Isles To Brooklyn. Viewed from a guy who left Long Island too, only he chose the hipsterdom of Silverlake instead of Brooklyn.

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Yesterday morning, I awoke to a series of text messages from the East Coast alerting me there was a certain forty-year old Long Island suburbanite who had decided to shake up his life and move to Brooklyn. You know the type. The kid who peaked in elementary school. King of the playground from grades three – six. Seriously, there wasn’t another kid in the district who could keep him from winning those years. He was one badass kid. But that was the early 1980’s. Now, he’s turned into a pudgy, sad sack, who spends way too much time on Reddit in his parents’ basement.

Since his glory years, his life has really hit the skids. Oh sure, there were a few occasional bright spots in his life. He had a very memorable Easter Sunday marathon. Hung out with some cool kids named Pat and then Pierre. Even made of fool of those steel mill workers Mario and Jaromir when they were kicking all ass in the early 90’s. Then after some of the roughest years, including trying to change his wardrobe to mostly wavy teal pajamas and altering his look to be more of a grizzled long shore man, he found some hope when a new benefactor arrived. This rich dude owned Computer Associates, and briefly it looked like he was going to help our hapless hero get his life on track. After all, he was still living in his out-dated, decrepit parent’s basement. He really wanted to move out, but his parents were pretty demanding and petty. They liked having their thirty-year old son live at home, but wouldn’t let him do anything to change the place up and make it suitable to bring some ladies over, not that any girls in their prime really wanted to sign on to anything with this guy. Not with his recent track record, uncertain future, and living in his parents grey slab out-dated basement.

Over the next few years, feeling sorry for himself, he end up falling under the influence of some pretty shady characters. There was this mad man, named Mike, who taught him the ill pursuit of self-destruction by shipping off any new prospects for better jobs and friends, to hang out with slow, Russian night club players. He then got so excited to have a seemingly cool friend name Rick, who convinced him to sign a BFF contract that would last fifteen years. He had no clue Rick was moments from falling apart with his own problems, and wouldn’t be able to hang much over the duration of their BFF contract.

So yesterday, like so many Long Island sad sacks, with no direction, and seemingly a wasted a few decades spent drinking Budweiser’s at Mulchay’s Pub in Wantagh, he decided to move to Brooklyn. He discovered a glimmer of hope of in getting to know a young hot shot kid named John, who convinced him to start at least going to the gym twice a week. John hangs out with a younger crowd, but sometimes they remind him of kids he used to know. Kids he really hasn’t seen in almost thirty years. So with newfound confidence he tells everyone he’s going to Brooklyn. Here, he’ll finish losing the pudge, wear tighter pants, grow the Bryan Trottier mustache he always wish he could have as a kid, and start a new life. After all, he muses, over a PBR, "Brooklyn is still technically part of Long Island." He’s right, except it offers new opportunities. Besides, his parents’ basement was ready to collapse in on itself…

My emotions about the move to Brooklyn are mixed. For one, I’ve been pretty set on this option as soon as the plans for Barclay’s Center were announced. It made too much sense. The Islanders needed to leave Nassau Coliseum in the spring of 2015. The county had fought owner Charles Wang for over a decade on his efforts to replace, refurbish, and enhance, with his own money, mind you, the whole Coliseum area. The Light House project, the most notable, which would have created a center of entertainment, business and luxury condos for Long Island. Ultimately, two years ago, the massive plan had trickled down to a new Nassau Coliseum, but only if the taxpayers voted yes to front the funds. Of course, they voted no. I knew then the Islanders were moving... somewhere. The worst-case scenario sent the Islanders to Quebec, or Seattle. The best were rumors a collection of players from the glory years would swoop in, buy the team, and keep them on Long Island with some mystery magic plan. I kept my eye on Brooklyn.

The Islanders have been the only "Long Island" professional sports team for a long time. The truth is though, besides from their historic dynasty in the early 1980’s, this has been one of the worst run franchises of all time. I love them more than any team and have been addicted since I discovered hockey in 1992. That’s twenty years. In twenty years, I’ve seen them make the playoffs five times and move past the first round once. I’ve seen them draft future NHL stars, only to watch them be traded off for mind-boggling pathetic returns. And all this while their arena became the most outdated eye sore in the league.

I understand a certain sadness at change, especially any "Move". And for the few diehard fans that drive to the games, this will be very different. But Long Islanders go into Queens for Met games, The Bronx for Yankee games, etc. The Barclay’s is right off the Atlantic terminal for the LIRR. It’s pretty ideal.

I feel lucky that Barclays was an option. More importantly, I’m excited about the prospect of a hockey team in Brooklyn. I grew up with the historic knowledge that my grandmother was Brooklyn Dodgers fan, and there’s something generational in knowing that a Brooklyn team will be so important to me as well. It’s worthy to note, I left Long Island a few years back. I now reside in Los Angeles, California. I only have the chance to see Islander games around Christmas time, and from view 3000 miles away, Brooklyn seems pretty close to Uniondale. I also enjoy seeing the Isles whenever they play the Kings or Anaheim. Last year I sat behind Josh Bailey’s aunt in Anaheim, and two seasons ago, I waited online for urinals with Howie and Butch (TMI?) This past spring I was a tourist to the L.A. Kings championship, and now, I can envision the party at the Staple Center one-day happening outside Barclay’s.

Talk to me at the end of 2015, and I’m sure I’ll be sad to see the Isles leave the old barn. Until then I’ll talk about how it’s ugly and prehistoric, but it has some of the best sightlines you’ll ever find for a hockey game. Plus, the few times I’ve been to a NHL playoff game there, I was astounded at how wall-shaking loud it can become. Here’s hoping they give Nassau County one more chance to cheer so damn loud they won’t need a wrecking ball to finish it off… I mean, I hope there are no people in it when it collapses. It’s a metaphor. I just want them to have a few more playoff games before Brooklyn. Okay? Besides, who doesn’t want to see the (cough) Manhattan Rangers get their asses handed to them a few more times at the Coliseum?

All right, enough excitement. Time to go back to hating the NHL and NHLPA for putting us through another lockout.



<em>Submitted FanPosts do not necessarily reflect the views of this blog or SB Nation. If you're reading this statement, you pass the fine print legalese test. Four stars for you.</em>

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