A FAREWELL FROM THE ISLE...by Youngblood
The feeling is all too familiar. A tough night's sleep accompanied by an early morning wake up. You don't get out of bed, you just lie there saying things like, "why does this have to happen?", "why couldn't thing just be different?", "just once".
This is life for Islander fans the last 23 years. Every season ends in disappointment and the dream of the run is squashed. But this year has an even more depressing element. The Coliseum is now closed for good. Forever. And I say..........thank god! After the banners are removed, I hope they tear the place down.
Overall, this was a pretty positive season, regardless of the final result. Young players developed, a core of talent was formed, and some very significant additions were added, and contributed instantly. The "YES" chant came to life, the Islanders held the top spot for a great portion of the season, and the Coliseum was packed almost every night. Most home games were nothing but a blast as the team battled hard in front of it's fans. The future is bright, and for this, I'm grateful. Over the last week, the final run at the Coliseum, we reminisced, we cheered, we chanted, we screamed, we hugged, and we said goodbye. There was tons of talk about the final season at the old barn, and what it means to us. But what nobody talked about was the night's we sat on the Meadowbrook in bumper to bumper traffic, only to then do it on Hempstead Tpke as the clock agonozingly ticked past 7PM. We didn't talk about how then, after spending $15, there was no place to park within a visual distance of the Coliseum. We didn't talk about how once we got inside our options for a descent dinner were pretzels or pretzel braids (don't even talk to me about the "pork" at the Pig Pickle place). The best food we ever had was a Subway sandwich shop and to-go sushi. Both of those places had short runs and were nowhere to be found this season. Due to the lack of any real food, we try to fill our stomachs with $10 beer. Of course, now we have to go the bathroom, and now our problems have really begun. Most games the bathroom line at the 2 restrooms was so long that you were looking at missing at least the first 3-5 minutes of the next period. Nothing like standing in an ugly arena hallway for 25 minutes with 100 other guys that are dying to piss. And when the game ended and you just wanted a nice post-game cocktail, the only real option was a chain hotel bar across the way. Not exactly glamorous.
And let's not overlook the fact that it's been 23 years and counting since the team won a playoff round. Do you realize how long that's been? Yes, this team won the 4 cups in the building, but the fan base is younger and most of us never experienced this. We've had so few great moments in the building. You can probably count them on one hand. Most of the seasons over the past 30 years have been sucky. I'm tired of sucky.
Of course all of this will always hold special place in our hearts. The coliseum was a dump, but it was our dump. The nostalgia will always be there, but the reality is that we and the team deserve better. This franchise needs a shakeup and a new building may just be the answer. Let's go to Brooklyn with open minds - enjoy what's better, and we'll go from there. Who knows all the place we'll go?