I was born and raised in Brooklyn. My Dad’s stories about Pee Wee, Gil, and the Duke made me think of them almost as friends of the family. And you better believe that the third worst human being–after Hitler and Stalin–was Walter F. O’Malley (my dad always emphasized the “F”), who moved the Dodgers out of Brooklyn. Rooting for Brooklyn teams is therefore a no-brainer for people like me–I switched to the Nets despite decades of rooting for the Knicks.
But will we consider the Islanders a Brooklyn team?
Granted, Mr. Wang is the anti-O’Malley: he tried everything to keep his team in Nassau. And when all else failed, he kept them local, despite the offers from far-away cities. But if he follows through on his promise to keep the Isle’s logo as-is, i.e. with only Nassau and Suffolk included on its map, wouldn’t it be accurate to say that the Isle’s are a Nassau and Suffolk team playing in Brooklyn, similar to the New York Jets and Giants playing in New Jersey? Wouldn’t the Rangers be our representative more than the Isles?
Will the Islanders do enough, as the Nets did, to make Brooklynites like me switch, despite years of living and dying with the Rangers, and listening to Isles fans taunt us with “1940″?
I don’t think that it’s fair to say that everyone in Brooklyn is a Rangers fan. There are a lot of Islanders fans about, at least as many Islanders fans as there were NJ Nets fans, and I think that a new team will pick up at least a few new fans that have never really paid attention to hockey before. If the Islanders are smart they will hire the Nets marketing team though because they did an amazing job getting everyone hyped up for the Nets.
No argument, Rob. There are plenty of Islanders fans in Brooklyn. And anyone is entitled to root for any team they want to.
My point was only that, in this illusion called sports fandom, there’s something special about rooting for the team that specifically represents your hometown. My hometown team is a winner= my hometown is a winner=I am winner.
If the Islanders won’t even include Brooklyn in the map that’s on their logo, will they qualify as Brooklyn’s hometown team? Or will they be a Nassau-Suffolk team that rents space in a Brooklyn arena?
Considering them a hometown team would already be difficult for those Brooklynites who were Rangers fans in the 1970s and 1980s; when your buddies (and people who weren’t such buddies) taunted you with “1940!” non-stop.