Hey Brooklyn: How You Doin’?!
By Rich Dias-Rodrigues
Well, let me get the Beastie Boys reference out of the way: No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn…2015. Okay. Done. And don’t think I wasn’t planning on using some variation of that track title to head this post. I resisted, thankfully.
So, it’s official..I guess…Isles owner Charles Wang made the announcement earlier today that our boys from the Isle will now be speaking with heavier New York accents, from a generic Uniondale-esque twinge to the notorious (and always infamous) straightforward, world-renowed Brooklynese. Maybe some Brooklyn toughness is what the defense needs these day. What do you think? Yeah, you! Hey, I’m talking to you! You lookin’ at me? I can imagine the trash-talking along the boards: “S’up punk! You in Brooklyn now, son! Hey Rangers: I got something for your Midtown, Yuppie mug.” Brooklyn will only make the Islanders stronger and Islanders fans that much more obnoxious, thank you very much. My prediction: the rivalries with the Devils and Rangers will see a resurgence not known for quite some time. Second prediction: The Islanders logo has to change. And if I see that damn Gorton’s fisherman anywhere near Barclays and/or on an Isles jersey, I’ll call some of my friends who know some guys who know some guys who know a guy who will have our seaman friend (and the Isles jersey designer[s]) sleeping with the fishes out at Sheepshead Bay somewhere.
In all seriousness, I cannot imagine Islander country being all that surprised about Wang’s decision, although I hate the idea of waiting around for close to three years to see it come to fruition. I’m of the mindset that if things are going to change regardless of what I say or do, may they change quickly. Equally palpable, however, is the idea of losing the Coliseum, home to a vast portion of wonderful childhood memories, which were immediately supplanted by erratic and/or downright dismal hockey, especially these past five years. For me, the Coliseum has, unfortunately, reverted to the mausoleum Rangers fans have said it was for years. Poor attendance (especially Islanders fans, regrettably), lousy hockey, and now the strike, the Islanders are one of the few teams that not only needs this strike to regroup (I know how terrible that sounds, but come on people, the Isles need to truly take their issues by the horns and do something drastic to save the franchise. What, rather somewhere other than New York?) and totally reboot. The Barclays Center is the logical conclusion. Thank you, Jay-Z. Thank you for saving my Islanders from permanent exile.
Face it: driving out to the Island, paying upwards of 10$ for parking, gas, then ticket prices what they are, food at the game and those prices, and then to see them get whipped…it’s tough being an Islanders fan, let us just say this much. We love them, but it’s tough these days. Really tough. That’s not to say that Barclays won’t be twice as expensive for fans, but perhaps, not. Change is good. That’s what matters here. Mr. Wang is doing what he feels will save the franchise from leaving New York completely. Quite frankly, I know that regardless of price, I WILL be going to games at Barclays. Seriously. I mean, are you kidding me? Taking the C train to Lafayette Ave, walk three blocks, cross Atlantic Blvd, avoid getting hit by oncoming semis, enter, buy a program, buy some Grey Goose…sit and watch my Isles get whipped some more. Joking. Joking. But they’re getting whipped in my own backyard. Ah, I can’t wait.
Now, for the tricky part: the logo. The Islanders will be keeping the Long Island topography on their emblem, but will their alternate jersey pay homage to Brooklyn: perhaps resort to the “B” a la Brooklyn Dodgers, or some variation thereof? I leave this last part to you. Ideas? Pics? Let’s hear it Islander country.