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New York Rangers Fans' Chants Fail to Make the Grade

When you loudly mock the opposing team, you want your barbs to sting. But Rangers fans' attempts just leave Islanders fans with puzzled looks on their faces.

Literacy now!
Literacy now!
Jeff Zelevansky

For starters, I come in peace, Rangers fans. I'm just here to help.

As I stood watching the Islanders lose to the Rangers in a game played in Antarctica (thanks to Can-Am Spyder, an official sponsor of the NHL Stadium Series and best friend to my wallet for hooking me up with free tickets), I knew I was in for some hardcore taunting from Rangers fans on the long walk, subway ride, and train ride home.

It was warranted. The Rangers won. The Islanders lost. To the victors go the spoils.

But what the victors did with the spoils was downright disappointing.

I'm not sure if you've ever been to an Islanders/Rangers contest and endured listening to the Rangers fans' "clever" chants, so I'm going to run through a few of them for you.

1. Whistle, Whistle, Whistle 'Potvin Sucks!'

Jean? Felix?

Oh, you're chanting about Denis sucking?

I'm not exactly sure how many 20-something Rangers fans actually saw Denis Potvin play, but I can assure you he did not suck. Not only did he not suck, but the guy is in the Hall of Fame and a Top 10 (just to be safe) all-time NHL defenseman.

Okay I get that your dad told you about a hit Denis Potvin once laid on Ulf Nilsson which left him with a broken ankle. Nilsson never claimed it to be a dirty hit, but if you want to villainize Potvin for it -- even pay good money to desecrate your own jersey for it -- that's fine. I'm sure you were all enraged in 1979 when it happened. Yes, things happened in the 70's that didn't play out in Eric Forman's basement.

But a "dirty" hit (which it wasn't) does not make a player suck. That's as stupid as us yelling out "Messier Sucks." Messier didn't suck, at least not before 1997, but I know a lot of Isles fans that can't stand him.

The hit happened 35 years ago. Most of you weren't even born. Move on.

2. 'We Want Fishsticks'

Sure, a misguided ownership's attempt at changing the Islanders jersey was pretty comical. And yes, the sailor on our crest bore a striking resemblance to the Gorton's fisherman.

Who doesn't love a good fishstick every now and then?

The club realized its mistake and corrected it as quickly as the league would allow. It has been 16 years since the Islanders wore the fisherman on their jerseys, yet you guys are still chanting about it.

The Rangers wore a jersey with a big Statue of Liberty head on it for the better part of a decade. I found that quite silly, but you don't see me chanting "We Want Lady."

Unless I'm totally mistaking your chant, and you're all really just hungry for seafood. In which case, I apologize.

3. '1983, Last Cup You'll Ever See'

The first part of that chant is historically correct. And the second part of that chant I'm not even sure I can argue with at this point. Plus, you get points for rhyming.

But isn't this chant just an unoriginal bite off our 1940 chant -- which had actual sting to it?

And yes, it has been a long 30 years since the Islanders have hoisted the Stanley Cup (when they won four in a row) But if you're not forgetting, it has been 20 years since the Rangers have won their last Cup (when they won their first, and only, of the last 70 years). Hell, you haven't even been to a Stanley Cup final since 1994.

Not really something you should be bragging about, especially since most of you were in diapers when it happened. I suggest you vacate the Cup chanting altogether and move on to something else.

You won the Ice Bowl. You're ahead of us in the standings, and the last 20 years have definitely been better to you than it has to us Islanders fans. You deserve the right to taunt loudly in unison.

But for your own self-respect, you should do something worthwhile with that right, not dwell on a player who single-handedly schooled your franchise 30 years ago. The Islanders have given you plenty of fodder over the past decade. It's time you use it and give your chants an update.