Friday, March 7, 2008

The Great Email Rivalry Debate ...

It took a little while, but some of the denizens of The Palm Isle have finally exchanged email worthy of publication. These should be pretty self-explanatory. Enjoy.

Mr. Bad Example: If you’re bored. Mike and the Mad Dog are live from the Coliseum. They just interviewed Snow. Wang's next, I think.

Rev. Zamboni: Why I can't blog anymore:

Dubie pulls a double vs. Rangers

Islanders coach Ted Nolan made the boldest decision of his two-season tenure this morning when he announced backup Wade Dubielewicz will be in net against the Rangers tonight at Nassau Coliseum with franchise player Rick DiPietro fresh and ready to go on the bench.

Has everyone given up? Sure, it was a nice effort against the Rangers, but so what? And really, Dubie's been "hot" against those cocksuckers, but Rick DeePee is here for 15 fucking years for a reason.

I don't know. What a mess. They're boring, stale, lifeless, and shitty. And if this is still a rivalry, wake me up when it's over. Nobody in the media has the balls to say this game has no firepower, no hatred, no nothing. It's another game for these fuckers. Not us. But who cares about us? Until they meets in the playoffs again, I declare the Great Rivalry dead.

Disgruntled. Obviously.

Mr. Bad Example: With all due respect, you, sir, as an upstater, do not have a right to call the Great Rivalry dead.

I think you're discounting the effort that the players put in to these games. I only saw one period the other night, but it seemed like both teams were going all-out to me. Unfortunately, the Isles at all-out, well, that's not so impressive.

I think it's an odd decision to start Doobie, but I can handle it. DiPietro hasn't looked right the last few games, and bringing him in cold in a Rangers game has the potential for disaster. We'll see what happens with Doobie.

DP's due up next on the FAN.

Rev. Zamboni: Well piss off then. Do I have a right to determine who the Sabres are rivals with?

I'm sure they're putting a great deal of effort into the game. They looked good the other night. But when I think of rivalry, I think of (not just fights) but some general dislike, discord, what not. It's a rivalry in hibernation then.

I think the real problem is you spend the whole season watching the team, and by February or March you've heard the same old tired bullshit cliches from players and coaches that I want to drive down there and punch someone. I'm sure they're lively and passionate in private practices and in the lockeroom ... but this is supposed to be entertainment, not corpse-watching. I would like to hear someone say in an interview how much they hate those cocksuckers on the Rangers, or something. Maybe we should sign Roenick.

I'm bored. I guess that's the problem.

Mr. Bad Example: Yes, you may determine who the Sabres are rivals with. No problem with that. And if you haven't gotten used to being bored in February and March by now, there may be a chance that you're not cut out for this Islanders fandom thing.

I think with free agency such a big part of professional sports, players are increasingly more hesitant to badmouth a team that might be offering them a huge contract in the offseason. It's not like it was with those Isles-Rangers games in the 1970s and 1980s, when players were with the teams for entire careers, or at least more than a few seasons. I doubt it will ever get back to that level, but I don't think that means the rivalry's over. It's just changed. And I think there's plenty of dislike on both sides of Isles/Rangers. Maybe it's not expressed in interviews, but I think it's still there.

Then again, maybe I'm just full of shit.

Rev. Zamboni: I know. I was just irritated. And tired. And yes, I am used to being bored this time of year, but it's not making it any better.

Sabres, I say, are rivals with Philly, rivals in hibernation with the Leafs, and rivals with the Senators. Maybe.

Ok. I'm gonna watch the game now.

Rev. Zamboni: BTW, (Mediocre One), are you dead?

Mr. Bad Example: Well, turns out it wouldn't have mattered who was in goal. That game was eerily similar to last Saturday's against the Flyers. Absolutely no sense of urgency in the third period. I suppose anything's possible, but I officially can't see this team going to the playoffs. Any hope I had went away tonight.

Let's go Predators.

The Mediocre One: Sorry I was out for my Mom's birthday dinner, which is code for "I was out for my Mom's birthday dinner." This was her actual birthday for those of you who were here last Saturday.

I know you don't get to see all the Isles games but I think you need to chill just a bit. Maybe go for Arena Football or UFC or something. I know they don't have the craziness of past series, but with the standings the way they are, no one wants to take a penalty. Blame the three point games for making such a tight playoff race. Otherwise, I thought it was a pretty exciting home and home, with the glaring exception of tonight's third period. Enjoy it while you can because it's as close to playoff hockey as you're going to get.

