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No Words.

You know how Facebook has that On This Day feature?  The one where you can look back on posts from years ago?

When I checked mine this morning, I saw my memories from my first AHL All Star trip to Utica (and my first ever trip to Turning Stone) two years ago.

And then I see an article I shared from Puck Daddy from 2010…back when the rumors of the River Rats moving to Charlotte were starting to take hold.

Who would have guessed exactly 7 years later I’d find myself in the same situation?

The news broke via the Times Union about an hour or so ago…what I had read a couple of weeks ago then reminded by several people about a week and a half ago…may really be happening.

And for the second time in 7 years…I don’t have a team.

But why?  A 3 year extension was announced last season, the arena is being remodeled, by all accounts things seemed…okay?  I get it, the attendance clearly wasn’t there.  The media barely covered the team.  It seemed like no matter what was tried…you can’t compete in a college town, which, even though Albany is the capital of New York State, is more into basketball…especially college/HS…than a pro hockey team.  RPI and Union offer the same entertainment for much less.  And downtown Albany at night?  That’s a different story for another day.

Lesson learned: Support your minor league team, no matter the time or cost.  Don’t take it for granted.  You never know, one day they’ll be gone.

As for the future of this blog…it’s too early for me to make any decisions.  Let’s see how everything plays out first before I decide.

Oh, and I’ll be in Allentown for All Stars, so please feel free to give me your best sales pitch as to why I should join your bandwagon…

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I’ll Show You A Girl’s Guide.

Getting back on my soapbox again.

No Devil fans, I’m leaving you alone this time (you actually have improved since my November rant, bravo!).

This time, I’m pointing it at the Rangers. As I was getting ready to leave for Glens Falls yesterday, a very interesting story started popping up on my Twitter feed about an article the team posted on its own feed (which I would have linked for you, but it has mysteriously vanished. Hmmm…I wonder why), the Girl’s Guide to Watching the Rangers. Thanks to those who shot screen caps of the story before it was taken down, I had the chance to look through the story. And all I have to say is…WHAT?


Once again, the female hockey fan is being stereotyped as not having a clue or just in it to look at good looking guys (or get the attention of said good-looking guys). Didn’t we go through this during the whole While The Men Watch debacle during the playoffs last season? (Shameless self promotion alert: I guest blogged on the topic back in June for a friend of mine who would agree.) And don’t even get me started about the Cosmo Hot Hockey Player list…

Now let’s take the steps apart piece by piece, shall we?

Step 1: Knowing when to ask questions. Our brilliant author suggests waiting until a stoppage in play or a penalty call to ask a male fan what’s going on. “You need to sense the tension at certain points in the game and let them do their jumping, screaming, and cheering thing. You can tell if something huge has happened by their reaction…” That’s not how I learned. I actually watched it, and over time the more I watched (at first on TV, then finally when I started going to River Rats games) I picked up on all the nuances of the game. If this were the playoffs, particularly the Stanley (or in my area of expertise, Calder) Cup Finals, you’d be silent the entire game. There is no such thing as a dumb question (unless you work in retail customer service, but that’s another topic), it’s how you learn.

Step 2: Get to know the Rangers. By just hearing last names during the broadcast. Just because you heard Sam Rosen say Del Zotto or Staal, you automatically know who they are. Again, just watch! And actually read up on the players in news articles and such (no, the New York Post fashion spread does not count…yes I actually Googled it just for this post) to learn more about them. I actually do that with some of the Devils’ opponents, reading a lot of blogs and news articles to learn about the opponent coming up, just to get an idea of what to expect. If you take the time to do your homework, you’ll be better informed and get a better understanding.

Step 3: Get to know goalie Henrik Lundqvist. Trust me this is all you need to know: Watch this video. Yeah, you knew I would throw that in. But in all seriousness, he’s a Vezina winner (but Marty still has more, so much more), he can play guitar (and I hate to admit, he’s actually not bad…damn you HBO 24/7), and it’s fun when the Devils beat him (although I caught myself cheering him on against Philly the other night…what does a Devil fan do when the Rangers and Flyers, the two most hated rivals of New Jersey, play each other?). And by the way, if New York were to have a new face on the quarter, it would most likely be Derek Jeter. At least he knows how to win championships.

Step 4: You’ve graduated level one. Do I even want to know what Level Two is?

The point is this: Once again, the female hockey fan is getting the short end in favor of those who care more about pleasing their significant other and trying to sound smart than actually showing a real interest in the game. If you’re trying to win over new fans especially after the lockout debacle, go for it. But don’t dumb down and put all females in the same category. Simply, if you really want to learn more about the game of hockey beyond just sounding smart amongst your male friends, just do your homework. Do the research. Read the blogs, pertinent news stories. Actually watch games and listen to interviews with players and coaches. Soak up all the information you can.

There are a few very good responses to this so called Girl’s Guide that I read up on yesterday as well, check them out:

A Girl’s Guide to Girls, by the wonderful ladies at What’s Up, Ya Sieve?

A nice rebuttal from Diana C. Nearhos at the Post Star Phantoms blog.

And you know the Devils Army had to chime in with their own guide, this one for the guys.

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Getting On My Soapbox

An open letter to a few “members” of the Devils fanbase…

To Whom It May Concern:

I am getting fed up with your attitude towards this team. I am sick and tired of constantly reading day after day on Facebook, Twitter and in blog comment threads about how this team sucks, how they don’t care, how you wish they’d just leave, etc. And it’s the SAME PEOPLE.

I have a newsflash for you: Nothing will change about the state of hockey here if you continue to whine and complain about what you have.

Consider this: when the River Rats moved two years ago, there was a good chance that there would be no AHL hockey here at all come fall. There was a chance that we would have had to find other things to fill our time during the winter months until baseball season started up again. So what would you rather have, a team here playing in what is the highest level of hockey in North America, or nothing at all?

Now, I get it, I know this current team is struggling. I am as dumbfounded as everyone else as to why with such good talent on paper they have struggled to win games. But you know what? I keep the faith. I try to keep positive. Even though it may not seem like it now, they have the opportunity to turn it around. But it’s on their shoulders to do so, and hearing the constant bitching from you is not helping.

Whether you care or not will not have an impact on how they play, whether they win or lose 20 in a row. But remember this: if the Devils were to move to another city, there is a chance no one will take their place. And whose fault will it be then? The ones who stopped caring, who whined, who refused to set foot in the building because of who was there.

We’re not a Hershey. We’re not a St. John’s. We may not have the bigger end talent or more money to support, but we are fans who stick with the team through good times and bad. We have a reputation in the league as being one of the most loyal fanbases around. But when I have to read over and over about how the team sucks and how management doesn’t care, sometimes I wonder just how loyal some of us really are.

So do us a favor, complainers: If you don’t like what you see on the ice, just stay home. Or find a new team that you think doesn’t suck. And stop tarnishing the reputation of the fans that actually do care.

And to those who wish bodily harm on their OWN PLAYERS: really? What kind of real fan are you? Sorry, Adam Larsson is NOT leaving the lineup anytime soon, the brass wants him playing. He’s still learning the game.

Do I want to see more out of this team? Of course. Do I wish the team was more out in the community than just school/practice appearances? Absolutely. But if that’s what the front office has to work with, that’s what they have. But I still stick with it. I have stuck with this team since day one, because I’m a fan of the game. And I want to see it succeed here. Never did I say “oh I’m not coming back” because we can’t be around the players or because of the first regime.

Okay, done with my rant.

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