The New York Rangers: The “Re-Build Begins”… February 8, 2018 to June 11,2022…

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May 3, 2022:The “Re-build” is built, finally, maybe, hopefully,…  alas, I can let my anger subside. In my opinion Jim Dolan, aka “The Toupee’d Idiot” knows less about hockey than he does about basketball… which is minimal to say the least. But here we go, The New York Rangers are hosting, yes, hosting the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS ARENA. First, there was “the letter”(February 8,2018) when the “organization” (Sather/Gorton) made our season tickets (Section 202, Row 3, Seats 1and 2) virtually worthless for the rest of that season and for a few years to come. Yet, we (my partners and I since 1988) carried on somewhat interested to see the new NEW YORK STRANGERS as we called them. One needed a score card to identify these players.Trades were made. Guys we cheered for landed elsewhere for draft picks. Members refused to wear the “C”, designated “CAPTAIN” as the last two were unceremoniously traded, opting for the “A” (Associate) Captain. My joke was ,“C is the new scarlet letter”.

   Then “the bubble” games followed by… at the end of 2020 HENRIK was let go. As we finished the 2020- 2021 season we witnessed the May 3, 2021game where Tom Wilson v Buchnevich and then Wilson dumps Panarin to the ice like a rag doll. Which lead us to the May 5, 2021 brawl at the opening face-off when it was noted by all that The Rangers needed a Nick Fotio. Changes had to and were made. Me, I finally dumped my tickets.

   Today, 5 years in the making, a total of 1862 days since their last attempt at THE CUP and the NY RANGERS are hosting a Stanley Cup Playoff game. My former seats are listed on STUB HUB for $459.00 each, that would be $918.00 for my two seats plus I would need LIRR round trip, dinner, drinks…Alas, tonight it’s almost free on ESPN in the comfort of my own couch…

To be continued…

THE REBUILD: May 4,2022: Five years in the making, a total of 1863 days since their last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP the NY RANGERS are down one game to PITTSBURGH after losing 4-3 in triple overtime. For the uninitiated or those that have a hard time remembering “playoff” hockey what that means is that a regular game of three 20 minutes periods (60 minute game) with two intermissions between periods 1 and 2, and 2 and 3 (normally 15 minutes 30 seconds each OR in this case 17 minutes when the game is nationally televised. Without timeouts and bullshit replays that’s a minimum running time of 60 plus 34 minutes. There are also TV time outs, these being extended timeouts (2 minutes each) which give the players a much needed rest at the 6, 10, and 14 minute marks of each period.(60 plus 34 plus 6=100 minutes run time. Why do I note the math? Well, it was a long night which followed a long stressful day, one night which I hoped to enjoy in the comfort of my home watching The NY Rangers in playoff hockey.

   Attending the games was usually not a chore. I knew the exact LIRR express train schedule from Babylon to Penn Station. I knew where I would eat (Cafe 31) and the waiter (Fausto) would bring me a Grey Goose on the rocks with a few olives, a Chardonnay with ice on the side for my lovely bride, and an order of calamari as soon as I (we) sat down. Across the street was the “express” entrance to The Garden, no hassles, no long lines, and up the escalator to our section probably with a Brooklyn Lager in my hands. I knew when to run for nourishment at “TV timeouts” making it back to my seat before the action continued. Last night was different as I gulped down a dinner I prepared, eating at 7PM just as the “Anthem” finished and then tried to gain some composure on my couch from the abnormally stressful day.I’m in, ready for playoff hockey.

   First period, Rangers are up one to zip, then, tied at 3 at the end of two, and same score at the end of period three. My bride called the interference (3:10 left in period 3) before I acknowledged it so I must have been dozing off, God forbid. I’m a die hard fan, I must soldier on. A goal keeper change for Pittsburgh? What’s happening? Where’s the spirit I had yelling “boom, bang” ala John Madden each time Reavis hit someone? I’m fading, fast.

   Like the Bob Seger song, “I woke last night to the sound of thunder

How far off I sat and wondered? Started hummin’ a song from 1962…” actually it was a spirit from 2017, my spirit. How could I fall asleep during the second OT intermission and miss the goal? 

   Shesterkin with 79 saves on 83 shots is probably tired today. What happened to DeSmith, why did he leave after 48 saves on 51 shots and who is Domingue who had Beef and Broccoli just before being called in to make 17 saves to get his first NHL playoff win? 83 shots by Pittsburgh, 68 Rangers… that stat will say a lot. As will Pittsburgh having one goal on four power plays with NY having only ONE power play. Hmmm, no penalties were assessed in period 3 and none in any OT minutes. Refs took a break.

Thursday (next game) is another day. Tonight, I’ll relax and watch the NY Yankees.

To be continued…

THE REBUILD: May 6,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1865 days since their last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP the NY RANGERS are down one game to PITTSBURGH and tonight are hosting the second game in THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS ARENA.

   Being down by one game at the start of a series of seven isn’t so bad. To lose the home opener in your own arena might give the opponent a slight edge. Being defeated the way it occurred in the first contest, a triple overtime event, might wear on one’s psyche a bit but nevertheless  the “we are professionals” mantra will be recited more than once.”Pull ‘em up by the boot straps”, “next man up”, and so many other bullshit phrases will be heard until the puck is dropped. 

   The Pittsburgh Penguins is not a team of losers. Their past experience in the playoffs is duly noted as is their ages, a bit long in the tooth. It’s time to see how much the extra 40 plus 5:58 minutes will wear and tear on each team. Also, a new slate of referees will be afforded the opportunity to actual see and call the game without blindfolds. But, I digress, again…drop the puck.(Note: my old seats are on StubHub for $275.00 each)

 Q #1: Goalie for Pittsburgh DeSmith…Dominque…or…Tristan Jarry returns? Playing against a backup goalie and having home ice advantage did nothing for the Rangers in game one.So its DOMINQUE who got the win in game one. Be fearful my faithful friends, this guy envisions an MVP trophy and a huge pay day.

   Alas, The NY Rangers won the second game 5-2. It was nerve- racking, exciting, and somewhat theatrical. However, the home team evened the series and now the equipment moves over to the “three rivers” known as Pittsburgh, back to square (even at) one.See you Saturday.

to be continued…

THE REBUILD: May 7,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1866 days since their last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP and the NEW YORK RANGERS leave home ice tied at one game apiece for PPG PAINTS ARENA, a name that doesn’t slip off the tongue so easily. Tonight will be different, the Rangers in away white jerseys with The Pens in their black and gold, this should be a fun contest.The Pens have the playoff experience, Rangers…not so much. Rangers are younger, faster, the Pens…not so much. Rangers have a possible Vezina Trophy candidate, The Pens…well depends on who the hell is in net.

