. No penalty was called, because, yes, it was a clean hit. And the Rangers did, in fact, beat the Isles in the 1979 Stanley Cup Semifinals without Nilsson, who did, as it turned out, return in time for the Finals against Montreal. Devils broadcaster Glenn "Chico" Resch, who was the Isles' backup goalie in 1979, tells the story.

You would think that Ranger fans' lust for revenge would have been fully satisfied after only 2 months. Besides, that Montreal team was so good, a fully-healthy Ranger team would never have beaten them anyway.

But, no, 31 years later -- 5 Presidents, 3 Popes and 7 Stanley Cups won by area teams other than the Rangers later -- these bozos still chant, "Potvin sucks!" Oh, what the heck, he's only the most successful defenseman in New York Tri-State Area hockey history -- and the most successful Captain, too: Stanley Cups won as Captain: Denis Potvin 4, Scott Stevens 3, Frank Boucher 2, Bryan Hextall 1, Mark Messier 1. (The one Ol' Lex Luthor won in Edmonton doesn't count for this issue.)

I didn't like the guy, either, but, 16 years later (about half the time), how many Devils fans curse out Stephane Matteau? None. Maybe, every now and then, I'll yell out, "And remember: Messier's not just the Hair Club Team Captain, he's also a client!" Or someone will make a reference to Avery and some other Ranger (it used to be Jagr) as "2 Girls, No Cup!" (And if you don't know what that refers to, aside from Avery and Rangers in general being effeminate, hell, I ain't gonna be the one to tell you.)

But are we going to go on and on about something that happened long ago? Hell, no. (We've only had a team since 1982: It's taken us this long to even, really, have a "long ago.")

Essentially, when we want to insult the most insultable team in hockey (with the possible exception of the Toronto Maple Leafs, I'll leave it to Canadians to decide that), we just go for the simple, all-encompassing line that Islander fans handed down to us when we arrived in 1982: "RANGERS SUCK!" (And some of us, in an NC-17 way, add, "Flyers swallow!")

7. The Dumbest TV Commercial in Sports History. Interestingly, it came along the same year (calendar year, if not season), as "Potvin Sucks!" Oy yi yi, 1979. Somebody wanted to capitalize on the Rangers' stunning (yet incomplete) success by making as many TV commercials as possible. Some worked. Some didn't.

These bozos -- and I include the highly intelligent Phil Esposito in there -- didn't even know that "Sassoon" is a line of hair care products (with all that Seventies hair, they needed 'em), while the brand of jeans was "Sasson," pronounced "Sah-SAHN." You'd think these Canadians, who knew French, could pronounce it right. (Maybe they should have worn Jordache instead.)

But that wasn't the worst of it. They had their jerseys tucked into their jeans. Really, really tight jeans. (Paging Michael Wilbon of The Washington Post, ESPN's Pardon the Interruption, and Chicago Cub fandom.) But that wasn't the worst of it.

The worst of it... I'm sorry, I do support gay rights (what right do I have to tell anyone else whether or not they can get married?), but... judge for yourself...

Espo, you did a lot for this great game of hockey, around here, in New England, and in 1972 for your country. But that commercial overshadows everything.

They even made a sequel ad! At least this time, they pronounced "Sasson" right. But those girls... I apologize to everyone born in 1980, but if New York women were really impressed with that in 1979, then there must have been some seriously bad genetic mixes born 9 months later!

8. They Eat Their Own. No, I'm not talking about the season after the Sasson ads ran, when the Rangers fell from grace and their fans would chant, "Ooh, la la, you suck!" (Which... they did.) And, no, I'm not talking about Ranger fans being cannibals, either. I don't think they actually eat each other. As far as I know. Would I really put anything past these animals? Not really, considering the following:

The last time I was in Madison Square Garden for a hockey game, I had a fantastic seat, at the back of the 200 Level (cost me a bundle from a scalper), but the view was great. (Aside from the escalator towers and the narrow corridors, minor complaints, I have no problem with The Garden itself. It's the regulars I can't stand.)

