Guest Blogger: Yergs


Very Superstitious: A Game in the Life of a Ranger Fan

By Jeff Yerger

“Mom! Where’s the shrine?” My mother, sitting on her designated chair, senses the panic in my voice and becomes flustered. “What shrine? What are you talking about?”

“The Rangers shrine, you know, with the towel and everything?” “Wha… oh geez! I can’t believe I forgot it.”

“No wonder we’re losing,” my sister chirps from the other side of the room. At this point, we need all the help we can get. It’s Game 5 of the series between the Rangers and the Washington Capitals, and time is running out for our beloved Blueshirts who are down 2-1 with only a few minutes left in the third period. How could we have been so stupid to let an error like this go unnoticed?

My family, including my uncle and a few cousins, is gathered around our living room in our rightful game-time spots where we sit every game. My mother, as she searches for the Rangers “shrine”, sits in a chair to the right of my father, who is on the couch with me. My seat for every Rangers game is at the end of that couch, with my legs stretched out on the coffee table, and I have to sit on my hands unless I’m reaching for a beer. It’s a wonder my hands don’t turn into the color of my Rangers sweater by the end of the night. My poor sister and her boyfriend have to share a chair to my left, because one night during the season they were sitting in MY spot while I had to sit in that crappy, unfamiliar chair, and the Rangers lost badly to the Penguins. Needless to say, they haven’t taken my spot since.

“Got it!” My mom finished setting up the shrine, which consists of a Rangers playoff rally towel laid flat on a table next to my mom. She then places a tacky light-up St. Anthony statue no bigger than my index finger on the towel’s Rangers logo for added help. “Thank God,” says my dad, who leans forward as if he’s got the Stanley Cup strapped to his back, eyes glued to the television. Thank God is right though, because with two minutes left in the third and a 3-2 series deficit looming, things aren’t looking so great for our boys and I’m ready to throw my beer bottle at the TV.

How could this be happening? I think to myself. I did all the right things. I’m wearing my lucky shamrock underwear (because, you know, the Rangers wins are dependent upon what underwear I choose to put on that day). I have my blue Ranger jersey on, because last game I wore my heritage jersey and they lost.  Heck, I even listened to my unofficial Rangers 2011-12 season theme song, “Midnight City” by M83, earlier in the day (the song played at the end of the second episode of HBO’s 24/7 series; all I picture is Henrik Lundqvist driving off in slow motion with a big grin on his face after a good win in Phoenix).

Despite all this, the same old Rangers-Caps story is being re-run on NBC right before my eyes, and loads of questions begin to flood my brain. Why can’t we seem to beat these guys in the playoffs? Are we destined to do this year after year, like some cruel punishment from the hockey gods for signing Brashear? Will my old college roommate from D.C. ever stop gloating about his bandwagon Capitals? Ugh! I can’t help but wonder if this whole thing is my fault. Perhaps I missed a step in my pre-game routine.

Suddenly, a gift in the form of a high stick via Joel Ward brings a four-minute man advantage for the Rangers. Maybe it was the shrine they needed after all. Okay okay, I think to myself, don’t get overly excited. 21.3 seconds? There’s no way. I notice that my heart is racing, and my hands that I’m sitting on have become uncomfortably numb. Gotta stay focused. Gotta help the Rangers concentrate. I lean in as the teams line up for the faceoff. The referee drops the puck and my heart is beating so loud I can barely hear Doc Emrick wailing about “waffleboards” and “ricochets” on the TV. The puck seems to be bouncing everywhere, like a bad pinball machine at a dive bar. But just as the clock begins to take its final breath… redemption! The hockey gods smile upon Brad Richards, who to this day I will never figure out how the heck he got that puck through to the net, but he did and it was glorious.

My whole family roars with excitement, jumping, hugging, and screaming. I feel like if I jumped just a little bit higher, I’d be able to fly. Then to top things off and save my heart from another three-overtime game, Marc Staal nets the game-winner in timely fashion. Halleluiah! We did it! It was one of those games Ranger fans will talk about and remember forever. Maybe it was the shrine, maybe it was my underwear, or maybe it was some sort of superstition I haven’t even thought of yet. Whatever it was, the Rangers won, and that’s all that matters now.

