“No More 1994”
By Paulo Molina, aka “Miami Pimp”
Disclaimer: Any views or opinions presented in this blog entry are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Carp, The Journal News, or its parent company. Read at your own risk.
bush-league, adj. (boosh-leeg)
1. being of an inferior class or group of its kind; marked by a lack of sophistication or professionalism;
2. describing a substandard and deficient ice hockey team, namely the New York Rangers.
Over the years, you’ve read me accurately and poignantly describe the Rangers as everything that they truly are: As a “pedestrian” squad composed of street-skill has-beens , as a “Mickey Mouse” roster filled with stale second-acts , and often as disjointed “clowns” who shouldn’t be caught playing in the Mexican second division, much less the NHL.
This past season, the jokers did a masterful job making everyone around the league believe that they were for real. They started off slowly – two losses across the pond in pansyland – but then pulled off a consistent, game-in/game-out effort to contend for the Presidents’ Trophy and come within a sniff of Stanley’s Pie after a valiant but ultimately futile playoff run. They had this entire blog fooled that they had finally turned the page and become contenders.
Didn’t fool me.
For all their determination and so-called accomplishments, the Rangers didn’t’ really make many strides as a team or as individuals. Richards came in and ended up with numbers below his season averages. Gaborik did the same. And for all the talk of rookie Hagelin and sophomore Del Zotto, both struggled throughout the season.
In fact, the two players that many would rightly consider the most consistent (and perhaps most talented) of the bunch – Christensen and Wolski – were actually shipped off to other lands before given a fair chance to display their mettle. Their caliber was clearly missed during the playoff crawl.
Some pulled their weight and had practical seasons. The first names that come to mind are Callahan and Girardi. But therein lies the problem: For all his leadership attributes, Callahan fell short when the team faced bedeviled adversity and Girardi looked tired and slow and failed to deliver when the team needed his bread-and butter – his offense – the most.
There’s an easy fix for the latter. His name is “Redden” and he’d immediately step in to reestablish himself as the heart and soul of the team on the Rangers’ No. 1 pairing. But he’s been thrown to the wolves, the implications of which are too complex to note here … so we’ll leave it to another entry.
Most of you probably disagree with my assessment. You guys yearn for Nash and praise Lundqvist as a savior. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Nash’s arrival, while promising, probably ruins the team’s chemistry. And Lundqvist’s goaltending supremacy, while impressive and heroic to you, masquerades our weaksauce defense.
You don’t want the truth, because deep down in places you don’t talk about at game-watching parties, you want me on this blog … you need me on this blog. I use words like “two-bit”, “amateur-hour,” “bush-league.” I use these words as the backbone of a life spent evaluating this team. You use them as a punchline. But see, I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a group that comments daily under the blanket of the very criticism that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it.
So I would rather you just shook your head and said “Thank you” and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you open up Word and submit your own post. Either way, I could care less what you think this Rangers team is entitled to. What they’re destined to is a lot more losing and a whole lot more mediocrity.
Coming to you straight from Carp’s favorite American city … this is Miami Pimp, signing out.
(Editor’s note: For those new to the blog, Miami is kind of known for his negative tone, to say the least. But he’s actually as big a Rangers fan as there is … in his own, odd and unique way — Carp).