June 23, 1776. Philadelphia signs goalie John Hancock to a 9-year, $51 million contract. After two straight playoff losses and unbearable pressure, Hancock is eventually traded to the Connecticut Whalers for draft picks and furs.
First of all, it's July 4th. Why are you inside reading about hockey?
Seriously, go outside and eat a hot dog or something. And if you've already eaten one, then go jump in a pool. I don't care whose it is.
And if you're Canadian, um...it's Wednesday. Halfway towards the weekend.
However you choose to celebrate America's independence, please take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices and bravery of our founding fathers. These intelligent and irrepressible men, driven by a vision of a unified, autonomous nation ruled by its people and not an absolute monarchy, gathered together and made a stand, knowing full well that a difficult, bloody war - one they might not win - would irrevocably ensue.
They felt so strongly about their need to break away from the English crown that they put their lives and the lives of an entire nation on the line because it was, unquestionably, the right and proper way to establish the future of their country. They put aside petty squabbles and fought together to establish democracy for their people.
Then, when you're done reflecting, read this stupid parody about rooting for a struggling hockey team.
Bossy Bless America.
Oh, play this while you read. It might make this sound better.
A DECLARATION OF ISLES DEPENDENCE
When in the course of hockey events, it becomes necessary for one people to reinforce the fanatical bonds which have connected them with a downtrodden team, a decent respect to the opinions of media, friends, family and internet knuckleheads requires that they should declare the issues which both impair and impel them to the devotion of their team of choice.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all teams are not created equal, that some are endowed by their management with certain alienating attributes, that among these are stupidity, unpredictability and the pursuit of cheaper players. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that allegiances long established should not be changed for light and impatient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that Islanders fans are more disposed to suffer than most. But, despite a long train of abuses, such as poor draft picks, idiotic trades, puzzling player development or crumbling homesteads, it is the Islanders fan's calling, it is their duty, to throw off such aggravation, and to provide continuing guards for the future security of their team's fanbase.
Such has been the patient suffering of these Islanders fans; and such is now the necessity which compels them to re-establish their fandom. The history of the present is a history of repeated injuries, injustices and invalids, all having a direct result in the establishment of an absolutely poor place in the standings. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world:
*They have refused to spend more money, the most wholesome and necessary good for the long-term health of the team.
*They have been forbidden by governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance in regards to building a new arena, and are almost to be suspended in their operation till a new lease should be obtained at a building in a different municipality.
*They have dissolved player contracts repeatedly, opposing with manly firmness the retention of potentially useful players despite the calls of the people.
*They have endeavored to prevent the population of the bench with a "real NHL coach"
*They have erected a multitude of third jerseys of questionable taste.
*They have signed a goalie to a 15-year contract of employment. I mean, c'mon.
We, therefore, the fans of the New York Islanders, do, in the name, and by authority of the good people of Earth, solemnly publish and declare, that these New York Islanders are our designated team. They may not be absolved from all mistakes egregious and menial, but that our allegiance to the blue and orange, and that all familial and emotional connection between us and them and the County of Nassau is, and ought to be, totally devoted; and that as free and intelligent hockey fans, we have full power to levy insults, conclude assumptions of incompetence, contract temporary alliances to other NHL teams during the post season, establish angry communications with others on message boards and blogs, and to do all other actions and emotions which passionate and pissed-off fans may of right do.
And for our support of these New York Islanders, with a firm devotion to the protection of a worthy franchise and a glorious history and a Drive For Five, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred life-long allegiance.
Now can we please get to the playoffs this season? Thanks.
Happy Fourth of July, everyone.