After a demoralizing 7-2 beat-down at the hands of the rival Washington Capitals on home ice last night, Islander fans were lucky enough to wake up to multiple reports stating that the team would attempt a sign-and-trade deal should John Tavares leave the franchise after the season.
The reports are the latest punch in the gut to a fanbase that has already dealt with a lifetime of disappointment, whether they have come via unbelievable comments from the general manager or arena manager, questioning of their loyalty by the head coach or a deafening silence from ownership since the Belmont announcement.
Obviously, I am not telling you something you don’t already know. In a season so monumental to the future of the franchise, the team is once again stumbling to the finish line and making March – what should have been an intense, fun month of meaningful hockey – nearly unwatchable.
So, here is my plea, mostly directed at the 20 and 30-somethings that have known nothing but losing like myself.
The only thing this fanbase has left is its own self-respect. So, over the remaining eight home games, let’s be smart. If you’re going to a game, don’t let your frustration boil over and result in doing something that you’ll regret or that will affect the people sitting around you. While you and I might know how dysfunctional this team may be, the kid sitting behind you who might be at his or her first hockey game certainly doesn’t. Let’s show everyone that this fanbase deserves better than the product we have been given in the last three months.
Don’t litter the ice after a bad loss or call. Don’t yell profanities at fans of visiting teams, especially if they are minding their own business. Don’t get in fights on the LIRR and give all hockey fans a bad name.
Chant “Snow must go” all you want. Pose for photos in front of the billboards with bags over your head. Don’t buy tickets! The best way to protest a team that refuses to invest in itself is to not invest in the team. Let Brett Yormark’s arena sit empty after his tone-deaf interview a few weeks ago.
Chances are, people reading this article are not part of the group that would act this way. But let’s be honest, there are some that will. Let’s do our best to not be the next sensation on Barstool Sports.