Sitting in front of me were these four guys, all from the Czech Republic, each wearing the jersey of a Czech player on the Rangers: Jagr, Martin Straka, Petr Prucha and Michal Rozsival. No harm in showing a little national pride, right? Except these guys were already three sheets to the wind when I got in, and they were cursing out everybody on the ice except the Czech Rangers. Including the Devils' Captain at the time, the Czech-born Patrik Elias. In Czech, so most of the players they were yelling at couldn't understand a word they said anyway!

If that had been the worst of it, I would mark it down as typical Ranger fan stupidity. But no. These guys got so rowdy that a couple across the aisle from them told them repeatedly to stop. And what did they do? Their leader, the first in their row, got up, and shoved the wife of the couple across from them. He shoved a woman. Who was also wearing a Ranger jersey! He shoved a woman rooting for the same team!

Fortunately, the husband, also wearing a Ranger jersey, showed that some Ranger fans have brains: He chose not to take on four big, agitated drunks at once. He called an usher, and the four drunk Czechs were deported from The Garden. Fair play to that couple, and to the Garden ushers.

I'm not saying all Ranger fans are like that. But enough are. The top level of The Garden wasn't just called "the Blue Seats" because, from its 1968 opening until a 1992 renovation, they were painted blue, or because all the cigarette smoke (then allowed) made the air turn blue. It's because of the "blue language" that still rains down from there. And from most other sections of The Garden.

9. They have the same name as the most bigoted team in professional sports on this planet, Rangers Football Club of Glasgow, Scotland. And those Rangers also wear blue shirts. Come to think of it, so do baseball's Texas Rangers (Dallas... good reason to dislike a team), and one of the London soccer teams, Queens Park Rangers. Seriously, the only blue-shirted Ranger who doesn't suck is the Lone Ranger.

I know the New York hockey team has nothing to do with those Catholic-hating, Irish-hating bastards who root for the team from Ibrox, but the connection is there. (Then again, the Yankees used to show Manchester United games on the YES Network, so maybe this point is a weak one.)

10. Most Ranger fans are also... Yankee Fans. This one bugs me the most. While the arrival of the Devils in 1982, the move of the Jets from Shea to the Meadowlands in 1984, and the nearly-continuous pathos of the Nets has complicated things, most fans of one older team root for the others: Yankees, Giants, Knicks, Rangers; and most fans of one newer team root for the others: Mets, Jets, Nets, Islanders.

I am willing to make a minor allowance for geography: A native New Yorker now living in New Jersey is not obligated to switch from the Rangers to the Devils. (Yes, I'm including you, "Tio.") And a New Jersey native who rooted for the Rangers up until 1994 can be accepted, because he had to ride it out, stay with his team until they reached the, uh, promised land. Fine. But that was the time to put an end to it and start to root, root, root for the home team -- and that's got nothing to do with the fact that the Devils won the Cup the very next year and have been one of the top two franchises in the league since then (along with Detroit). You're from New Jersey, you root for the Devils. (Unless you grew up south of Interstate 195, in which case it would be ridiculous, but understandable, if you rooted for the Flyers.)

Yankee Fans who are also Ranger fans? I swear, I am not making this up: I was at an early-season game at the old Yankee Stadium, and the Rangers and Devils were both playing in the Playoffs that same night. The Devils' score was never put up on the DiamondVision board. (They won.) The Rangers' score was, and they were winning (and held on to win), and 50,000 Yankee Fans chanted, "Let's Go Rangers!"

Take a wild guess as to who the Yankees were playing that night, right in front of these same fans. You got it: The Texas Rangers. If then-Texas Governor George W. Bush had traveled to New York to watch the baseball team he had once owned, he was not the dumbest person in The Stadium that night. (At least the Yankees won, too.)

Most of these people are actually kind, generous, intelligent, and even thoughtful from April through October. But from October through April...

Of course, by the time baseball season gets going, the Rangers are usually eliminated from the Playoffs anyway, so these people can go back to being Doctor Jekylls for 6 months.

I hate the fucking Rangers. Fortunately, they not only suck... they stink! 6-3! We beat The Scum 6-3! We beat The Scum 6-3! We beat The Scum 6-3!

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