I grew up forced to watch the NJ Devils because my brother was Devs fan. He would come home late from hanging out with his friends and put on the replay of the Devs game on sportschannel (back then they would replay games latenight).
When I was old enough to think for myself, I decided to get my own team, and chose the local fav. The Islanders just came off the Dynasty years back then, so they still had a pretty good following. I haven't looked back since, and it has been the source of alot of pretty good fueds (all in good fun) for me and my brother.
Needless to say, I have a deep seeded hatred for the Devils.
Being a young kid(1976)at the time when the dynasty was in full swing,my clothes were bought for me.The Isles being the best in the NHL at that time meant their apparell were readily available...so I ended up with Islander gear,hence why I became an Islander fan.
When I was a kindergartener in 1988, thanks to lots of news about a guy named Gretzky being traded, and several packs of Topps hockey cards, me and my brother who's 2 years older than me really got into hockey. We would take the Isles, Rangers, and Devils player cards we had, and listen to games on the radio and see how those guys did.
My brother was an Islander fan from the get-go, so I naturally had to be a Ranger fan...sibling rivalries will do that to people. So I was a Ranger fan in the beginning (have mercy, I was 6). The next year, we went to an Isles-Nordiques game which the Isles won 5-2. There was a group of guys behind us that would chant every time the Rangers-Caps score was posted on the jumbotron. I remember that chant vividly to this day:
"Rangers take it up the ***, doo-dah doo-dah, Capitals take it twice as bad, oh doo-dah-day"
Even though I didnt get it what that meant as a 7 year old, I still found it hilarious, and I've been an Islander fan ever since.
I still have that ticket stub too.
I guess it started for me from birth. Twelve hours after I was born, Nystrom scored to mark the first of 4 cups. Kind of hard to root for any other team after that, especially the Rangers. I remember watching games on Sportschannel America with my brother, following the '93 playoffs via the newspaper from the Deli next door to my house, Volek's goal, the intense rivalry with the Rangers that even stretched to where I went to school (nothing like going to a predominmantly Ranger fan school and sitting at lunch listening to talk of the "guarantee" in 1994).
In a hint of irony, I married a Ranger fan (opposites attract I guess). Hopefully I can get to the kids before she can. I don't know if I could live with my kids growing up rooting for the "other" team.
I was born and raised in a suburb of Toronto, and I was very fortunate that I became an Isles fan and not a Leaf fan.
I'm 28 years old.
The first games I can recall watching were during the Isles vs Philly finals. I remembered Philly because of their uniforms and because it was the SC finals. Those years after that first cup win I remember watching alot of games on Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday nights with my dad.
I was never really a fan of one team though. During my childhood years (when I wasnt outside playing hockey) I would read about hockey as much as I could (McFarlane books, stories about Rocket Richard, the Canadians dynasties, the Broadstreet Bullies, Brad Park and the Rangers, and everything about this now most often talked and written about Isles team and some kid name Gretzky. But one team never really stood out. Thinking back now, not even the Leafs stood out and they were the hometeam . But my dad was always telling me how good this Isles team had become in the late 70's, that they had the potential to be a dynasty, and all about those series against his Leafs.
My interest in the Isles was mainly sparked probably because my dad talked about the Isles alot those early years, the same as everyone else probably did. Also, because the Leafs sucked so bad in the 80's, I remember him ranting/complaining about the Leafs during their games! So that's where my hatred for the Leafs started. He normally only watched his Leaf games, but he always made sure to watch all of the SC finals. The excitement of the finals helped remember them more.
The finals against Vancouver were when I really started following the Islanders. I started paying attention to and reading alot about certain players (Bossy in particular, along with all those other greats from the dynasty years). After that I continued reading about as much as I could about the Islanders. I had become an Islander fan!
I wouldnt necessary say I jumped on the Isles bandwagon those dynasty years because those years just happened to be the age where I became interested in and started to follow hockey. It was because of the team they were, and the interest they had created, especially for me. I will always be an Isles fan!
Hello all, new poster here. I've been lurking around for quite awhile. Actually this is my first stop when looking for any Islander news update -very informative site and my kudos go out to all who maintain/contribute to it's content. Back to post subject:
When I was a youth growing up in Toronto I started to get into watching hockey at about the time the Isles had become a powerhouse. Naturally as a kid you either like the home team or the team that's winning at the time. I chose the team that was winning at the time.
Growing up my entire household are habs fans (I assume for the same reason I'm an Islander fan - winning at the time) and the only thing we have in common is our hatred for the Leaf organization - it's fans/players/management (although I've always been a closet Wendel Clark fan !). Living in Toronto I can honestly say that most(of course not all) of the Leaf fans are the most biased and obnoxious fans around. I actually got harassed at the ACC a few years back cause I was wearing my Isles jersey in the stands - it almost came to blows no kidding, and I'm the most easy going person you'll ever know.
Annually my brother and I (Hab fan) travel to Montreal to watch a Hab/Islander game. The fans in Montreal are much better than the Leaf fans, let me tell you. Sure I get harassed by the fans in the Molson Centre but it is always in good fun. I actually get congratulated by fans after Islander victories and consoled after losses.
My personal fondest moment (other than the obvious ones - 4 Cups, Pittsburg upset - Volek!,etc.) is travelling to LI to watch the Isles/Habs and immediately after the game(after spending some time in NYC) travelling to Montreal to watch the tail end of the home and home. Both sets of tickets were given to me by the Beezer (via his brother who I know from work - long story, too bad about the Beezer, he seemed like a great guy) and the Isles won both games !! I actually got to set foot in NVMC and was able to daydream about the glory days of the past.
You guys are very lucky living in LI - the Isles get very little coverage up here and I only get to watch a handful of games every year (which of course my wife loves !!) When people find out I'm an Islander fan I always get this weird look.
Anyways, sorry for the long email, I will go back to lurking in the shadows.