We all have our superstitions, right? It’s the type thing only a Ranger fan can relate to. My best friend and his father, who has had season tickets since the ‘70s, must sit in the same seats every game. My friend won’t even drink while watching the Rangers only because he wants to help them concentrate as much as he can. Meanwhile, the guy in the seats next to them has about 20 Ranger pins on his hat and a lucky toothpick from 1994 he brings with him to every game.

I remember watching “Oh Baby”, the Rangers Stanley Cup video, when I was little, and they interviewed this woman before Game 7 of the Finals. She said her brother HAS to listen to the game in the bathroom because every time he does, the Rangers win. Poor guy, though it obviously worked, and I’m sure there were plenty of moments during that game when he was glad he was sitting on his toilet seat. There was this other dude from the video who brought his lucky Lone Ranger silver bullet to the game, clearly doing his part to help his beloved Rangers break that pesky 54-year curse. These people deserve rings for their efforts!

Superstitions are all part of the fun. Heck, even the players have their own pre-game rituals: taping/re-taping sticks, listening to music, putting equipment on in a certain order. Man, I was so attached to this year’s team that I would do anything to help them win, even if it meant wearing a certain pair of underwear on game-day. It’s not an easy job being a Ranger fan, but I wouldn’t have it any other way, and next year I’ll do it all over again.

AP photo, above.


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  1. Early on, Patrick Roy once actually had a conversation with his goal posts. That night, many posts rebounded pucks out of harm’s way, and he continued throughout his career talking to the posts. Every night, pre-game, he also skated out to the blue line and stared at the posts, imagining them shrinking in. Many, many athletes spend their careers trying to maintain a steady rhythm and a pro mojo. When everything’s working, they want repetition, as with golfers who have so honed their tee shots that they take a slow practice swing on the tee only to recall the imprinted rhythm. On short shots, they get a little less confident and need repeated practice swings until the feel is secure. My uncle was once a Tour golfer and he told me on certain days, out of the 380 or so dimples on a Titleist, he consistently saw the one he wanted to hit and hit it. Zen. Alas, it comes and goes.

  2. Guest bloggers are the worst on

    You expect me to read that drivel? The Rangers are losing because he forgot his blankee? After the first 3 paragraphs you have to say enough is enough.

  3. Wonderful human interest account of what it takes to be a fan in the truest sense of what fandom is all about. And as it happens it coincides with what I was preparing to post what I have to call my own
    Doan Hunt. I’ll leave it till later in the day.

  4. Fun post, Yergs…

    It’s was a 54 year drought, not 40 as you state in the blog. No Ranger fan should ever forget that horrible, horrible drought, even those too young to remember than byfuglien drought!

  5. It’s kinda like one rainy season in a 72 year drought. It could be worse. The rangers could be the cubs. And some of those drought years were close calls. Some. 1997-2004 was a drOught. 1956-1967 were drought years. Close calls 1981 1983 1986 1992 1997 2007 2012 ( and the early 1970s and 1979 when I was five and don’t remember)

  6. Yergs

    I’m very superstitious as well. I have my own uniform as well.

    If the Range as are in dire need of a goal, I”ll wear my hat backward. You can’t love overdo it because it’ll lose its effect.

    That night I used it and Richards scored!

  7. Thank you Yergs for a fantastic post. I was transported to a very special memory. I related so closely to your account. I also find it hilarious about your choice of song. I literally researched the soundtrack & went thru a ton of songs before striking gold w M83. Thank you for the feel good post!

  8. Great post.

    I try to match the jersey color of the team when watching at home. I keep tabs on which jersey I wear to the games I go to for their win/loss records. As much as we know that none of it actually makes a difference to the players it’s fun to have a ritual.

  9. Walter, are you making a finesse association, comparing Roy’s talk to the goal posts to this guest post (pun intended)? Brilliant, if that’s the case…

  10. Why is MDZ going to Blue Jay games with Prust and Wolski? Shouldn’t he be going with Asham and Halpern??

  11. YorktownRanger on


    Excellent post! Had Stevie Wonder playing in my head for the full read.

    My quandary is sweat shirts and sweaters. My son and I ended up with the same Rangers sweat shirt (a totally different ironic story). For what ever reason he left it when he moved out. If I’m not careful, and put on his shirt on a game night, we lose.

    I think I just need to pack it up and send it to him.