   Throwing in a few coachable (if that’s a word) sayings, I would tell the boys, “shoot and shoot at will, stop the fancy passes and let’s nuke this no-name goalie”. Karma, today is KENTUCKY DERBY DAY, I’m betting “Messier” across the board. Coming out of the 6 hole seems like good positioning and if he leads the pack I’m sure he can win it. Caution though, this a 20 horse race, a full pack and most 3 year old are not familiar with the roar of a crowd this large. Back in December TVG (a betting site) had “Mess” listed at 35:1, probably similar to the NY Rangers odds of advancing in the cup, but I digress, again.

to be continued…

THE REBUILD: (Sunday Morning) May 8,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1867 days since their last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. Last night I lost a few bucks on THE DERBY but so did most bettors and then I, acting as coach of the NY RANGERS virtually told the team to “shoot and shoot at will, stop the fancy passes and let’s nuke this no-name goalie”. Problem #1: The No name goalie I spoke of is not “Will”, his name is LOUIE, oh well. Four to One down in the first frame. This could be a horrendous night. 

   Pull the goalie for period two, Georgie Boy is in net. Bingo, Rangers are shooting “at will” or whatever his name is. A short handed goal, Net off the hook second time in one game, goal awarded. Four to Four at end of two.Whew…Wait, 7 to 4…I lose $$$ again, RANGERS lose…Happy Mother’s Day to all.

to be continued…

THE REBUILD: Monday, May 9,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1868 days since their last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. The Boys In Blue took a shellacking, as my Pop would say, in the third period Saturday night, hell not just the third period but basically most of the game. Again, the “no-name” goalie (LOUIE) is making a name for himself and those in Black & Gold are mocking “Igor” who got ceremoniously taken out of Saturday’s contest.

   Never one to give up, I soldier on, of course IGOR, the guy who “brought you to the dance” gets the start. Now it is up to the other guys in white to do some scoring. This is a “must” win situation to tie the series and head home. 

  In other hockey news, I digress again, Barry Trotz got fired???WTF???. And over on another channel, Tony DeAngelo, known racist and problematic MFer is having a go with Boston’s Brad Marchand who is loving it.Post-whistles exchanges are fun to lip-read and then DeAngelo the racist MFer threw his stick in Marchand’s path as Brad was heading for an open net goal. This is wonderful stuff. I hope someone, anyone takes #77 out for good.

   Enjoy the game.

to be continued…

THE REBUILD: Monday, May 9,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1868 days since their last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. Game Four, down 2 games to 1, The Rangers need this one.

   My blood pressure meds work, I’m sure but what… Crosby. Hit him, hit him harder. 1-1 at the end of one. Krieder hurt, Krieder is back, Carter scores, no way, hit the post and play continues. Damn, 2 to 1. What…3 to 1.? It is only seconds. “IGOR” chant from PPG PAINTS ARENA, not the World’s Most Famous Arena. Two goals in 24 seconds. Another scribbler behind IGOR, what is happening?I’ll have a glass of Malbec, WHAT? 4 to 1.Second glass. “Throw it at the net…”, I scream. 4-2, yes. Now 5-2, what? Looks like Barry Trotz might get a call soon from The Rangers. 6-2…OMG. IGOR has got to go.

   Period 3: So I lost the over/under of 6, I went with the under, foolish me. Georgie back in net, dilemma for next game, Who? You still go with #1. 7-2, a total rout…

“Total team disappointment There wasn’t much commitment to playing defense tonight,” the coach said. “We played soft. Soft all over the ice. That’s the biggest difference.” 

to be continued…

THE REBUILD: Wednesday, May 11,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1870 days since their last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. Game Five, down 3 games to 1, it is win or “go home” as they say.Okay, I apologize to the “no-name” goalie, whatever his name is but as a team the home in blue Rangers need to shoot and shoot and shoot at the net. This “folk-hero” Louie will fold, I am sure. The stars, Mika, Kreds, etc need to get on the board early and often. AND if the coach had any balls he would direct Kreider to put a “C” on and be “thee leader”, other wise sit #20. I know it is drastic but…these are drastic times (I really forced that one).

   Being 700 miles south of MSG, out to dinner and the server is a Penguins fan, one who noticed my NYR shirt, I graciously invited him over to watch the game with me but he works until 11PM, thank goodness. But he did tell me to come back Saturday to “give me hell”. Oh well. Sitting on my couch with the MSG feed on the screen, this is the way it should be. “IGOR” chants but I was hoping for a John Amorante video him singing of the Anthem. Drop the puck…

Are you kidding?, A penalty ,no two on one play in 24 seconds in. 5 on 3…put us out of our misery, please.But wait, “Igor, Igor”…

   Seven minutes without a shot on net for the home team. “Shoot, shoot, shoot, C’mon guys.” Why do I hear Bill Chadwick’s voice in my ears? Guentzel? Outshot and down by one.

   3 to 3 after two and I’m shot. Tired from yelling,” shoot, shoot, shoot”. The Rangers win…Oh my. 5 to 3…Bring on Friday.

to be continued…

THE REBUILD: Friday, May 13,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1872 days since their last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. Game SIX, down 3 games to 2 on FRIDAY THE 13th and heading into PPG PAINTS ARENA (what a lame name). “It is our time, boys.Let’s show ‘em”, or something like that. Still think Kreider should be wearing the “C”, or someone should, the team needs a leader. The folk hero “Louie” will be in net for them and “Igor” for New York.

Drop the puck, please.

   Whew, 2 zip end of one. Where’s the defense? How about the Rangers crowd the net? Mika, Mika, Kreider…3-2 Rangers, Malkin scores to tie it at three. 17 shots on goal for Rangers, finally. 

   5-3, and we are going back to THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS ARENA…game seven …

to be continued…

THE REBUILD: Sunday Morn, May 15,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1874 days since their last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. Tonight there will be a Game Seven. The NY Rangers by all accounts are according to the pundits “one year away” from whatever that means. “Horseshit”, I say. From Day One back in the Fall, I sensed a team that could, no… that would make a dent in the playoffs. I hated “The Letter” informing us, the die hard season ticket holders that it was a time to “refocus, to rebuild” in other words to “suck” for a few years. And that we did. My “hater” friends laughed at us as their team in Brooklyn or where ever they called home won games, series. But this season tides have turned, the “rebuild” is complete.

   I’ll take a moment to honor those who gave us Rangers fans many moments to celebrate but were lost in the rebuild. 

