When Did you Become a "Die-Hard" Fan of the Rangers?
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02-21-2006, 05:35 PM
Bring Back Ties!
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Budd Lake, NJ
I became a fan in the early '80s, as soon as I was old enough to realize what hockey was. I remember we used to have a TV in the basement and my parents would watch the games at night, but it was past my bedtime. Luckily for me, I could see the TV from the top of the stairs, so I used to sneak out of bed and watch the games from there.
So early on, I only knew the basics, the Rangers were my favorite team, Wayne Gretzky was the greatest player in the world and my idol (and of course that made the Oilers my second favorite team). There were a couple other teams: the Devils who had just come into existence, the Islanders, the Maple Leafs, and so on. I knew that the best team got the Stanley Cup (and I knew that that was pretty much going to be the Oilers every year). I didn't really get the concept of how teams won the Cup or how the playoffs worked, or what they were or anything like that.
The first season I really remember vividly is the '85-'86 season. I turned 7 in December of '85, so I was old enough to really store this stuff in my memory banks. Beezer quickly became my favorite Ranger (I'm still bitter that he was traded before the '94 season, and imagine if Vancouver had protected him in the expansion draft and they still made it to the finals. Richter vs. Beezer Stanley Cup Finals!). Oddly enough I never played goal, despite my first favorite Ranger being a goalie. Anyway, so the playoffs rolled around and I knew the Rangers were underdogs, but they rode Beezer all the way to the conference finals. I remember that weird game against the Flyers that had all kinds of goals disallowed, and one that went through the net. I remember Sam saying "There is joy in Rangerland" after the Rangers beat the Caps, and I remember crying after the Canadiens won the series (the only Ranger victory in that series was a 2-0 shutout by Beezer, I clearly remember that game).
And that's pretty much it. Been a die-hard fan basically my whole life. Mostly thanks to my parents, and that's mostly my mother, by the time I got older, I think my Dad became a bit jaded with the Rangers lack of a Championship. My brother is even named after my Mom's favorite player, Nick Fotiu. So that's the story behind 23 or so years of ulcers.
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