And fuck the players on the ice, they have almost nothing to do with the rivalry. I see some douche wearing an Avery jersey and I suddenly want to knock him down in the street. He could be a Tibetan monk for all I know, but he's got seriously fucked up taste in hockey teams. Anyway, were you ready to pronounce the rivalry 'dead' after the brawl in preseason? Get DiPietro in the game – he's hated.

Rev. Zamboni: you can blow me too. I didn't say the rivalry is dead for fans and I love the Rangers. and I didn't say they don't play hard or care. you guys are like Canadians: the first thing I say you don't agree with you jump up and say I'm not a real fan and I don't really understand the passion because I'm not from the right place. I'm sorry I don't get the intricate and complex natures of your exclusively regional sports rivalry. Maybe you can enlighten me ... .

I said it hasn't had the same intensity on the ice, and you need the occasional playoff series to juice up a rivalry. and, I didn't realize I couldn't get a little bored with a team without being told I'm not really cut out for this watching a hockey team on television thing. Christ. you guys need some air.

I was just bitching about how boring the team is and how sweet and Lady Byng-ish this game has become because you're the only two people I know of who care.

and I know you get to see all the Isles games (how many games do I need to watch to be a real fan?), but sometimes you sound like you're getting paycheck from Nassau. and thank you for your continuing advice on how to watch a losing team. I haven't figured out by now that this team probably won't win a cup.

now go watch basketball, you fairy. you company man.

The Mediocre One: All I'm saying is that I enjoyed the games until the third goal last night and that you're wrong for thinking otherwise. Sure the Islanders' game plan is about as complex as the Ithaca Chief's and there weren't any fights, but it was nice to see some hitting and intensity and no short handed goals. And unless you were ready to declare the rivalry dead during the pre-season brawl, then I think things will be ok. Sim will be back next season, or they'll get someone else to be a pest in the off-season and we'll be back to chicken dances and turtle-ing. And I made the comment about not seeing Islander games because if you think they were "boring, stale, lifeless, and shitty" during the last two games, then you'd be REAL disappointed when you see them play someone else. In a season of downs and downs, the last two games were a little refreshing for me.

I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to James for insisting the Islanders were a better-than-eighth-place team. I officially stand corrected.

Mr. Bad Example: Why does (the Mediocre One) get to blow you and I just piss off? It
seems unfair to me, but I suppose I'll accept the terms of the agreement.

I think The Mediocre One and I are less likely to declare the rivalry dead because we've spent our childhoods and teen years hearing it from Rangers fans. That's all.
And I think that speaks to his point about the rivalry – it's never really been about the teams on the ice. All rivalries are mainly about the fans. The only reason the players care is because they're playing to crowds full of rabid fans. And as long as Rangers fans are loud-mouthed douchebags wrapping themselves around decades-old chants, there will be a rivalry. When Rangers fans stop being slack-jawed ass clowns, then you will be able to declare the rivalry dead.

Rev. Zamboni: Points taken. And yes, the past two games were far more entertaining than some of the crap from the previous weeks, although last night was pretty frustrating to watch with a house full of children and a wife who doesn't want them to learn dirty words.

And yes, as much as I hated these two Rangers fans I played baseball w/in high school, I was not at the time an Islanders fan, so taunting was restricted to "you are an ugly hick with those sideburns," "your friends are dirtbags," "you are a dirtbag," "you will never get laid," and "fuck you, geek." So, it's there, but not as directly.

So Ok. I am in agreement with Mr. Bad Example that this is not a playoff team, and also thinking it might be a more productive offseason if they don't, however miraculously, make the playoffs, as there will be more pressure on Snow. We shall see.

I still think Nolan is a good coach, although, after some thought, my feelings about DiPietro not starting were made more clear to me when the Rangers lined up at center ice and the Islanders team leader was sitting on the bench. That felt funny. He looked pissed, and I imagine it affected the team in some way.

Go Isles anyway. And yes, for goddsakes, fuck the Rangers.

(sorry about the blowing thing, too, The Mediocre One and I have a little history there ...)

The Mediocre One: In the spirit of honesty and Ranger hating, I was never really taunted too much by Ranger fans – there's a bit of a safer balance here than in Staten Island I imagine. My high school history teacher laughed at Ranger fans when Leech broke his leg after getting out of a cab and slipping on a patch of ice. I remember exactly what he said: "Mike, can you explain to me how a man who makes his living on ice can hurt himself getting out of a cab?" Of course, he was a Flyers fan that posted a picture of an Islander logo with the hockey stick replaced by a golf club on the door to his classroom...

Anyway, being and Islander fan is a state of mind and I argue that season ticket holders really can't be very big fans so time and place must be overrated.

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