Why I love the Rangers

Posted: October 8, 2010 by forever&staalways in New York Rangers, NHL
Tags: , , ,

Finally, after much nagging from Dan, as well as a Spanish lesson involving blogs, I decided it was finally time to share the story as to how my love of the Rangers came to be.

I, like my “compartment” Dan, was born into my fandom. My dad, being a Rangers fan since 1967, passed his love of the game onto me. In fact, the first time he dressed me, he put on a New York Rangers 1994 Cup Champions shirt.

The Shirt That Started It All

My first game, I whooped and hollered all through the first period, and was out cold with by first intermission. As I got older, I attempted to find my favorite Rangers line (now a pseudo-symbol of my youth); the “Czech Mates” line of Jan Hlavac, Radek Dvorak and my then-favorite Petr Nedved. After Petr was traded in 2004, a new Czech entered the bright lights of Broadway. A man by the name of Jaromir Jagr. Though he was considered a prima donna, his scoring touch on the ice made me forget of anything outside the rink.

After “Jaggy’s” 2008 departure to Russia, I was left Czech-less once more (because there was a better chance of a Red Sox fan surviving in Yankee Stadium than me adopting Michal Rozsival). As the season started last year, I was in search of someone to root for. That opening night I found what I was looking for in a 6’4’’ red haired stay-at-home defenseman by the name of Marc Staal. Marc made me embrace and realize the importance of a strong defensive corps is for a team. It’s been like that staalways afterwards.

I must say though, my favorite moment as a fan came in February of 2009 at a charity event the Rangers hosted called “Skate With The Greats” at Rockefeller Plaza. There, I had the fantastic opportunity to meet the likes of Paul Mara, Lauri Korpikosi, Pete Stemkowski, Aaron Voros, Ron Duguay, Erik Reitz, Brandon Dubinsky and Rangers play-by-play caster, Sam Rosen. Everyone there was courteous and more than willing to chat and take photos. Pete Stemkowski (“The Polish Prince”) and I had spoken, at length, twice that night. He retold a few of his favorite stories with such a smile on his face as he signed my book and player card, and was probably the most entertaining person I met that night. Paul Mara and Lauri Korpikoski (who are both around 6 feet) looked like tanks, and laughed when I told them that I was the tallest one in my family, and they made me feel tiny. Sam Rosen and I also chatted and he wished me luck as I pursued my career in sports journalism.

Autographs from “Skate With The Greats"

The tradition that was in attendance that night, and the guys there; old, young, famous or just starting off, were cordial and great company to have. They were class acts, and that’s one of the main things I love about the Rangers. They always honor their history.

  1. Dan MacNeal says:

    Great job Gab!

  2. Dan MacNeal says:

    Lmao, just realized you wrote “compartment”! LOLOL

  3. MichelleJ says:

    Lol compartments! Good article Gabbi!

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