By Doug Johnson
Photo credit: Movie Vault
Editor’s note: The playoff series gives Caps fans a chance to learn all about our stupid rivals and the exotic (i.e., terrible) places they come from. For the second of their Stanley Cup travelogue series, the PuckBuddys offer “How To Spot A Rangers Fan” and helpfully explain why a trip to Manhattan is only slightly worse than a colonoscopy. Follow @PuckBuddys.
Sometimes literary fiction can teach us something great and truthy. I’m thinking here about timeless classics like “Escape from New York,” “The Stand”, or “I Am Legend” (Will Smith version, duh). In these worlds, Manhattan’s streets are littered with drooling ghouls, shuffling corpses and brainless zombies, with a few rapists tossed in for good measure. The entire island is alternately either a prison or a graveyard, both equally wretched, and always there’s one or two smart people trying desperately to flee, usually to Washington.
Oh wait, I’m reading from the official NYC tourist guide. Ha! Amirite? Huh?!
The larger argument here is self-evident: the Big Apple is, in fact, just a mealy, worm-infested piece of fruit. A collection of hollow men, shallow women, and entitled infants huddled in shabby walk-ups. A mass delusion of curdled narcissism, a sisyphean slog for dreams of avarice, and, uh…and it smells like butt too. Quoting here: “It’s a dirty place and it smells bad.” Yes Mr. Gortat, yes it does.
Of course, ’twas not always thus. No it ’tweren’t. Manhattan was arguably the place that, more than any other, best expressed American hopes for the 20th Century, but no more. Where once the Gershwins played and the Algonquins zinged, now we have Donald Trump and “The View.” These days New York looks like nausea feels. It is a cyclone of suck; and, in our view, the very vortex of suckitude circles around the Rangers and the Garden.
Just how much do they blow? Let us count the ways:
Like a fish rotting from the head down, we begin with Coach John “Retorts” Tortorella. He’s a strange mix of arrogance and impotence, alternately yelling at fans and crying about unfair treatment, all with a face face so sour he appears to constantly be smelling used baby diapers. He may have a great record this season, and have defiled the Cup once before, but Torts embodies all that’s wrong with New York and the Strangers. Is he whiny? Yes. Is he a bully? Yes. Is he secretly the guy behind the “Two Girls, One Cup” thing? Well, no, that’s just a rumor that we’re starting here. Suffice it to say he’s awful.
Everything about the Rags– from their crappy coach to that putrid thing they play after every New York goal– reminds us of an infestation. Which brings us, conveniently, to what the self-important noodniks at MSG comically refer to as “The World’s Most Famous Arena.” Well, OK, just like you might call Bernie Madoff the “World’s Most Famous Investor,” but we really don’t think either should be bragging. Honestly New York, we’ve all wanted to tell you this for a long time now. Consider this an intervention: the Garden is a toilet.
Its seats are filthy from years of unwashed Rangers jerseys, its floors are as sticky as a vermin glue trap, and the sight lines could only have been planned by Helen Keller. And then there’s the playing sheet itself. To call it dim doesn’t come close: we’ve seen Bergman movies that were lit better. And since when was the surface itself supposed to be like walking on gravel? Are those Zambonis or Emmet Kelly’s clown cars down there? Hey Rangers! When all the rest of us leave your house we laugh and laugh and laugh some more. Just thought you should know.
How To Spot A Rangers Fan:
Hail the King! We used to think New York was a democracy; perhaps Ed Koch should have been our first clue. Now ruled by Baron-For-Life Michael Bloomberg, New Yorkers have fully jumped aboard the monarchical band wagon, and Rangers fans have but one true King: Henrik Lundqvist. That’s probably because, hey, who the heck else do they have to be proud of? (Boom! Like that!) And also because, you know, he’s impossibly good looking. I mean like if-they-put-his-face-on-money-it-would-burn-up-because-he’s-so-hot good looking. We still prefer our dowdy elected
crooks representatives, but we admit he makes the case for divine rule.
Most importantly, if you run into more than two or three Rangers fans in a group, it is imperative not to interact with them. Even looking them in the eye may be taken as an aggressive act, prompting a predictably defensive response. Remember: the Ranger is not in his native habitat of Manhattan. He is not accustomed to clean streets, fresh air or well lit arenas. You can out think him every time, as long as you remember where you’re from.
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