The Letter: February 8, 2018 and then traded…

Nick Holden: February 20, 2018

Michael Grabner: February 22,2018

Rick Nash: February 25, 2018

JT Miller: February 25, 2018

CAPTAIN Ryan Mc Donough February 26, 2018

The season ended as The New York Strangers…

2019

Matt Zuccarello: February 23, 2019

Kevin Hayes: February 25, 2019

2020

Brady Skjei: February 24, 2020

Note: Callaghan and McDonough, the last two Captains were unceremoniously traded while wearing the team’s Captain. Since February 26, 2018 NO Ranger will wear the “C”, as it is a symbol you could be next to go.

to be continued…

THE REBUILD: Sunday, May 15,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1874 days since their last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. It is Game Seven. Tristan Jarry will be in net for the Pens and Sid “Not So Much A Kid” Crosby will be  in his usual spot on his line. I question the Jarry move but is ain’t my job.And IF Crosby had a “concussion” is it a smart move or where you (Pitts) just hyping the “dirty hit” to get league action??? Rangers go with the usual cast of characters and a hearty thank you to Drury for getting Copp and Frankie Vitrano at the deadline. John Bracey sings The Anthem…Drop the puck, please…IGOR save, save, save, Schneider, Mika to Kreider…One Zip…Did I mention how much I liked the Frankie Vitrano addition?(The MSG feed is so much better than the TBS thing) Lingren slides, Lindgren hits Sid, screw Sid you ain’t getting that cheap goal again.OH NO, my feed is lost. Come back to TBS, WTF? One One. Geez…

   Sticking with the lame TBS feed for period two.AC-DC, yeah, “Potvin Sucks”, can we please retire that shit?(Some guy with young son at one of the afternoon games which I named “Divorced Daddy Days”questioned, “Daddy, Who is Potvin?” to which Daddy responded, “The goalie who shut out the Rangers when they lost the Stanley Cup”…WTF? But I digress, again… High stick?Soccer style kick, stick directs puck, goal?…The Hockey Gods issue Karma, Rangers score. 2-2. Short handed, are you kidding me? Down by one, end of two.

   Friend texted, a guy who went to games with me, a work colleague who I haven’t heard from in a few years. GOAL. Oh, my. Thanks, Izzy. Three to Three, not pulling the goalie now, “Seven Nation Army”…Overtime!!!!, please, no way…Power play…we WIN…

to be continued (Thank goodness)…

THE REBUILD: Monday, May 16,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1875 days since their last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP.

It is a good feeling to have the team you cheer for move on to the next round in the playoffs. Especially a team that was “a year away”and to play Carolina (the other team that I followed closely), well this could be fun. But first, I must state I have a strong dislike for DeAngelo #77 for numerous reasons (immaturity, racism, drama queen, ass-holyism,etc) however I must admit he is an exceptional player. Glad he is not a Ranger but sorry we are still paying his salary.

   The Hurricanes also have one of my favorite ex-Rangers Jesper Fast who left as a free agent. Then, there is another former Ranger Brady Skjei (Shea) an exceptional defenseman, Brendon Smith, Antti Raanta…it is like the Rangers Alumni…PS: I hate afternoon games aka “Divorced Daddy Takes The Kids To A Game” where every kid gets a foam Number 1 finger, yeah. No, seriously afternoon throws off the athletes time schedule, meal, nap, arrive at the rink, etc AND it throws off mine…

to be continued…

THE REBUILD: Wednesday, May 18,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1877 days since their last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. For 95 bucks you can get an upper level seat at the PNC Arena (hockey capacity 18,680). However, Caveat emptor as the Hurricaniacs (their lame nickname) are restricting purchase to residents of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Southern Virginia (I didn’t know that was a state) 

“To better serve Carolina Hurricanes fans, a restricted sales area has been implemented for this Hurricanes game. PNC Arena is located in Raleigh, NC. Sales to this event will be restricted to residents of North Carolina, South Carolina and Southern Virginia”.“Residency will be based on credit card billing address. Orders by residents outside of the geo-limited area will be canceled without notice and refunds given.”

to be continued later tonight…

THE REBUILD: Wednesday, May 18,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1877 days since their last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. DROP THE PUCK…

   So they don’t want Rangers fans in the audience, screw you, there are plenty ready to roar.WTF?, a siren?#1 defensive team is Carolina, let’s see…Who is this hillbilly dressed in a Carolina jersey singing? American Idol loser with very bad pitch…(I had to look him up).Whistles blowing, even out.Six former Rangers and I Fxxxing hate #77 DeAngelo. According to Ray Ferraro “Rangers don’t have a chance”.#77 coughs it up, Rangers score.Good period, Rangers. Lindgren only 3 minutes play time, hmmm.

   Second period, long bench shifts, difficult line changes. Same score. Gotta love K’Andre Miller. Ray Ferraro must really hate The Rangers.

   Third:Carolina is pressing,Rangers no so much. No shots at 10 minute mark,WTF? Post, crossbar, whatever it didn’t go in. C’mon, mute Ferraro, please. Aho, scores, Ferraro wets his pants.OVERTIME.

   OT:Long bench change shifts will be in play, maybe not…”Cole, Cole, Cole” yells Ferraro who misses that it was tipped in by a Ranger, not Cole’s shot…it is over 2-1…

   to be continued…

THE REBUILD: Friday, May 20,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1879 days since their last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. An 8PM game at PNC which is not as exclusive of a Carolina institution as they thought. Thousands of NY Ranger fan “snuck” in. I pray the hillbilly singing is off tonight as “not there” as he was “off”(key)the other night.Okay down one game, let’s DROP THE PUCK.”Believe in the room”.

  Siren sounding, sucks. Ray Ferraro is announcing with Sean Mc, Ray hates the NYR. The “hillbilly” American Idol loser is singing again…he blows big time, again. Embarrassing, does a disservice to the anthem. Raanta V Igor…WOW, Ray F. has a few positive Ranger thoughts.4 on 3 and no score. C’mon guys. We need some face-off wins. We need to shoot during a power play. We need, we need, we need…

   Second Period: Zip/Zip…3/4/5 face-offs, all lost.Great PP kill. Rangers D is good Lindgren, Fox, Miller, Trouba… but what’s up with our first liners? Did Rangers fans just do the “Potvin Sucks” cheer?, yes they did. (Prediction: Rangers win 3:1)…Rangers get a PP…4 minutes, horrible. Short handed, are you kidding me? Terrible power play and then take a penalty? I need another glass of wine. What, down two men? I might need scotch or a MM gummy. Time to walk the dog.

   Period #3: Still think Rangers win 3:1…juggle lines, Motte, Reavis for Rangers. Aho is a player for Carolina.Ferraro is predicting another Carolina win with 8 minutes left. Pull Igor…we need the face-off win…Empty net goal with 2 seconds…Down 2 games to none. Ray Ferraro wets his pants again…we move to MSG…

to be continued…

THE REBUILD: Sunday, May 22,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1881 days since The NY Rangers last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP.  Today, Sunday, after worship, three (3), not 1 or 2 but 3 NHL playoff games. Along with PGA Championship this could be a total couch/beer day. Forget the NBA. I have a few diehard NBA friends who will not watch the blowouts, awaiting only THE FINALS. To them, I invite you over to the NHL.

  Welcome my Carolina friends to THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS ARENA and unlike the PNC policy of only selling tixs to those with a “local” zip code, here MSG will sell tixs to anyone who has money, lots of money as these tickets are “car payment” size. Beers (Brooklyn Lager) are $19, mixed drinks $22, and I don’t remember a kiosk where only hot dogs are sold. Junior’s Cheesecake, NY Steaks, Mike’s Honey Hot Chicken, Carnegie Deli and Big Gay Ice Cream are the main stays.

