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How did you become an Islander fan?

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Old
12-08-2003, 08:02 PM
  #1
Darth Milbury
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How did you become an Islander fan?

To focus on the positives for a bit, I thought we might have a thread where some of you posted your tale of becoming an Islander fan.

For me it started in 1972, I was actually at the very first game. I grew up a few minutes from the Coliseum, and my Dad had seasons tickets, center ice, from the begining. Since then, I've lived all over the world, and gotten a lot fatter and slower, but never stopped being a fan. I was hooked from the first faceoff that steady Eddie Westfall ever took.

So, how about you guys? How long have you been fans? What made you into an Islander fan?

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12-08-2003, 10:46 PM
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I became a casual Isles fan in the beginning in 1972. Gerry Desjardins, Eddy Westfall, Earl Ingerfield, Bert Marshall and then Brian "Spinner" Spencer peaked my interest.

I got hooked watching the games on WOR TV channel 9 with Tim Ryan and George Michael every Saturday night. I'd play street hockey in my driveway and listen to John Sterling on WMCA Radio shouting "ISLANDER GOAL" in the early 70s.

The town I grew up in was the first municipality in NY to get Isles home games on TV with WHT cable.

2 things really hooked me to being an Isles fan for life. First, The 1975 playoffs were impressive when they beat the Rangers, Pens after being down 3 games to none and took the Flyers to 7 games after being down 3 - 0.

Second, I was at the crossroads and could've been a Rangers fan or an Isles fan but in the mid 70s I saw the Rangers getting all the attention and they were just underachieveing losers (some things never change) and it didn't seem right while the Isles seemed to have more heart and desire.

Then the isles got progressively better every year from 1975 on and I was completely hooked and the dynasty years were gravy and I haven't looked back since. I've seen or listened to just about every Isles game ever played.

I'd love to hear the answer to this question in a few years by some younger fans. I can hear it now - "I became an Isles fan because Dina and the Ice Girls are hot"! :p

-19

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12-09-2003, 04:57 AM
  #3
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The Islanders were the first team I saw on tele many many many years ago. Probably early 80's on the old ATV channel. They showed hockey highlights really late at night, lucky this particular night the babysitter let us stay up and me and my bro watched Edmonton vs the Isles.

Then about 15-16 years passed, and my interest in hockey was renewed when I happened across an episode of Power Week on Sky TV in 96/97. I immediatley remembered I like the Islanders and started to follow their games (via the internet). Little did I know, however, that at the time the Isles were the worst teams in the league!!!

But what the hell, I've been following them ever since. And before I die I would love to travel to LI and witness a live game.



jay

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12-09-2003, 05:39 AM
  #4
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I was 8 in 1972 growing up on the Island and my family started going to games when tix were like $10 each and you could get a 'buy one get one free' coupon at the local Dairy Barn with a gallon of milk. I finally got seasons in from 75 to 97, when I moved to Memphis.

I went to a pretty good number of Isles games, along with the Tomahawks (indoor lacross) games in the first few years. I was also a member of the Bert Marshall Fan Club (he lived a few blocks from me then) and got to skate at a meeting with Bert, Bobby Nystrom and Gary Howett (sp?).

I stayed with the Isles, stronger and stronger a fan after watching a few Isles/Rag$ games, and I played in HS and on a club team for a local college across from the Coliseum.

When I moved to Memphis I made sure to get DirecTV with the Center Ice subscription to be able to see the games. Now living outside Philly I still have the DirecTV and go to the Isles/Flyers games whenever the are in town.

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12-09-2003, 08:15 AM
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by about 12 yrs old I was a little bandwagon fan.Isles and Yankees were both winning championships and got me hooked.

I've remained a nyi fan,but stopped following the Yankees(I'm unhappy with the payroll disparity in baseball and blame Selig and a 3-4 market teams for ruining the game).

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12-09-2003, 08:17 AM
  #6
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Been there since year one. Grew up in Baldwin, about 10 minutes from Coliseum. Was only 17 that first year, so couldn't go to many games. But the one I remember being at that season (when they didn't win many games), was, I think, a 9-6 win over the (then) big, bad Bruins. (Eddie must have gotten them up for that game.)

Eddie W and Lorne Henning killing penalties (you were thankful for small things back then). Bert Marshall and Gerry Hart laying out to block shots.

