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200 Miles From the Citi


May 20, 2012 12:52 AM

1994 vs. 2012

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Sunday Paper (Year 4, Volume XXI)

In baseball it's the Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Cardinals, Twins, Phillies, Dodgers, and Marlins.

In football it's the Cowboys, 49ers, Patriots, Giants, Packers, Steelers, Redskins, and Broncos.

Hockey? I'm not sure.  But I know at least the Red Wings, Devils, Islanders, Oilers, and Canadiens fall into this category.  And in basketball it's been too long for me to give a comprehensive list, but I'll go with at least the Lakers, Celtics, Pistons, Bulls, and Spurs.

Those are the teams that have won multiple championships since 1978 - or, in other words, in my lifetime.

None are teams I root for.

So, despite the fact that hockey is not my number one sport, the fact that the Rangers are just six wins away from winning the Stanley Cup has me dreaming big.

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Last year I wrote how I felt about the Stanley Cup Playoffs (read that and then think how much better it is when the Rangers are still playing for the Cup) and how last year's Finals reminded me of 1994 (think about this year!)...so I won't repeat myself.

But I will say that 1994 has been on my mind a lot recently.

And if the Rangers can win another Cup this year, the timing would be great.

Let me take you back to 1994: I was a high school student, just 8 years removed from a Mets World Series win.  (How weird is that?)  I wasn't exactly championship-starved.  Hockey, though, was still pretty new to me. I'm not like my friend Justin - he's got a wealth of hockey knowledge.  In 1994 I was only into hockey for about 5 years.  My brother, believe it or not, got excited about hockey and I caught the bug from him.  He went all in on the Islanders at the time...I went with the Rangers.  So I wasn't long-suffering like so many Rangers fans at the time, but it's not like I started following the Rangers in 1993.  (I have fond memories of John Vanbiesbrouck, if you're looking to put a time stamp on my fanhood.)

At the time, sports was my life.  I kept all kinds of stats on the sports I watched.  I put a lot of time and effort into that Rangers team, and when they won it all, it was, I'm realizing, one of the most exciting moments of my life as a sports fan.  It was the championship I can most appreciate, considering the Mets won when I was 8, and this one happened when I was twice that age.

Double my age again, roughly, and here we are - I'm now married with three kids, and I'm coming off a season where I watched everyone around me get excited watching their team - the Boston Bruins - make the kind of run the Rangers are making this year.  The Bruins are a rarity in this town - they won last year, but they've only won one championship while the rest of the teams in their city have won at least two in the past 10 years or so.

It's amazing to think there are all those teams I listed in those first few paragraphs that have won multiple championships over the past 30 years - that was surprising to me - and not one is a team I root for.

I sure would love a multiple championship of my own.

*I'm not sure which is a more impressive number - the number of teams with repeat championships over 34 years, or the fact that 0 of them are the teams I root for.  I'm not good at figuring that stuff out.

*I haven't been looking at the numbers yet, but Henrik Lundqvist has to be making a run at those post-season records Tim Thomas set last year, no?  Part of what helped Thomas was the number of games the Bruins played, and Lundqvist has already played two series that went the maximum...and he's played just as well, and keeps getting better and better.

*Watching Lundqvist right now, to me, is the equivalent of watching David Wright.  Every time Wright is up I expect a hit.  Every time Lundqvist plays I expect a shutout.

*Last year everyone at school was so invested in the Bruins' playoff run it seemed to make the end of the school year fly by even more quickly than it usually does.  The Rangers may not be having the same effect on the entire school community, but their playoff run is certainly having the same effect on me.

*I think I should feel somewhat sad about Kerry Wood's retirement, considering: 1) we're just about the same age and 2) he had so much promise that he only partially lived up to....but I kind of feel nothing.  I guess that in and of itself is a commentary on the type of career he had versus the type of career we all wanted him to have.

*Don't know that, considering how nice the weather will be today, the Mets will even merit watching if David Wright is still sick and can't even DH.  But that's the beauty of the MLB At-Bat app - maybe if I'm out with the girls I'll just pop the game on my phone.

*Less than a week until my first trip of the season to Citi Field.  Can't wait to take lots and lots of pictures.

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