Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Meeting a “Dark Ranger”

Photo courtesy The Dark Ranger

Carrie has long been in contact with a fellow Rangers fan on Facebook, though they had never met.  That meeting finally took place on Sunday before the Blues game at Stout, probably the premier pub near MSG.  Though it’s a loud place, the food is good and the drink menu is mighty.

(Plus, in full disclosure, their sister pub, The Long Room, is where Carrie and I met.  I’ll always be grateful for that.)

Carrie had told me that her Facebook friend is a blogger, and she expected that he and I would hit it right off.  Yes, I think that is fair to say the least.  He writes as “The Graying Mantis” for The Dark Ranger, a truly fair and balanced look at all things Blueshirts.

What struck me with TGM (I'll protect his true identity) was that he doesn’t just look at things with a Rangers bias.  I gathered that he wouldn't mind me ripping the team or the Garden, and some of their lame practices (the stick salute and some of their other marketing shtick).  He also struck me as a guy who didn’t just know the current scene, or go for the easy favorites.  He knows his stuff.  He knows his history.

To that point, TGM wore a Dan Girardi jersey (I still like calling them “sweaters”).  Let’s take that a step farther.  TGM worked with the manufacturer, insisting that they use the proper materials and detail, and initially insisting on Girardi’s number 46 before compromising to his current number five.

Count me impressed.  It’s too easy to go for pretty boy “King” Henrik Lundqvist and his number 30 (rather “Jeteresque” if you ask me, though that’s where the comparison between the two ends).  While I have a Yankees’ number two jersey, most of you know that is to represent Bobby Murcer, who wore that in his final years (1979-1983). 

Quick aside: want to get me a jersey?  I’ll take a 1973 Yankees jersey number one, with the Yankee Stadium 50th Anniversary patch.  That’s Bobby Ray, right there.

Don't get me wrong.  Lundqvist is an outstanding goalie.  Borderline elite.  BUT...like Jeter, would he be so popular (especially among females) if he wasn't a looker?  I sense a Tim Parry-esque rant here (two words: phony fans)!

Now there are no hard and fast rules to this jersey (or T-shirt) stuff.  For instance, I’m still not convinced that I’m on board with any single current Ranger.  Perhaps I would opt for an older one – Messier, Richter, Graves, Leetch (Hello?  Connecticut!), virtually anyone from ‘94, or even older guys (Gilbert and so on).

Then again, I have a Rangers sweater...white, with no name or number.  Birthday present...1994.  I almost never wear it (though I thought about it tonight when I was getting ready to possibly go to the game against the Caps).

OK, getting sidetracked.  Anywho, TGM showed me that, in his world, maybe the “King” can do wrong.  He’s not afraid to criticize, and that honesty, along with those of the sites’ namesake, and colleague J_Undisputed, makes The Dark Ranger a worthy read.

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