“100 Things Every Rangers Fan Should Know Before They Die” Review

I feel like I’m writing a book report! It’s high school all over again!

Welcome everyone to another blog here on the new and improved DOINOW.com. As always, you can read my previous blogs by checking out the archives on the right hand of the site. I hope you check out all the new functions and features we’ve added.

As you could probably guess, I’m an avid reader and writer. If anything positive has come out of social media, it’s the fact that the literacy rate in this country is at an all-time high. Sure, there are grammar errors all over the place and people are dumbfounded on when to use “your” and “you’re”, but at the end of the day, people are able to communicate via reading & writing like never before.

Away from social media, I read books in my free time, mostly about history, sports and religion. I’ve always enjoyed history, American history specifically, and why things happened. As an atheist, I enjoy reading why people believe what they believe and the arguments against it. Of course, as a diehard sports fan, I have about 838438 books on sports, many of them being books talking the New York Rangers. When I finished reading “100 Things Rangers Fans Should Know Before They Die”, published in November 2014 and written by Adam Raider & Russ Cohen, this book surely covered all my interests – history, sports and my BLUESHIRT religion.

Heading into this book, I was expecting something silly and light on substance, such as Joe Beningo’s “Rules for NY Sports Fans”.  Instead the book was well written and packed a ton of punch, like a Stan Fischler hockey book. You can never judge a book by its cover, or title in this case, and I’m glad I didn’t. I thought “100 Fans” was the most complete book I’ve ever read on the team.

From the days of  Boucher to today’s Cam Talbot, this book has it all

While googling the picture of the cover of this book, I noticed that “100 Things Every (Insert Team Here) Fan Should Know Before They Die” is the series title of numerous sports books. It looks like Raider & Cohen, the authors of this book, were chosen to write the Rangers entry in this series. This explains why author Adam Raider, in the beginning of the book, made mention that he wasn’t a fan of the title of the book. To be honest, I wasn’t either, as it came off like this would be book you would get from the book fair when you were in elementary school. However, this was a comprehensive book, that even the most diehard fan would learn something in.

What I really enjoyed about this book, besides the history, facts and interesting stories, was that the authors wrote the book as fans. It wasn’t cut and dry. It didn’t read like stereo instructions.(Beetlejuice shout-out!) The book had personality and life. Clocking in at over 350+ pages, this book flew by and was the proverbial “page turner”, throughout my one session that it took to read this book.

One of my favorite things about this book and something you would know that I would enjoy, if you read this blog regularly, is that the authors gave you both sides of every story. The authors did call out Henrik Lundqvist for not winning a Cup & for his bloated (my word, not theirs) contract. The authors didn’t  shy away from talking about the non-playoff years of Richter, Messier, Graves & Leetch. We tend to romanticize and overrate players, especially players who won championships, in any sport, after they retire. We remember the good times, as we should, but sometimes gloss over their failures. We can talk about 1994 all we want, but there were a lot of lean years in the Rangers 89 year history.

One of the most important men in Rangers history, Lester Patrick

To give you perspective, I’m near 33 years old, being born in 1982. As I mentioned above, I love reading and learning from history. The 1994 Rangers are a childhood memory for me. However, for many fans, I feel like their knowledge of Rangers history is 1994 & Henrik Lundqvist.  This is a book that anyone who calls him or herself a Rangers fan should read, and a book that is mandatory for any new fan following the club.

We will be starting a petition on DOINOW.com very shortly, asking the Rangers to retire Frank Boucher’s #7. Sure, Rod Gilbert has #7 up there already, but we already have #9 (Graves & Bathgate) retired twice. To me, Boucher is the greatest Ranger ever, and it is a travesty that the team does not honor him, especially for a franchise that is the least successful, Cup-wise, than any other Original 6 team. This book has many stories on Boucher, Gilbert, Graves & Bathgate, just like they have stories about anyone who made an impact on this franchise, from the announcers, to the fans, to the management and to of course, the players. There are even stories on Ranger bars, practical jokes (Fotiu’s story stands out) and players who were almost Rangers. (Joe Sakic)

The book covers the entire history of the team, from 1926 to the playoff run of last year. I would never claim to know everything, but I do know my Rangers history. I smiled reading this book with the knowledge being dropped. Just recently, I was talking about Lester Patrick’s 1928 Stanley Cup (Oldest player to ever play & win a Cup) and also talking about the Terry Sawchuk Long Beach story. Both stories are told in detail in “100 Things”.

This book will also help a new fan get a grasp and feel for the team. Any controversial argument was covered. Why are the Rangers the least successful team of the Original 6 era? It’s explained in detail in this book. (Teams had claims on players within a 50 mile radius of their home base and since the best players were from Canada, NY was at a disadvantage.) World War II was also discussed and how it affected the NHL. Of course, playing all your Stanley Cup playoff games on the road, because of a fucking circus didn’t help matters either.

The authors also didn’t shy away from violence, concussions or the long term affects. They talked about the hypocritical nature, of us as fans, that love the big fights, but also don’t want to see guys drooling & being chronically depressed, long after their playing days are over.

Will the authors have to add a new chapter after this years Stanley Cup playoffs?

Several players, coaches and executives were interviewed for this book. Quotes from interviews and Ranger autobiographies were used as well. Trades were examined. Rivalries are discussed. I really can’t think of any topic that wasn’t discussed. Even my good friend Ricky Otazu is quoted as you can see here:

Only Ricky!

Overall, this might be the most complete book on the New York Rangers. It’s a must-read for any fan. There are other Ranger books that talk topics specifically or player biographies, but for a comprehensive book, this is it. You will not find a better Ranger book out there for the money.

“100 Things Every Rangers Fan Should Know Before They Die” (and again, don’t let the title make you think the book is for a kid) is available at bookstores, I presume. Are there even any more bookstores left? There’s none by me.

If you’re like me, you will pick this book up on the cheap over at Amazon.com.

The direct link to purchase the book is at:

http://www.amazon.com/Things-Rangers-Fans-Should-Before/dp/160078917X

For $13 bucks, you’d have to be dumber than an Islander fan not to get it! It’s also available on Kindle for $6, if that’s your game.

Keep checking DOINow.com for Ranger game recaps, thoughts, opinions and more!

LGR!

ICWT!

Sean McCaffrey

BULLSMC@aol.com

@NYCTHEMIC on the twitter gimmick

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