Got season tickets in '75--two seats, section 300-something, approx $600, total. Kept the tickets for 4 years, even while attending college at Oswego (my little brother used them), but I would come home for big weekend games. Team started making playoffs. Best hockey game I was ever at was game 6 against Flyers. Isles had just come back from down 0-3 against Pitts previous series. Lost first three against Philly, then won two. Game six, Isles 2-1. (The Flyers, famously, brought out Kate Smith for game 7 at the Spectrum.)

Had to give up tickets when I moved to Ohio in '78, so, of course, they immediately thereafter started winning Cups.

Lost track during the dark years, but let's hear it for NHL Center Ice. One of my boys is now a dyed-in-the-wool Isles fan. Last three years we've caught the game in Columbus. One of these years the Isles might win.

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12-09-2003, 08:21 AM
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They were just an incredible fun team to watch during the 1975 run to the Semi-finals and after finally going to a game in 1978 I was just hooked because you could see something special about the franchise and the team and you could tell it was special to the players also, even with trying to beat the incredible Habs and with the setbacks to the Leafs and Rangers.

When they finally won it all in 1980 and were underdogs all the way, it seemed like all of New York was pulling for them to win the cup as they had to struggle with Los Angeles, fight Boston and win against a very good Buffalo team.

There were 50-100 people where I was that day rooting for the Islanders to win the cup in NYC with folks riveted to the game, all die-hard Islander fans.

Living in the city, it seemed the Islanders had become New York's hockey team and winning the cup was for all New Yorkers. I saw celebrations in the streets for the first ever cup won in New York State and it was an event for everyone at the time.

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12-09-2003, 08:31 AM
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Hmm...it was probably late 1991 and I was flipping the channels on the TV one night. I was about 8 years old at the time and I somehow flipped to SportsChannel (or was it SportsChannel America? Seemed both the same :p) and I saw the Isles playing. I forgot who their opponent was, but this was all new and interesting to me. I continued watching and continued to hear the name "LaFontaine" continually being mentioned over and over again. I made sure to seek out him and finally attributed "LaFontaine" to "16". From there I was hooked

~TL

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12-09-2003, 09:48 AM
  #9
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Why I am an Islanders Fan

I live in Indianapolis, and we had the Islanders AAA farm club in the dynasty years. As nice as it was for Long Islanders, it was also great for us, since we had a high level of player stability (almost no one got called up in 4 years). That first Cup run, we had to watch Islanders games in a creepy sports bar, as none of us had cable yet (LOL). The final game against the Flyers was not carried on the network in Indianapolis (they showed the movie "Heidi" instead), so a bunch of us met on the 10th floor of a downtown building, where we were able to pick up a horrible signal from the network affiliate in Lafayette, IN. The picture was snowy and kept fading out, but we were ecstatic that the Isles won, and a lot of us are still Islanders fans.

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12-09-2003, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moosie
I live in Indianapolis, and we had the Islanders AAA farm club in the dynasty years. As nice as it was for Long Islanders, it was also great for us, since we had a high level of player stability (almost no one got called up in 4 years). That first Cup run, we had to watch Islanders games in a creepy sports bar, as none of us had cable yet (LOL). The final game against the Flyers was not carried on the network in Indianapolis (they showed the movie "Heidi" instead), so a bunch of us met on the 10th floor of a downtown building, where we were able to pick up a horrible signal from the network affiliate in Lafayette, IN. The picture was snowy and kept fading out, but we were ecstatic that the Isles won, and a lot of us are still Islanders fans.

LOL! I was a staff psychologist at Indiana University Medical Center for a while. Indy is one of my favorite cities on the earth, and I have basically traveled across the world several times over. I used to got to Indy Ice games at the fair grounds, and I saw a lot of Ziggy Palffy when he was an AHL player.

I got to see that first game. My dad and his partner where splitting season tickets. My dad, being the ultimate father that he was (and still is), agree to work and extra day so that I could go to the game with his partner. I sat center ice, 11 rows up for THE GOAL. Afterwards, my high school buddies and I all met at bar beach in Hempstead and drank beer and ate french fries.

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12-09-2003, 10:05 AM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moosie
The final game against the Flyers was not carried on the network in Indianapolis (they showed the movie "Heidi" instead), so a bunch of us met on the 10th floor of a downtown building, where we were able to pick up a horrible signal from the network affiliate in Lafayette, IN. The picture was snowy and kept fading out, but we were ecstatic that the Isles won, and a lot of us are still Islanders fans.
I'm guessing that sitting in Indianapolis, with crappy reception on your TV, even you knew it was offsides.

