Friday, November 02, 2012

E-Mails to Scott, Vol. 1

Scott Rappaport, a life-long friend of mine, passed away suddenly on September 10th, 2012. We’d often shoot e-mails back and forth, like friends do. Nothing terribly deep or philosophical, really, just a couple of schmucks shooting the shit. In the months since his passing, I’ve been finding stuff and thinking “Scott would’ve gotten a kick out of this. I should e-mail him.” Of course, he’s not there to answer (not that he was ever good about answering), and so the e-mails sat, taking up storage space in my brain. And then I thought hey, these are basically blog posts, and I basically have a blog. So there.

So the New York Islanders have finally abandoned Nassau County and have taken up residence in Brooklyn. They’re done with Hepmstead dicking them around over a new arena, the drama over the Lighthouse Project is finished once and for all. Your team is moving to my borough.

The Barclays Center wasn’t built with hockey in mind, and so the seating chart is a bit unusual. With the layout, the Islanders would have the smallest capacity in the league. But this is the Islanders we’re talking about. The smallest capacity in the league (14,500 people) is more than they drew on average last year (13,190). The Barclays Center is across the street from a LIRR terminal, and within spitting distance of Manhattan for weeknight games. It sure beats Kansas City.
I don’t expect the Islanders to go through a major rebranding like the Nets. Changes will be subtle. The logo will zoom out, the island will include Brooklyn and Queens. The “I” in Islanders will point to Prospect Heights. They’ll keep the orange, blue, and white, if only to contrast the Nets’ monochrome. I don’t think they’ll position themselves as “Brooklyn first, Islanders second.” There won’t be a billboard plastered with Rick DiPietro’s mug in black and white, and “Hello Brooklyn, I’m #39, Rick DiPietro. I once blew my knee out punching Brent Johnson in the face.” Or “Hello Brooklyn, I’m #20, Evgeni Nabokov. I fled to Russia for a year because I didn’t want to play for the Islanders.” Of course it isn’t personal. It’s the Isles. 

You know, subtle

They’ll maintain their history, and harken back to the glory days of Al Arbour and Mike Bossy, when they won championships. Or at least to the gory days of Mike Peca and Oleg Kvasha, when they won a game now and then. They will make no effort to forget.

You know, if the NHL deigns to play again.
Potvin sucks.