Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Fans

As of this posting, the Isles record stands at 12-29-5. Like many of you, I've got a bit of agita. Despite the meager expectations, I'm not sure anyone predicted this. Injuries have been a plague on the team, there has been the slow progress on the Lighthouse project, talk of a move to Kansas City and a confirmed training camp move to Saskatchawan (won't mention the Dubie incident). All of this should be leaving Islanders fans even more disgruntled and frustrated than we normally are. Goals have been few and far between and my God... 12 wins!!

However, a funny thing happened on the way to the doom and gloom...

The fans are still showing up. OK, the detractors will still point out the fact that the Isles are at the bottom of overall attendance. Fine, I understand. But tell me if you wouldn't totally understand the Isles fan base throwing in the towel. Here's a fanbase that has survived the Spano purchase, the Milbury era, poor trades, rebuilding, and then rebuilding again, a rise to respectability, and then a quick fall. Did I mention the Milbury era??!!

Check out recent official attendance figures.

1/19 vs Caps 15,221
1/17 vs NJ 16,234
1/15 vs Boston 15.548
1/13 vs NYR 16,234
12/31 vs Fla 12,211

Would anyone think twice if these numbers were closer to 8,000? These number show me that the Isles fans are out there, that they still love this team, and that they're still willing to show up and give support. We're 1 or 2 steps from either rising again or falling off the face of the earth. Lighthouse Project + Tavares = a new era, and new hope for fans that deserve it more than anyone. The same Coliseum most like equals the end of the franchise.

Just imagine a young team, centered around DP, Bailey, Okposo, Neilsen, Comeau, (Tavares or Hedman). A new building. Don't tell me we couldn't fill a 17,500 seat arena. Don't tell me we don't have the fan base.

I don't want to sound like a commercial but we are all Islanders. We've known the passion for hockey this area has. Let's hope we have the opportunity to show the rest of the league once again.



Anonymous said...

Finally someone realizes that it's youth and a new beginning that this team needs. Out with the old and in with the new. There is talent here, within this organization, so lets use it. We have nothing to lose. Take a page out of Washington's notebook...they practically took their entire AHL squad, added a few of the veteran's and they are on fire...! I've watched Bridgeport all year and there is a lot of talent there....lets put it to good use.

Don said...

I wonder how much of the recent attendance (ie: last three home games) is due to the rumored KC move. Maybe the complacent casual fans have been woken up by some of this. Hope it continues - strong attendance will show the powers that be in the TOH that Long Islanders give a damn about their lone major league team.

Considering that, I remember the last time the team was this bad (2000-01 - I had seasons), and you'd be lucky if you saw 9,000 in the old barn on a weekend and 6,000 on a weekday.

Fish Bulb said...

It is a shame because after all we've endured, the organization finally decides to do it the right way and of course, this means probably 2 more seasons of heartbreak... anyway, it does seem as if the fans do embrace the youth movement.. whether any of the casual fans understand what Tavares could do for the team is unknown or if the KC "threat" has translated. You'll see probably 9K - 10K during the weeknights here and there but it's good to see that folks will still turn out.

New York Universities said...

Great article!
Thank you for posting!

Thebard said...

Published Attendance is useless. I'd go to Isles games in 98-99 during weeknights and the place was obviously empty. Meanwhile the published attendance was always over 10,000.

Anonymous said...

DP is horrible even when healthy. Dani is a better goalie. Bailey is horrible. Okposo can barely skate. Teveras or not, Wang, Snow and Gordon guarantee more bad years ahead.

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