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12-09-2003, 10:20 AM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan
I'm guessing that sitting in Indianapolis, with crappy reception on your TV, even you knew it was offsides.

John, my seats were not too far from that line. ANYBODY could see it was offsides. That was one of the worst calls in the history of hockey!!!

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12-09-2003, 10:21 AM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Flyers Fan
I'm guessing that sitting in Indianapolis, with crappy reception on your TV, even you knew it was offsides.
That just speeded up the inevitable. As the subsequent 3 Cups and 15 more playoff series won in a row would prove. If Bobby Ny didn't kill ya then Boss or Trotts would have. That's a given. It was just a matter of time. ".....and the Islanders win the Stanley Cup over the Flyers!!" :p

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12-09-2003, 10:28 AM
  #14
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Originally Posted by 19
That just speeded up the inevitable. As the subsequent 3 Cups and 15 more playoff series won in a row would prove. If Bobby Ny didn't kill ya then Boss or Trotts would have. That's a given. It was just a matter of time. ".....and the Islanders win the Stanley Cup over the Flyers!!" :p

-19

The Nystrom goal wasn't offsides, the game wouldn't have made it to OT without that call.

The Islanders were NOT winning a game 7 at the Spectrum.

The following 3 seasons is a different story.

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12-09-2003, 10:29 AM
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Milbury
John, my seats were not too far from that line. ANYBODY could see it was offsides. That was one of the worst calls in the history of hockey!!!

Easily a foot & a half outside the blueline.

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12-09-2003, 10:52 AM
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Well im probally the youngest here im only 15. I was born a Rangers fan until 4 my best friend convinced me to like the devils while my cousin convinced me to like the Isles. I switched back and forth and watched mainly the Isles.Then i was around 13 and became a big time Isles fan. I always was into hockey just not fully into the Isles. I always loved Ziggy Palffy also and would love to have him back.

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12-09-2003, 11:23 AM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Islesman819
Well im probally the youngest here im only 15. I was born a Rangers fan until 4 my best friend convinced me to like the devils while my cousin convinced me to like the Isles. I switched back and forth and watched mainly the Isles.Then i was around 13 and became a big time Isles fan. I always was into hockey just not fully into the Isles. I always loved Ziggy Palffy also and would love to have him back.

Actually, Tiki is a few years younger than you are.

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12-09-2003, 11:57 AM
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I;m 21 been an Islander fan since I was about 5 or 6 in 87-88. Don't really know how I started liking the Isles, but I did around that age.

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12-09-2003, 12:46 PM
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Growing up in Deer Park on Long Island, my first Islander memory was at age 9 watching Game 7 Islanders - Flyers with my Dad. I recall Kate Smith and Eddie Westfall. My Dad would take me down to Racquet and Rink in Farmingdale to go watch practices in the late 70's and I shook hands with Bryan Trottier, Billy Smith, Bob Nystrom and Clark Gillies and was out on the ice collecting pucks after practice completed. Occasionally he would get tickets.

I vividly remember the Islanders playing the Canadiens in the playoffs, Guy Lafleur, Steve Shutt and Jacques Lemaire and thinking they are unbeatable. I remember the defeat to the Leafs at the hands of Lanny MacDonald and the painful loss to the Rangers in '79.

It all led to the Cup of 1980 and the dynasty years and the greatest US based NHL franchise ever. In high school you were an Islander fan or a Ranger fan. Those were some great years!

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12-09-2003, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Islanders4Cups
Growing up in Deer Park on Long Island, my first Islander memory was at age 9 watching Game 7 Islanders - Flyers with my Dad. I recall Kate Smith and Eddie Westfall. My Dad would take me down to Racquet and Rink in Farmingdale to go watch practices in the late 70's and I shook hands with Bryan Trottier, Billy Smith, Bob Nystrom and Clark Gillies and was out on the ice collecting pucks after practice completed. Occasionally he would get tickets.

I vividly remember the Islanders playing the Canadiens in the playoffs, Guy Lafleur, Steve Shutt and Jacques Lemaire and thinking they are unbeatable. I remember the defeat to the Leafs at the hands of Lanny MacDonald and the painful loss to the Rangers in '79.

It all led to the Cup of 1980 and the dynasty years and the greatest US based NHL franchise ever. In high school you were an Islander fan or a Ranger fan. Those were some great years!

Kate Smith and Eddie, eh? I remember Eddie skating out with flowers for Kate Smith that one year that the Flyers beat us in game seven.