   In other games: Tampa Bay looks great, and Oilers/Flames are spinning their wheels as neither has a shot at beating Colorado. Rangers have scored only one goal in two (plus OT) games against  a great Carolina defense. Time to win a few face-offs and shoot the puck, boys…

   DROP THE PUCK:( FYI:The following is descriptive narratives, actual quotes I shout at the screen w/o the profanities as per my bride).NYFD carry the flag and NYPD Detective Lauren??? sings the Anthem, No“Hillbilly Joe”, an American Idol loser singing here, no “homer” jersey, just a First Responder in Dress Uniform. Antii Rantaa versus Igor, gonna be great stuff. Shorthanded already. Need offensive separation, too many, too close, spread it out, get deep.MIKA…That’s one. (Is it me or is the ESPN microphone too low in volume and crowd noise too loud?) I get it…rope a dope, tire ‘em out, have ‘em out skate, out shoot, win all the face-offs, and score a power play…

   Period 2: Long shift change, Chytil is playing great with Mika, Kreds. Whew, Domi was a great pickup for Carolina. Did DeAngelo throw his stick again?XXXXXXXXX(censored). Kreider scores…2 zip. 2 to 1, Cheap goal for Igor to give up (no disrespect to Nino N). NYR Power play, C’mon control the zone. Penalty call, 2 minutes with 27 seconds left. Whew, better period.

   Period 3: Good PP kill. Kid line back. Chytil is playing lights out, again. Gotta love that kid. No jinx, but officials are letting them play.Oops, slashing, penalty kill with 6 to go. Great kill.TV time out…less than 4 to go. Kreider misses empty net, Motte scores. Rangers win…Domi slashed Lindgren and #77 yaps and yaps……Oh, boy, Kreds #3, Mika #2 and #1 star Igor with 43 saves…

to be continued…

THE REBUILD: Tuesday, May 24,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1883 days since The NY Rangers last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. When we last left the MSG ice MAX DOMI with seconds left in a losing effort slashed and pushed LINDGREN, while #77 DeAngelo the exiled, racist ex-NYR was yelling directly at the NYR coach. Should prove to be an interesting game as I am sure that the fourth line of Reavis, Motte, and Rooney will start to make a statement ala May 5,2021.

   In other notes: TAMPA BAY swept FLORIDA. The PRESIDENT’S TROPHY winner Panthers only had 3 goals in four game. Whew…

   DROP THE PUCK:I was wrong/mistaken, coaching line changes are good. Power play (Ferraro is a condescending SOB ESPN announcer- text from CK, agreed), I still wish we had Brady Skjei. TV timeout. At least tonight we can actually hear the play by play. Retire the “Potvin Sucks” cheer, please.I say every game, “I like Frankie Vitrano” great deadline pick up. Trouba nails Domi, FIGHT, Lawrence, 3rd man for sure and gets his ass kicked. Love it…Domi ain’t his daddy. AND a PP…Oh, my…haters must be hating…goal…OH FRANKIE…VITRANO…Now, I LOVE FRANKIE…Let #77 skate with the puck in their zone all he wants awaiting the “boos”… Copp?Lindgren to net, Fox deflects and it is 2 zip. Reavis has a few pleasantries with the racist #77 (I don’t even want to say his name). End of one…2 zip.

 Texting with (former) season tix holders, we agree…RAY FERRARO HATES THE RANGERS.

   Period 2: The LONG shift change period…(NOTE:for many years sat in section 202 , seats with a view over the goalie’s right shoulder, defending the zone period 1 and 3, so period 2 was always a unique view.) #77 thinks he is NYIslanders #5, hanging on to the puck, too long #77, you ain’t Potvin… Lindgren interference, PP for Carolina…skate it out, skate it out…TV Time out , I love the view of Manhattan…don’t jinx him “another shut out being pitched”, WTF it’s the second period… these announcers blow…let us see how many adverbs and adjectives we ESPN STAFF can use to insult the NY Rangers…MIKA, MIKA, MIKA 3 zip…PP, …

   Period 3: Goalie Interference, okay, close but…2 minutes down. Geez…onward…Ferraro is a jinx, just spoke about Igor, ,etc, etc……3 to 1. In most sports I tolerate the play by play (I WAS RAISED ON RADIO) but these “color” guys, NO…I want Vin Scully, a one man show…just tell me who has the puck, what happens, don’t care what he did in 2020…TV Timeout…Strome to Copp, 4 to 1…8:33 to go…penalties  with a NYR PP. That Lafreniere play without stick then stick was amazing…IGOR,IGOR,IGOR… wait Domi, Reavis…see ya Thursday…SALUTE…Vitrano, Lindgren, Copp the 3 stars…

to be continued…

THE REBUILD (# 18): Thursday, May 26,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1885 days since The NY Rangers last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. It is all even so the series slips down “95” to Carolina. When we last left the boys both teams were getting a bit antsy toward each other. Let’s see how it goes tonight. I love Game Fives, it is now a 3 game series.

   Back at the PNC Arena with HILLBILLY JOE singing his off-key version of the STAR SPANGLED BANNER. (This “Idol” loser has a hard time with “still there” and then the ending) No matter what happens tonight the series will return to MSG.

   DROP THE PUCK: (I despise Ray Ferraro, Ranger Hater) #77 is a XXXX already. The net comes off, Laffy saves it. Good omen? TV time out. Carolina pinning NYR is the zone.  I’m wondering the value of  #24 Kakko. NYR PP is terrible and breakaway… short handed goal, geez…Down by 1.I love the “Igor” chants. Bite me, Ferraro. Another Ranger PP, (Can we decline the penalty, please?)…MIKA, Mika, oh my…Tied at ONE…Mika slipped over to “The Ovechkin Spot”…End of one…time to walk the dog…

   Period Two: I like Carolina’s AHO. Empty seats there???13 shots to NYR 6, not good, boys…Shot 7 Ryan Strome scores. Another challenge? Off sides! No goal…but Nystrom, never mind. I love/hate hockey…Frankie takes a penalty…Carolina ends their draught, Teravainen (he’s pretty good) scores…Down 2:1…So I watch many (too many) Carolina games living (PT) in Myrtle Beach when the NYR are not on and I am not a “hater”, I just love/hate hockey.  20 shots to 9??? They are killing us, OMG…Ferraro (NYR hater) is wetting his pants, again. Down 2:1 after two.

   Period 3: Screw this game plan, shoot, get #20 in the mix, Where you been ,Kreds? Added Chytil to the mix…Keep #77 (Carolina) on the ice, let him play with the puck…IGOR…FERRARO, Please Shut the XXXX up…Miller takes a penalty, Carolina PP…( Even if my team loses, please TV gods, please have Ferraro (yellow teeth) go away)…The NYR have not listened to my heed, SHOOT THE PUCK…NYR are getting killed…Geez, break away, score Carolina,  3 to 1 with less than 7 to play…2 to tie, 3 to win…not happening…NYR don’t control the puck and therefore don’t shoot…Igor pulled… geez…

to be continued…

THE REBUILD (Part # 19): Friday, May 27,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1886 days since The NY Rangers last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP.

