By The Broadway Hat (@TheBroadwayHat)
Watching AJ Castiglia’s 2013-2014 New York Rangers “Above & Beyond” tribute video has helped ease the pain (I highly recommend it, follow him on Twitter @AJCastigliaa and check it out on YouTube). It’s been over a week since the Rangers lost to the Kings in double OT in the Stanley Cup Final and the pain remains.
I still can’t watch, read or hear anything related to hockey. Every time I see something on my Twitter timeline (Gaborik taking the cup to the beach *twitches*), I scroll past it quickly and pretend that I didn’t see it. I’ve been keeping my distance from any hockey news/blog sites since. For the first time late last week, I broke down and went on a couple scrolling by any & everything related to the Kings and the Stanley Cup.
As with every hockey fan, I love watching Cup presentations. Except the one that happened last Friday. I watched Hank down on the ice and Zucc’s face in disbelief as the Kings celebrated all around them. I watched the handshake line and I watched our boys in blue go down the locker room one last time and that was it. I changed the channel (Zoolander was on TBS) and later attempted to watch the painful recap and player reactions.
I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to. Every now & then I’ll see someone walking down the street with a Rangers hat, t-shirt, or see one of those huge logos stuck to a window and I’ll either look at it wistfully or again, pretend I didn’t see it.
Our 2013-2014 New York Rangers started off the regular season 4-7-1 in the month of October. Having given up 37 goals and scoring only 20 goals in that span. 82 regular season games later, they finished 45-31-6, good enough for 6th in the conference.
Then the playoffs began.
They played 25 playoff games, they became your 2014 Eastern Conference champions and were in their first Stanley Cup Final appearance in 20 years.
Your 2013-2014 New York Rangers started playing hockey on October 3rd, 2013 and didn’t stop until early Saturday morning on Friday, June 14th 2014. 254 days of hockey.
What a ride it’s been. All the heartbreaks, the ups, the downs and the power play (yes, that deserved its own separate mention). Being a Rangers fan, there have been quite a number of downs. We live by this team, we breathe and (sometimes) bleed for this team. It’s an instant kinship when you meet another Rangers fan and to be a part of this incredible brotherhood makes all the hardships worthwhile, because when the good times are rolling, there’s no better feeling than when you’re surrounded by thousands of like-minded individuals like yourself, cheering for one singular goal.
I’m lucky enough to have such a rabid, and passionate following of fans for a Twitter account that was started on a whim a few years ago. No matter the result, no matter the outcome, it’s you, the fans that I interact with daily and each & every game that gets me through each and every season. You all make the healing process go that much faster. And I say this every season that I’m lucky enough to still be around (relevant), to each and every single person that I’ve met over the course of these few years, thank you.
I don’t know when this ride will end, or where it’ll take me, or us, but I do know this: in three and a half very short months, we will see our beloved New York Rangers take the ice once more. And in that instance, the slate will be wiped clean and we start all over again.
Only then, will we all be reminded of why we do this each and every season.
Thank you for listening, thank you for reading and thank you for following.
Thank you to each and every one of my single followers AND LET’S GO RANGERS!!!!!
Last, but absolutely not in the very least…
This year saw the Blueshirt faithful lose one of their most faithful in Andrea Gallo. She succumbed to stomach cancer after fighting the good fight for many years.
I first met Andrea, where else, via Twitter for the (at the time) Whale’s home opener. She had seen I was making the trip up to Hartford and DM’ed me asking if she could catch a ride with us. Two hours later, I knew everything I ever wanted to know (even if I didn’t) about every roadside attraction and historical structure during that drive up to Connecticut. If something important happened somewhere along our driving route, you can be sure that you were going to know about it if you were within a 100-foot radius of Andrea.
That’s how Andrea was. It wasn’t even until a few meetings later that she told us she had stomach cancer. You would never know it just by looking at her and hear her jabber on about nothing and everything at the same time. It’s an absolute cliché to tell you that Andrea lived life to the fullest, but I’m almost certain that cliché was invented just to describe her, and if she was here today she would actually probably tell you where the origin of that cliché came from.
Over the course of the last few years, I ran into her a few more times at bars and games to watch the Rangers break our hearts together. She was one passionate woman and she would talk your ear off about what the team was, or wasn’t doing properly at length.
She was also very involved in the Ice Hockey in Harlem program. She will be missed by myself and the many around her radius that she affected.
I hope you can see a bright, good future for the Rangers wherever you are Andrea.