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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Origins of a Hockey Blog

The story of ’94 Parade starts in one of (if not THE) most forgettable states in the union, Connecticut. As any Connecticutian can tell you, professional sport is a luxary beyond our borders. Fatefully stuck between Boston and New York, the state is constantly partitioned by pro sports leagues and relegated to the level of a secondary market. Giants or Patriots, Red Sox or Yankees, these are common questions for the Connecticut sports fan. Sure, we may have a pro WNBA team in Bridgeport, but the only thing that organization helps is the local lesbian bar scene.

Hockey in Connecticut is no different. Sure, we used to have a team, but reminding us of the Whalers only deepens our depression and reinforces our irrelevance. It only makes us face facts: the Whalers never won anything, their stadium was a dump, and most importantly, they’re never coming back! This isn’t Winnipeg, and we’re not expecting to see the Green and Blue Whale Tail grace the ice ever again. We’ve had to settle on the fact that we’re a minor league state, as tragic as that may be.

Am I personally upset at our state’s athletic fate? Not really… Sure it’d be nice to call a team our own, but in the end we’ve got the best American Market in our own back yard: New York City. It is on the broadway stage that all Southern Connecticut sports exist.

I began to understand this in the early summer months of 1994. I didn’t know about Designated Market Areas and TV contracts, all I knew is that I got the MSG channel at my house and I fell in love with the Rangers. They were a powerhouse and an underdog at the same time, president’s trophy winners and yet cursed to never lift the cup. I was glued to everything Rangers that summer: I wore my thick replica jersey everyday in 90 degree heat, I screamed for joy when Messier guaranteed game 6 and then made good on it, and I nearly strangled my dog hugging her after Matteau’s double overtime winner. And when they finally won the cup, little 8 year old me, my father and younger brother attended the ticker-tape parade down the Canyon of Heroes (thus the name of this blog is born).

At the time, I thought I was in store for hockey heaven. The Rangers were a great team and had the tools necessary to repeat or at least win another cup. “This is great, I can’t wait til next year!” Well, it’s been 16 years since that fateful summer, and things haven’t been that good since. This blog is dedicated to frustrated Rangers fan who want nothing more than another parade.

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