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[News Archives] The Blue Seats

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07-15-2013, 12:45 PM
  #1
Crease
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[News Archives] The Blue Seats

From an article in Sports Illustrated titled The Wild Blue Yonder, dated April 3, 1989. The author of the article reflects on his first experience in the blue seats, which also happened to be Denis Potvin's final game at Madison Square Garden.

Quote:
I walked along the narrow corridor behind the blue seats. Venturing down an aisle in the blues was like walking into a Third Avenue saloon on St. Patrick's Day. The steps were slick with beer; popcorn crunched underfoot. The noise was deafening—a kind of fraternity-house atmosphere of greetings and shouts—but there was always an absorption in the game going on far below: a forest of upraised arms at a Ranger goal; a banging of chair seats; and torrents of recrimination over Ranger mistakes. Most of the fans were dressed in Ranger paraphernalia—team jerseys, hats. The girls wore Ranger trinkets on necklaces.
Quote:
The blue seats are so close to the Garden roof that viewing the action far below was like looking out from under the ledge of a rock. There was a lot of movement up and down the steep aisles. The sight lines are so poor that spectators have to stand and crane to see plays at the near end of the rink. The fans in the back seats perch on the corridor railing like grackles on a telephone wire. Each of the blue sections (there are 48 around the rim of the Garden) seemed to have its own cheerleader, who would step into the aisle to organize a chant, which would then be taken up by the sections on either side until, in full cry. it poured out into the arena.
The article goes on to talk about some of the famous characters, like Chief and Fat Dancer. Then this prophecy:

Quote:
I asked Orosz what would happen in the blues if the Rangers won the Stanley Cup. He smiled and said, "I'd take off two weeks and go to Hawaii. I think everybody around here would do the same." He paused. "The frustration after all these years would end. It would be very different in the blues."

And how about the Potvin chant? Would that go?

"You mean 'Potvin sucks?' Oh, that'll never go," he said. "It'll move even if they build a new Garden. It goes along with Mom and hot dogs and apple pie."
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07-15-2013, 01:01 PM
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Giacomin
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Great article. It brings back a lot of memories for those who remember those times at MSG. The Blue seats were always special.
"Potvin Sucks" will be around forever

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07-15-2013, 04:06 PM
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Dangleberry
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I read this article a long time ago. Great article.

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07-15-2013, 04:21 PM
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Captain Monglobster
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Awesome read. Makes me wish I was born 15 years earlier.

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07-15-2013, 05:44 PM
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Bleed Ranger Blue
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I attended my first Ranger game at MSG around the time this article was written. Those days are gone, and they're likely never coming back.

As an 8 year old kid, I probably shouldnt have heard some of the things I heard up in the blue seats, but the passion was undeniable. Those folks slowly became priced out throughout the 90's.

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07-15-2013, 10:49 PM
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White Plains Batman
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Interesting article. A few things;

-I was never cool with the Porsche chants. That was a little too much for me.

-I can't stand Stan Fischler and this article is another nugget against him. He was the biggest Islanders homer when I started watching hockey in the 80s. Yes the Rangers had some awful management during the Espo years, but even into Neil Smith's first few years as GM, he'd take shots at them all the time on Sportchannel. I also have a personal beef with him. Long story.

-Part of the reason the Blue Seats were so angry was that in the 80s the Rangers had such budget teams. This was before the days of the Rangers signing high priced stars or acquiring top talent. They pretty much only had B-listers on offense from 1984-85 to 1987-88. Those four years in particular had some awful teams. The tide finally started to turn in 1988-89 and moreso in 1989-90 when the next generation came to the NHL.

-A lot of people did "retire" or were priced out after 1994. Part of the reason that the blue seats are tamer now.

-Some things from the sears still remains such as yelling at the ice cream guy

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07-15-2013, 11:34 PM
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bobbop
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Written by the legendary author George Plimpton (Paper Lion among other gems)

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07-16-2013, 02:21 AM
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Aufheben
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Good read, thank you Crease. Always wish I could have gone to a game way back when.

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07-17-2013, 09:59 AM
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nyrmetros
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The blue seats were a magical place. The garden has turned them into a relic now with an even worse view if you can imagine. It feels like watching a hockey game in deep space from the bridge of the enterprise...

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07-17-2013, 02:27 PM
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Giacomin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyrmetros View Post
The blue seats were a magical place. The garden has turned them into a relic now with an even worse view if you can imagine. It feels like watching a hockey game in deep space from the bridge of the enterprise...
As someone who experienced my first Rangers game in Section 413 on opening night in 1973 the blue seats were definitely "Magical" to me. I remember in 1982 as a teenager saving up for me what was then a fortune to take my girlfriend to an Islander/Rangers game during the heyday of the rivalry. I got the tickets from a broker via a classified ad in Newsday(probably paid about 4x face) and went to my first Islander/Rangers game in the blue seats. It was an experience I will never forget as this Rivalry experienced in the blue seats was definitely magical for this young fan!

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