Middletown, N. J. – We continue our series of fan retrospectives here at EyesOnIsles with another submission from one of our loyal readers on Facebook.
Please don’t be shy! Get your opinion about what the 2013 Islanders meant to you by sending us your thoughts at [email protected] All submissions will be posted to the website.
Submitted by : Michael A. Tichio, Staten Island, NY
Here is my take on our season.
It started with the usual hope as a fan. You see, I am a 45 year old Staten Islander, married with 2 kids who love the orange, white and blue. My son and daughter would always ask about the glory days when they see old games, highlights, or even clippings in my attic. I would tell them tales of Mike Bossy in midair against the Vancouver Canucks or battling Billy Smith fighting the Blackhawks in the old Chicago stadium with the steps you had to walk DOWN to get to the locker rooms coming off the ice.
Then it turned to sadness in October as we learned there would be a lockout. Not sure what to expect, we waited, and waited, and waited.
By the end we learned we were a go for hockey after the 2012 holidays. We were excited. The fast training camp was a blur. Puck was dropped.
The battles began and when we needed to start fast, as usual in frustrating fashion we started slow! We took heat from New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils fans alike on Staten Island. Because today on Staten Island, Isles fans are a very small percentage of hockey fandom. So the season progresses and we get better, followed by an amazing push. My kids were too young to remember 2002,2003,2004, and 2007. They couldn’t understand the pain as we slept walk through the games. But this year they FELT it. They sat next to me and we cheered and eventually cried together. We shared our joy, we shred our sorrow. But we ….shared. Valor and loyalty are common bounds of underdogs. Because us as the fans can feel it. Where teams that are champs don’t have to.
In the end the roller coaster ride of being an Islander fan in the NHL rallied all Islander fans alike. We circled the wagons ready for battle, we set up knowing it could have gone either way. Just like my family did. We all cheered and conversely all booed. But in the end we took the loss, knowing full well we deserved better. That pain in your chest will leave.
But my family, and Islander fans, should know this: there will be better times ahead. Thank you Islanders.