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12-09-2003, 02:10 PM
  #21
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I don't ever remember NOT being an Islanders fan

Being only 3 years old when they won their first Cup it was pretty obvious that something exciting was going on, and while I don't remember which playoff games I had gone to by heart, I know my father had been getting tickets from title companies he had been working with and I believe he also represented at least one Islander from the Dynasty years (my father is a lawyer.) Luckily he didn't get free tickets to Rangers games!!! From the beginning my brother was a Rangers fan, and then after the Dynasty years my father drifted over, he sometimes roots for the Isle's when they aren't playing the Rangers, he's weird.

My brother and I have the lines drawn in the sand, he's almost 7 years older than me. Islanders vs. Rangers games it's me vs. them.

The only absence I think I had from rooting was for a short period of time where my parents mistakingly put me through Little League and my interest waned for a couple years in the late 80s. My heart was also taken out of it a little when Bossy retired since he was always my favorite player as a kid and I owe my lucky number to the one he wore on his jersey. I was also born on January 22nd. My lucky number follows me around on almost a daily basis and it is quite simply weird.

Back to the hockey part of it, my interest in hockey renewed about 91ish full steam once the NHL games started coming out for the Genesis, hehe. Been watching every Islanders game I've been home for ever since. Been to a few of the more memorable games in recent seasons, and I haven't worn my Kasparaitis jersey since he was traded to the Rangers.

I wear my Peca jersey all of the time.

Haven't played any roller hockey in over a year and it sucks.

Speaking of Islanders and games, it's time to go find a TV.

,
Mitch

PS I might add that my brother also improved my hand-eye coordination at an early age when he realized I could stand in front of a net. Since we never used any pads of any sorts, I also have a decently high pain threshold, hehe. I even remember pretending to be Kelly Hrudey, hehe.

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12-10-2003, 07:58 AM
  #22
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I grew up a few hours outside of Minneapolis, and actually started off as a Northstars fan. However, as a kid back when the Isles were great, I always loved Billy Smith. Money goaltending, which is what counts. But I also just loved the way he dominated his crease. Talentwise he'll never be mentioned with someone like Roy, but when all's said and done, they both took home four cups. He got the job done. And because of that, he was my favorite non-Northstar.

I was so pissed off about the Northstars becoming the "south"Stars, that I jumped ship entirely. And because of Smith, I'd always had a leaning towards the Isles, plus it's always fun to root for a team with such a great history like the Isles have. I already had the number one requirement of an Islanders fan: a deep hatred of the Rangers, even though it wasn't for any real reason, I just always hated them. Plus the Isles were coming off of an exciting season and it seemed like a fun time to get in on the action. So I became an Islander fan.

My timing wasn't the best, admittedly... but I stuck it out and am still here.

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12-11-2003, 09:58 AM
  #23
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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.

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12-12-2003, 02:44 AM
  #24
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Grandparents lived in Uniondale, father had season tickets through his company from day one. Saw Bossy in his first preseason game. Islanders were all we talked about at school in the Cup years.

Haven't lived on Long Island for a good 10 years, but it's been interesting being a fan in other places. Was in Pittsburgh for the '93 upset; in Poland when Czerkawski was the top scorer. Last year in Belfast I saw Paul Kruse (4th line LW in '97, remember?) score one for the local UK league team - nice to see a familiar face on an unknown team. Always finding some connection where ever I am has made me that much more of a fan.

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12-13-2003, 04:26 AM
  #25
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I was born and raised in Southern Ontario, surrounded by Habs, Leafs and Sabres fans. I've been a hockey fan since I was in diapers, mostly in part because of my dad's passion for the game. He was a Habs fan, so naturally I followed course.

I read an article on Potvin and the Isles organization in a Macleans mag. I was so impressed with the entire organization (mostly Trottier, Potvin, Bossy, Gillies, Torrey) that I knew it was time to strike out on my own.

Since day one of my decision, I've been tortured by the lack of information given by the Canadian press (especially the unbiased Toronto papers... ) and the American press (it seemed that even ping-pong got more coverage). My only source of info. was the Hockey News.

I thoroughly enjoyed witnessing the 4 cup run and got to display my Isles garb without reservation.

Since the internet was born, I've finally had the access to my beloved Isles. I've had satellite the last three years and have rarely missed a game. I'll only date women who accept that the Isles come before them (I've had some lonely stretches).

Cheers, and don't hate me because I'm Canadian...I'm surrounded by the enemy 24/7. Please show a little compassion.

Thanks neighbors!

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