|Talbot Front & Center! Hank is somewhere in the back|
Welcome everyone to another blog here on DOINOW.com. As always, check out the right hand of the site for the archives, live tweets, the search button and all those other goodies.
If you haven’t seen it already, my game recap from Game 2 is now up on the site. You can view it directly by clicking this link:
For today, I would like to share you my stories of the Rangers Hockey House.
If you’re a hockey fan, no matter who you root for, this is the best time of the year. It’s also the most stressful time too!
For the New York Rangers, it is tough to be a fan of this team. I don’t have to explain to Ranger fans why you root for them, but it is not easy. The Rangers don’t exactly have the best history, and in fact, have the worst history, championship wise, out of all the Original 6 teams. However, we stay true blue and live & die with the team.
For me, what makes it rough for me, is the financial aspect. We all know hockey is a better sport live than in person. It’s not even debatable. Ranger tickets are the most expensive in the NHL. When you consider the Islanders only play an hour away from MSG and the Devils are only 10 minutes away, it is insane that the Rangers can charge double, triple, quadruple more for tickets than their competitors. However, it’s New York City. The Rangers are one of the best teams in hockey. So whatever they ask for, they get it.
In a market where the Islanders & Devils have $10 tickets, very fairly priced family packages and give away all sorts of merchandise and gimmicks to their season ticket holders, the Rangers charge their fans through the nose, give them nothing but ticket price increases and have a brand new building where the bathroom lines are still 30 minutes long during intermission.
Making everything worse, who is getting all this money? James Dolan, one of the biggest idiots and most unlikeable people sports.
Yet, despite all this, like most teams that we are fans of, it’s passed down from generation-to-generation. It’s what you know. So year-after-year, season-after-season, my wallet takes a pounding that even the loosest porn star could be proud of. Hey, after all, there are worse vices out there!
|RANGERSTOWN – bring your credit card|
When the Rangers announced “Rangers Hockey House”, which is also sometimes promoted as “RANGERSTOWN”, for last year’s playoff run, I was intrigued. After all, it was a free event. With all the money the Rangers get out of me, free sounded great!
I’ve posted pictures in previous blogs on the site, but last year, I was able to meet Jeff Beukeboom, Adam Graves, Ron Greschner, Glenn Anderson and several other ex-Rangers. I used to be a big autograph fan as a kid, as again, I’ve talked about in previous blogs (CHECK THE ARCHIVES, I BEG OF YOU, I SWEAR IT’S FUN!) but in this generation, you don’t have to waste $9.99 on a disposable camera! It’s so easy to take pictures these days, and in this social media digital age, we can now take a picture and share it with all our friends, acquaintances and enemies within seconds.
I don’t think anyone, fans, players, coaches or anyone involved with MSG decisions, expected RANGERSTOWN to last until the end of the season last year. The Rangers had their historic run, and as time went along, the powers-that-be tried to add different activities so it wouldn’t be repetitive.
I really enjoyed RANGERSTOWN last year. The Rangers gave out a bunch of free stuff, such as shirts, pucks, bottle openers and other silly shit. You got to meet ex-players. You got to meet the MSG studio guys and reporters, like Ron Duguay, John Giannone, etc. There were live interviews, just for the fanbase. They had stuff for the young fans, such as different types of games where you can test your slapshot and stick handling skills. There were also exhibits, such as Lundqvist’s Team Sweden Gold Medal jersey, Wayne Gretzky’s first skates, and other historic items.
To sum it up, it was a really good time and I thought the Rangers really hit a homerun (pardon the baseball reference) with this concept.
When the Rangers clinched the playoffs, I knew RANGERSTOWN was a success because the beat reporters and MSG staff were already tweeting about 2015’s RANGERSTOWN. As a fan, who enjoys supporting the team on and off the ice, I was looking forward to it too.
|This wasn’t at Rangerstown last year!|
As I said in the Game 2 recap blog, I attended the game with JEFFREY. JEFFREY would rather bend the elbow than do these fan events. I decided to head into the city an hour early, then meet up with everyone as they were arriving into Penn Station. The train ride into the city, alone, was worth it. If you’re worried about going by yourself, don’t worry about it. The RANGERSTOWN staff is very accommodating and they have people all over, to take pictures for you with your phone. (I mean, really, outside of true shutterbugs, who carries a camera around?).
I know some people would rather socialize at a bar and think these fan events are for the young people, but RANGERSTOWN is for any fan. Old, young, twerker, black, white, asian, disabled, people with bad gas, people with glass eyes, etc. The only people not welcome are non-Ranger fans!
This year, RANGERSTOWN grew in square footage, as they added an upstairs level. With many new fans and tourists crawling out of the woodwork, this was a great idea. It means the place won’t be so jammed up, which is important as the weather gets hotter. Everyone is wearing heavy jerseys, and you don’t need to be shoulder-to-shoulder with the miniscule amount of fans that have questionable showering habits.
With that being said, here’s some of the pictures I took to share with you, the DOINOW.com reader:
|You have to sign up first, basically waiving your rights in case you get hurt inside. I have yet to see a fight inside yet! This playoffs pass gives you immediate, front of the line access to Rangerstown during their hours of operation.|
|Items available at the official team store at RANGERSTOWN. Note, $36 for a motherfucking hat, that will be sold for $5 after the playoff run.|
|A faux locker room set-up, you can win prizes in the lockers|
|Brad Park doing an interview for the people in attendance|
|It was an honor to meet a true legend, Eddie Giacomin. A lady, about 25 years older than me, nearly fainted when she met him.|
|People pay money for autographs from Hall of Famers. The Rangers gave it away for free. It would be nice if the Rangers could announce who will be there ahead of time though.|
|A skills competition for the kids. Light that Flower up!|
|There are all different backdrops you can get your picture in front of. Also cool, some of these back drops have cell phone charging stations while you wait in line.|
|While they can’t even sniff Francesa’s microphone in the ratings, Kay & LaGreca do cover hockey|
|NHL 15 PS4 video game tournaments are now common place at RANGERSTOWN|
|There are all sorts of contests and raffles at RANGERSTOWN|
|A social media wall, covering live tweets/facebook. There’s another cell phone charging station here too.|
|Here, you take over the microphone and call classic Ranger moments. Anytime I walked by this thing, someone else was screaming “MATTEAU! MATTEAU! MATTEAU!”|
|Along with video game tournaments, there are also air hockey tournaments|
|There are cardboard cut-outs at RANGERSTOWN. I thought this pic would be funny for the people with a sense of humor.|
|When it’s all said and done, RANGERSTOWN is great, but nothing beats seeing the game live at MSG!|
For more on RANGERSTOWN, check out Rangers.NHL.com or check out the official NYR app on your smart phone for details. Every Rangers fan should do it at least once!
See you tomorrow night for the Game 3 recap.
LET’S GO RANGERS
@NYCTHEMIC on twitter