     As a youngster growing up I had Yankees, Rangers, Knicks, and Giants on the radio, TV (Channel 9) when Knicks/Rangers were broadcast. Yankees on PIX. With some cronies we youngsters would hit the LIRR and attend a few Knicks games but after seeing the LONG ISLAND DUCKS at Commack Arena I wanted, no I needed to actually see the NY Rangers on home ice, Madison Square Garden ( then at 8th Ave/49th St). Listening to the radio with Marv Albert on the microphone was always a delight “Rangers skating from left to right”, “#14 Jean Ratelle scores another goal”. My first “Garden” game was October 25,1964 Rangers against the Chicago Blackhawks who had Phil Esposito, Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and a host of greats. Needless to say the home team lost as Hull had a “hat trick” and Makita scored twice, 5-2 was the final, but I didn’t care. Just seeing the ice, watching the skating, the hitting, and a fight or two made this 13 year old want more. Skipping a few years I had season tickets at a rivals arena 1978-1986 but still cheering the NY Rangers AND having most of my immediate family members being fans of that rival team, I continued on. In 1987,with Brian Leetch’s first game after the Olympics through 2020 I was a proud NEW YORK RANGER season ticket holder. We sat for years in the “notorious blue section”, then as The Garden was under “construction from 2010-2013 and we were moved from section to section, finally landing up in Section 202, Row 3, Seats 1 and 2. The best view we ever had but at an upgraded price. Eight years we sat there. Then, we received the aforementioned “Letter” of February 8, 2018. We stayed the 2019-2020 but COVID hit March 2020, then the bubble so we ended our run.

   GAME SIX in the SECOND ROUND 2022, a team that as the pundits predicted are a “year away” from whatever but here we are… Down 3 games to 2, the series moves back to THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS ARENA where I am sure the “Ranger faithful” will be out in all force. Starting at 8PM on a Saturday night gives the crowd (and home viewers) more of a chance of getting liquored up. Buyer Beware.

to be continued…

THE REBUILD (Part # 20): Saturday, May 28,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1887 days since The NY Rangers last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP…Oh, Ye, gentle mistresses and most distinguished gentlemen, and others… The opinions and observations are solely my own views, and I take full responsibility for any errors of fact, not to mention any predictions that prove to be wildly inaccurate.

   It’s Game 6 Down 3 games to 2, the series is back at THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS ARENA. What a presentation of The Anthem, WOW…

Drop The Puck: Back and forth, up and down …MOTTE scores…NYR PP let’s see what can be done…MIKA…2 zip…end of one…

   Period 2: How can they (Carolina) be happy playing the first period if they are not happy giving up 2 goals, Ray????…The Kid Line:twice in one shift break aways and Chytil scores 3 zip…KOCHETKOV comes in for goalie change…Skjei scores 3 to 1…THE KIDS again, Chytil again,4 to 1…Skjei assists and 4 to 2…and now a penalty..C’mon guys…Igor takes the interference penalty as the guys were tired… he had to…What a great hockey period…PS: Igor has two assists tonight…

   Period 3: Is that a piece on Chelios’ head? Ray Ferraro is a blow hard…NYR PP 4 minutes…one minute in and Rangers takes a hooking penalty (2 minutes)… 4 on 4 for 2 minutes…but wait, Carolina takes a penalty (math majors are needed here) 4 on 3 for 55 seconds…5 on 3 NY advantage for 55 seconds….SCORE…Panarin…5 to 2 Rangers up.Great save, Igor…2 each for roughing so we go 4 on 4 for 2 minutes… now more penalties and DeAngelo needs a beating. With a  5 to 2 lead  I would hit him with every move he makes…Rangers are breaking Ferraro’s heart…More penalties Aho/Trouba…LOL…NYR get PP for 2 minutes(Aho)…RANGERS WIN…Igor 37 saves and two assists…while I said I love game 5, players love Game 7…full tilt…see ya Monday

to be continued…

THE REBUILD (Part # 21): Monday, May 30,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1889 days since The NY Rangers last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP…Oh, Ye, gentle mistresses and most distinguished gentlemen, and others. The opinions and observations are solely my own views, and I take full responsibility for any errors of fact, not to mention any predictions that prove to be wildly inaccurate.

   Game 7, nothing better in sports. Back to PNC Arena, yet after almost 3 months south I am back in New York sitting in my favorite spot with my Rangers jersey on… I put a few bucks on the NYR win outright but as the pundits say…well The NYRangers are over achievers this year…Need the “studs” to score, need to be WINNERS…

   DROP THE PUCK:Star Mangled Banana by Hillbilly Jim.#77 plays a shit load of time. NYR power play, I like Aho, can’t believe he took a penalty.Please announce the game not what happened in 1954…FOX scores, I love Vitrano…one zip Rangers. Canes Power Play (which usually sucks)…#77 thinks he is Potvin…NY PP and MIKA to Kreider scores, 2 zip…It’s gonna get nasty…Carolina PP, a save a minute for Igor (10)…Aho, Fast, Raanta, Nino, Skjei, good, good players…this is the looooongest period…

   Period 2:Jarvis out, so sorry, he is a great player, clean hit from Trouba #8…Many of my Myrtle Beach friends are Canes fans and I watch the team often when I am south…Here we go…behind the goalie camera is tough to watch…kids, kids, kids line…NYR power play, nothing there…Rangers look, not good here…TV timeout, thank goodness…Penalty, for what???? Geez…Lindgren(hurt again) is back, again, iron man, “Just sew another leg on I’m good to go”…What, Raanta, hurt, cramp, WTF?geez…I feel for a player who gets hurt, except if it was #77. Strome scores (Thank you NY Isles). 3 zip…Did he say, “Adam Fox still can’t get it up”???…If you ever sat with me, being up 3 to zip, I unabashedly brutal as I remember a “double chili” night…go for the kill…3 zip end of two.