  12. Leetchhalloffame on

    DelZ trying to follow the mantra to do something for those who are less fortunate in life.

  13. I’m pretty sure everyone listening to M83 is what screwed us up. Great band and song, but wasn’t the 2011-12 Rangers song “This Is How We Do It”?

  14. Great post, Yergs!

    I wonder if that feeling in the air from yesterday which was accompanied by a grotesque odor is gone today…

  15. The song after Rangers wins in MSG was Good Feeling by Flo Rida. Previous years the Rangers win song had been Viva la Vida by Coldplay.

  16. Their song should be “Bush-league” by “Amateur-hour” group with Cookie-Monster as their lead vocalist, don’t you think, Miami? :-)

  17. It’s a quote from a Nintendo 64 scrolling shooter game, Star Fox. I posted it one day out of boredom, but a bunch of the other ‘heads instantly recognized it and so now I’ve just been posting it on practically every thread for carcillos and giggles.

  18. lots of superstitions in my house as well such as assigned seats…lol. Glad to see it is not just me

  19. Of course! Everyone’s heard of Seabiscuit and War Admiral. And Gulfstream and Aqueduct.

  20. Presumably Chico is rambling on and on about his idol Marty while Hungary and Serbia keenly contest a vital round-robin match in Group A?

  21. OK Folks…i finally did it.

    I had to satisfy myself about Doan and just what kind of player he really is’ So I forced myself to watch that entire last game between the Coyotes and the Blue Jackets. I kept track as best I could to every move that Doan made, and I wasn’t looking for spectacular stuff, just everyday playing as any player would play. I wondered what he did or didn’t do that could justify the payroll demands he carried, and also how he conducted himself……….he really didn’t show much in the way of skill level, effort, and or dynamic activity. Nothing wrong of course, but not much to make him the odds on favorite to be accepted to another team…and certainly not Rangers. I did get to see an enormous one timer that got thru the impenetrable goalie Mike Smith, by Nash, but my impression of Doan, in a nutshell, is much ado about not all that much. If Rangers want him, eh,” chacon a son gout.” Each to his own taste.

    One charming note I found there in that arena was the introduction to “Ruthi”…a benevolent 100 year old lady who has her own sky box with her name emblazoned above it, and is a remarkable tribute to a wonderful fan, and an excellent organization that knows how to treat fandom. I suppose that when you have a goaltender who has just stopped 54 shots on goal, you would probably fall into the shadows a bit. My advice to Rangers…you want him, fine, need him?…I doubt it. But at your price..not his.

  22. She wouldn’t cooperate, Carp, she’s a spawn of Apple.

    Then again, neither Star Fox nor Google actually do barrel rolls. They do aileron rolls. So I guess nobody actually does a barrel roll.

    Somebody should actually do a barrel roll!

  23. You Doan own me
    Doan try to change me in anyway
    You Doan own me
    Doan tie me Doan, cos I’ll never stay

    I Doan tell you what to say
    I Doantell you what to do
    So just let me be myself
    That’s all I ask of you

  24. Why is it that everyone driving faster than you is considered an idiot and everyone driving slower than you is a moron?

  25. What a sad day. The 25 year old mother of the 6 year old girl murdered by that pyscho batman killer had a miscarriage today and is likely paralyzed for the rest of her life.

  26. I took a course in speed waiting. Now I can wait for an hour in only ten minutes.

  27. was festival day today.
    hit the St. Demitrios fest
    Our Lady of Mt. Carmel fest
    for a brief culinary trip around the world!

  28. Tomorrow tough day: my B.Day, coinsided with repeted formal wed. ceremony for my daughter, then I’m going to Bretaigne to my son in law parents horse farm on the seaside, where I will check, if the horses can really swim in an open ocean.

  29. You can’t have an intelligent hockey convo even to Sport Palace gendarme here, much less with a taxi drivers or velorickshaws. (…and it’s not because of lack of comprehensive French). Arghhhh!

  30. Good night to all of you, good morning to me and good luck to all good people on earth!

  31. Just watched bunch of Nash highlights…kid’s a BEAST! Scores tons of goals by powering his way to the net or around the net in general. That should help our scoring and PP tremendously.

  32. Hello it’s me, I am also visiting this web site regularly, this web page is really pleasant and the people are in fact sharing nice thoughts.

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