   Period 3:I hate the intermission interviews asking stupid questions especially when you are down by three, WTF do you want him to say…Play like the old Devils, trap, trap, trap…Igor,Igor…Ferraro BLOWS “He’s not the same goalie who got pulled…”Frankie to  Kreider, 4 zip… When we the announcers jinx the goalie?”…Carolina PP, CAROLINA scores…11:40 to go 4 to 1…Chytil scores within 40 seconds  (Kid Line) 5 to 1…OH MY…Is this happening? Are we a team one year away from even making the playoffs? Are we the team going to the next round with home ice advantage? TV showing an 8 year old Canes fan crying…I’m 70 and only saw my team win in 1994 , 28 years ago…Domi scores 5:2…3:08 to go Carolina pulls the goalie…empty net Copp score 6:2…Mika  19 points in playoffs ( so far)…Oh my, we go on…Wednesday, with home ice bringing on TAMPA BAY…

to be continued (oh my…)

THE REBUILD (Part # 22): Tuesday, May 31,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1890 days since The NY Rangers last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP…Had a great night’s sleep knowing the (overachieving) NY Rangers are moving on to the conference games with home ice advantage. The first question asked of Chris Kreider last night was the possibility of the team being tired as they are scheduled to face the two time defending Stanley Cup Champion TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING who are well rested having defeated the Florida Panthers (4 game sweep) over a week ago. He graciously answered the question. Me, I am happy that the Rangers play tomorrow, keep the momentum rolling, Shesterkin vs. Vasilevskiy this should be a joy to watch.

   On another note I was wondering how hardy the hand shake was between #77 (the racist idiot) and Georgiev one of his targets during his time in NY. Also, as stated a few days ago, I don’t care for afternoon games…Sunday at 3PM? C’mon…see ya Wednesday

to be continued…

THE REBUILD (Part # 23): Wednesday, June 1,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1891 days since The NY Rangers last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. I speak of THE LETTER (February 8,2018)ad nauseam because it seriously affected my season ticket status and effected the way I cheered for my favorite hockey team (radio and TV).Only TWO players remain from the roster of that faithful evening, MIKA and KREIDER. All the rest are either home grown or traded for. and tonight …Shesterkin vs. Vasilevskiy, this should be fun to watch.

   DROP THE PUCK: (rants I say during the game) Avs/Oilers  8 to 6 is a football score, hope we don’t go there tonight…7 years since and I’m wearing my 2015 RANGERTOWN shirt…RAY FERRARO go away, Ranger hater…NYPD w/ John Brancey, love it but miss John Ameranti saluting the crowd…I LOVE THE GARDEN…No Way, 71 seconds MIKA to Kreds…one zip…I like Jon Cooper as TB coach and the team is loaded so beware Rangers fans…TV timeout…

Perry is annoying…Stamkos scores…all even…Only took Lightning 8 minutes to wake up from their nap of a nine days…TV time out…Igor great save…again, again Igor…Ranger PP, but TB does a great a kill…even after one.

   Period 2:WTF,Ray Ferraro said something positive about the NYR…can we get it out of the zone…FRANKIE(our good #77) scores, two -one…Geez, Palat evens it at 2…Chytil(#72) scores, OMG, the kid is back…3 to 2…IGOR…THE KIDS ARE AMAZIN, almost 2 minutes pinning TB in the zone, Miller to CHYTIL, 4 to 2…(Note: Explaining the over/under bet to my wife, took 50 straight up win no over under tonight for me)…”last call” in MSG.

   Period 3: Only 30 seconds in Panarin scores 5 to 2…Braun takes a penalty and TB PP… please Igor stop the dramatics , they will send you out for protocol…5 shots and a bit of unneeded drama from Igor… NYR PP ,MIKA (3  ala Ovechkin spot shots) 6 to 2 New York…believe it or not we have thunder and Lightning weather wise going on outside…TB PP (Miller took holding)…”Igor’s better” chant arises from the crowd…TV Time out…less than 4 to go, OMG…The question is: whether the Rangers are on a roll OR  Tampa is rusty…FIGHT Reavis and Maroon, too funny…1:46 left, seven out to the showers…one “for cross checking and everyone else for roughing” great ref call on TV…TB PP…Rangers WIN, moving on until Friday…Oh, Ye, gentle mistresses and most distinguished gentlemen, and others… The opinions and observations are solely my own views, and I take full responsibility for any errors of fact, not to mention any predictions that prove to be wildly inaccurate.

to be continued…

THE REBUILD (Part # 24): Thursday, June 2,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1892 days since The NY Rangers last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. My take on last night…“Vasilevskiy is the best goalie on the planet”, Chytil doesn’t know that as he practices against the best goalie (Shesterkin) of 2022…Welcome to “Anything Can Happen In The Playoffs”. Waking up this morning knowing the NY Rangers moved closer to what every NHL player desires, a chance to play for THE CUP. I will not jinx or overstate the fact that The Rangers are exceeding everything we the fans expected back in October. In as much, this run in to the Conference Finals is exciting and may I say, unexpected. Kudos to Chris Drury (did I actual say that?) for pulling the plug and making some great deadline moves.

   In a conversation with my bride I stated that while I truly miss the enthusiasm of being a fan in the crowd at The Garden, I enjoy the comfort of home and the vast amount of money saved by not attending the game at the arena ( 2 tickets to the game, LIRR, dinner, drinks, more drinks).The words so eloquently stated by Michael Philip Jagger and Keith Richards are ringing in my ears…

Take me to the station

And put me on a train

I’ve got no expectations

To pass through here again

to be continued…

THE REBUILD (Part # 25): Friday, June 3,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1893 days since The NY Rangers last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. The “over achievers” have home ice advantage with a one game advantage getting ready for game two.Maybe, just maybe this run is NOT a fluke.

   DROP THE PUCK: (rants I say during the game)Maroon V Reaves, TB PP…TB(Perry) score…I’m sure Reaves sits for a few shifts…Hedman great against Panarin…The KIDS are alright..K’Andre Miller(vitrano/Kreider) ties it up…IGOR…NY PP good penetration but nothing…Motte breakaway, zip…TV time out…FERRARO makes no sense when he announces…Stamkos penalty NY PP:zip…Kakko (another kid) scores 2 to 1…”Adam Fox best player on the ice, sorta like Brian Leetch” said Messier…ESPN coverage WTF? missing players exchange at buzzer…

   Period 2:(Note: My bet is Rangers win parlayed with Kreider scores a goal).I thought that was a goal but I was mistaken…OMG, time of possession…NY PP:3rd time a charm?,no,even though not scoring ,the shooting is great…zip…TV Time out…Trouba/Fox, defensively, hmmm…Frankie to Mika, close…I’m dumbfounded…”I’m A Believer” in the background…keep ‘em wide…30.7 seconds to go…my worst nightmare of years ago…2 to 1 RANGERS…

   Period 3:MIKA scores, 3 to 1:…I’m taking deep deep breathes…Whew, IGOR…Fox is amazing…Motte’s hurt??…just get it out of the zone…TV Time out: I’m sitting here thinking “Is this really happening?”…9:37 to go:cheap shots, need crisp passes…pin it deep and kill the clock…TB penalty with 6:05 left…zip…IGOR…TV Time out: I’m still stunned…3:49 pulled the TB goalie, the Best In The World…IGOR…TB scores with 2:02 to go…”sucks”…3 to 2…That’s why they are two time Cup Champs…Coach Cooper is brilliant…37 seconds to go…icing again, 0.28 to go, OMG…WE WIN, WE (not me but the NY Rangers) fxxxiag win…up 2 games to zip to the two time Cup winners…IS THIS REAL? I’m even giving Ferraro a break as he likes the Rangers now. IGOR,IGOR, IGOR…3 to 2…

to be continued…

THE REBUILD (Part # 26): Sunday, June 5,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1895 days since The NY Rangers last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. The “over achievers” are heading south to sunny Tampa Bay (Amalie Arena) up two games to none, a slight advantage against the two time defending STANLEY CUP CHAMPS. Things have changed in New York and everyone wearing “the blue” is singing “THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT”, that being Chytil (22), Lafreniere(20), Kakko(21) and then there is K’andre Miller (22), Braden Schneider (20), and I’ll throw in the old guy Fox @24 because he controls the PP. WELCOME TO GAME THREE.

   DROP THE PUCK: (rants I say during the game) I hate afternoon games…“Vasilevskiy is the best goalie on the planet”, Shesterkin best in 2021/2022…”Trust those in front of you, young Jedi”…NYR today are now 17playoff  games in…up and down both teams, kids keep it deep…up and down, Igor snags it…Fox has Maroon on him, escapes…Chytil’s getting ghosted by an extra man, still dances and shoots…Kucherov looks good for TB…High stick on Panarin, NY PP at 11:57…great kill by TB…IGOR saves as PP ends and Kucherov shoots from jumping  out of the box.  Barrage of TB shots, then the NYR barrage…goalies are amazing…2 on 1 but Hedman is there…Rangers need to clear the zone…zip/zip end of one…PERIOD 2: Strome hurt??? Igor pad gets clipped, 2 penalties/one each…Mika penalty for interference…4 on 3:Miller steals it 2 on 1 shorthanded hits the post…Perry penalty on hitting IGOR…3 0n 3 for 13 secs…4/4 for 15 secs…NY PP 1:30 left :MIKA scores from “his spot”(his 10th)…another “crash” into IGOR, NY PP, MIKA shoots, Kreider in front for rebound and SCORES, 2 zip NYR. Trouba takes a penalty,TB PP, TB scores (Kucherov) 2 to 1…finally penalty free hockey, skating and shooting…A “Potvin Sucks” from the TB crowd, lol…Maroon hits Mika in the corner at the buzzer…Period 3:TB PP Trouba takes another penalty (holding) ,Stamkos scores to even it at two apiece…all PP goals today…NYR on their heels, poor passes, look lost…terrible, no true possession…Strome still out so Rangers using only 11 forwards…Vitrano takes a goalie interference, TB PP, Goodreau hurt on block  heads to locker room, Rangers kill it but down 2 forwards…Goodreau back on bench WTF? Superman??…TV Time out needed to rest the players…NYR 4 minute PP, 9:04 to go, 2:27 in PP time and Trouba takes a tripping penalty, his third today, WHY??? 4 on 4 for 2 minutes (math major needed) with 7:31 to go…27 secs left in NYR PP…Fox is breathing hard…5:04 left in period and its 5 aside, TB 46/ NYR 28 shots, so far…41.6 to go TB scores  3 to 2 Tampa Bay wins…  (Looks like NY Rangers Past when a goal was given up with less than one minute to go…3 to 2, now 2 games to TB 1…

to be continued… 

THE REBUILD (Part # 27): Tuesday, June 7,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1897 days since The NY Rangers last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. 

   Rangers are up two games to one against the “defending two time STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS”, its time to see what you are made of as a team, both parties included…

DROP THE PUCK: (rants I say during the game):NYR Strome out Rooney in…Rangers fans in the crowd WOW…Vasilevskiy versus Shesterkin, Kids line starts…TB Coach Cooper was a Hofstra Lax player…Maroon on a rebound TB scores 17:22…Ferraro is an idiot, said “Rangers have a one nothing lead”, pat attention idiot…horn goes off, play stoppage,TB controls the flow…NYR (Reavis) penalty tripping, TV Time out:Igor nice save under pad, 1:25 left in TB PP, NYR kill it… 10 minutes in,TB owns the ice…Mika good move on Stamkos’ breakaway…Igor pokes Perry away…first line has good shifts… 5 to go…NYR look good last two minutes…PERIOD 2:too many cross ice passes…Rangers look better than at end of 1…YAWN,,,we got it, they got it, no, we got it, they got it, no, we got it, they got it…muddled in mid ice…TV Time out…Vitrano/Hagel for a few rounds, 5 for fighting…Bad NYR defensive play Kucherov down the middle ,scores, 2 zip TB…TB goalie equipment issues…a bit better but not good enough…end of two…Period 3:Chytil out???…Copp penalty,Motte breakaway denied, another breakaway by Trouba, good kill…Stamkos on a rebound, Palat is playing lights out, Three zip…Sarcastic Igor chant begins…TB Penalty 4 (2 interference 2 slashing: Reavis 2 for slashing, NYR 5 on 4 for 2m,…Kreider interference ruins PP, 4 on 4 for 1:04 then TB for 55 sec PP, geez…NY PP, with 3:52 to go, Rangers pull Igor, PANARIN scores PPG, 3 to NYR 1…3;33 left, Igor ready to vacate, empty net Palat 4 to 1 NYRangers lose, series tied at 2, heading back to MSG…

to be continued…

THE REBUILD (Part # 28): Thursday, June 9,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1899 days since The NY Rangers last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP. Even Steven at two each and we are back at MSG… Game Five…

DROP THE PUCK: (rants I say during the game):If you have never been at MSG, you’ll never know…Game freaking five…19 games in 38 days…tired, no way, it is what they do, play hockey…NYPD with John Brancey…I miss John Amarante but this guy is good, miss the salute at the end (I did it every night)…I could skate but I wish I could skate like Igor with equipment…Reavis is out, WTF?…Post Kucerov…Trouba is the man, check please…K Miller yes, nice slide… Igor…up and down, up and down, up and down, hardly any shots on net for either team…TV TIME OUT…Kids, close, Fox even closer…Panarin, nice, pin ‘em down…2nd post by TB (8 min left)…Motte great poke …IGOR 3 in a row, Perry down to the ice…3 NYR shots , Vasilevskiy great saves…I hate TV interviews with the coach on the bench, I would say, “Yeah, we could break the zone if you left the bench and left me alone”…Trouba nice shot…end of one…no score, no penalties…8 NYR shots to 3 TB…Period 2: WTF 616 shots on net for Igor in the playoffs…Palat breakaway,Igor save…NYR penalty at 16:55 (Schneider for hook??? NFW)…good kill…E-GOR,E-GOR,E-GOR chant…12:41 to go…OMG, Igor catches them with “Too many”…2 minute NY PP, Fox stick breaks on shot, one shot, NG…Lindgren scores…NYR up one zip, 9 plus to go…hooking K Miller?, no way, second horrible call by officials, “Let ‘em play”…good kill…6 to go…fun attack, 3 left…2:24 all even TB scores…I hate giving up a goal at end of period…end of two, even at one (1:1)…Period 3:Love this, interview of Lindgren, “So, what were you thinking shooting the puck?”, great diplomatic response by him, but me, “I was hoping the fucker would go in”…Ryan Mc D out for TB, and now Bogosian hurt, 2 D’s out for TB…I’d take Pat Maroon on my team…12:25 to goal tied at one…Motte is playing a great game (4th liner)…6:40 left…WIDE OPEM Strome miss…Frankie tries but NG…TV Time…McD back for TB…4:40 to go…Looks like NY Rangers Past  1:48 to go Palat scores, 2 to 1 down…empty net down 3 to 1…58 seconds left…Rangers lose, down 3 games to 2, facing elimination Saturday…exchanged pleasantries at end, a few fists thrown…

to be continued…

THE REBUILD (Part # 29): Saturday, June 11,2022: Five years in the making, now a total of 1901 days since The NY Rangers last attempt at THE STANLEY CUP.Down one game and on “hostile” ice facing elimination. Everyone is talking about STROME missing the wide “open” net goal.It happens, folks.

DROP THE PUCK: (rants I say during the game):NYR, 20 playoff games in 40 days so since May 3 you know exactly where I have been every other night..The ANTHEM is both arenas has been a joy. Kaako is a “healthy scratch”, WTF? Time to tell first rounders you ain’t doin’ it.Igor, Trouba, Maroon…Bang on the glass they should toss you out…700th shot on IGOR in playoffs…9 minutes left…Panarin needs to hold the grasp of the puck, 3 x bounced off his stick…Igor…zip end of one…no penalties, out shot…Period 2:11 to 7 shots, TB advantage…Igor…Trouba hits Perry, no call…4 on 4…early line changes are over? Mika, Frankie, Kreds back as a unit…

Maroon shot and Hunt pushes him on Igor…I think the refs are a non-factor, letting them play and missing/lettting some go…Stamkos scores 9:17 left, a 45 footer for the face off circle, one zip TB…Igor comes back and makes a great save…Panarin 2 for high sticking…Can we get it out of the zone?…Where’s Mika? Where’s our studs?, C’mon…22 shots to 13???…one zip TB… Period 3: Only 20 minutes left, down by one, so it’s SHOW TIME…IGOR, great save #23…NYR PP 2 minutes for Hi sticking…nothing…Strome out (again), should have been scratched…THERE IT IS, ah ,no…Both goalies are putting on a show…NYR PP(Stamkos takes the penalty) w/8:15 to go, a breakaway WTF, Fox recovers,FRANKIE scores, all tied at one…TB scores(Stamkos) immediately(21 secs) two/one TB…Stamkos/Kucherov/Palat…what a line…5 to go…took 1 minute to cross red line…TB wins…Shake hands, boys…

to be continued…

THE REBUILD (Part 30): Sunday, June 12, 2022: It is the morning after the New York Rangers last attempted to move to the FINALS in search of their first cup since 1994.That to me is a monumental, positive statement. As a fan I must admit these past 40 days (20 games) were an emotional roller coaster ride. Back in September past, who in their right minds would have suspected the RANGERS to be where they landed up, two wins from making THE FINALS. All the hockey pundits alluded to the fact that The Rangers were good, however most wrote the team was “one year away”, what ever that means. Then, Chris Drury pulls the trade(s) of the year by adding Vitrano, Copp, Motte, and Braun without giving up one regular. Grit, experience, determination added in one week’s time. And the new guys added help with the “Five on five” play which left a lot to be desired throughout the season. (April 5 the Blue Shirts ranked 26th (46.85) at 5X5 play, which was not good).The “new” guys gave space for the regular studs to do their thing.

   We cheered as Kreider scored on the PP throughout the year yet knowing that power plays would be limited in the playoffs.Therefore, his “lighting the light” would be severely tested in 5×5 in the playoffs. And without a doubt, it should be noted that The Rangers have the best goalie (2021-2022) and he proved his worth in most of the playoffs.

   So the building blocks are there AND yes, The Rangers are “one year away”. The rest of the league beware.Bring on 2022-2023, We Want The Cup…

to be continued…

JOHN FROM BROOKLYN

 Sometimes our wheels slide off the rails in life. But when we get back on track we are stronger than before.  So was it with my cousin, John. When I was in high school many years ago I had an assignment to write two separate letters to two people: 1) To whom I loved but never told I love him/her. 2) To someone I idolized and why I idolized him/her…I thought it was a stupid assignment AND since I was a lazy student I thought…”Why not find one person who I loved and did not verbalize that to AND one who I  also idolized?” I wrote a letter to my (older) cousin John.Years later, he told me he saved the letter and what it meant to him.( I got a B+)

   Every Sunday for the past 24 plus years John faithfully called me, never missed, even when he was in Istanbul. Yankees, Giants, Knicks, Nets, music, friends, and family all open for discussion. Laughs abound every time .Now, “all things must pass” so today I play JOHN COLTRANE’s “Alabama” as he requested this emotional song to be his “exit piece”. Rest easy, John

Your broken-hearted cousin,

Michael

BLOOD,SWEAT & TEARS: Part 2,3,4,5,…99

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   Oh, Ye, gentle mistresses and most distinguished gentlemen, and others… The opinions and observations are solely my own views, and I take full responsibility for any errors of fact, not to mention any predictions that prove to be wildly inaccurate. Mucho thanks and kudos to AL KOOPER’s book “Backstage Passes and Backstabbing Bastards: Memoirs of a Rock ‘N’ Roll Survivor” , STEVE KATZ’s “Blood Sweat and My Rock n Roll Years” ….. and most importantly BRUNO CERIOTTI for his decades of research on BS&T which provided a timeline to refresh my memories. 

   Just prior to the pandemic outbreak a husband/wife couple I have known for at least 50 years told me about their purchase of tickets to see BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS (2019). They were extremely excited as they very rarely, if ever, go to concerts and thought that their purchase would entice me/my bride to attend the show with them.  I didn’t have the heart to tell them their evening would be a “Night of Blood, Sweat & Tears” music played by guys who were probably not born when the first/second album hit the stands as BS&T has no “original” members since 1976. Besides the “Original Eight” there has been 161 different members of BS&T with one, the retired drummer BOBBY COLOMBY, holding the rights to the name, the band and the  music.

   Years ago I read an interview with BUTCH TRUCKS, drummer/founder of THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND where he said he could envision in years to come musicians traveling and performing the music of a band to which they had no prior relationship, like THE DUKE ELLLINGTON ORCHESTRA, continuing on in name without THE DUKE or any original members. That now appears to be the case for some bands but certainly fits the bill for BS&T.

   July 8, 1967 is the last BLUES PROJECT performance (THE WHO and RICHIE HAVENS on the bill) at the VILLAGE THEATRE…. BS&T (#1) starts as an off shoot of THE BLUES PROJECT when AL KOOPER(guitar, organ, vocals) asks STEVE KATZ (guitar, vocals-BLUES PROJECT), BOBBY COLOMBY (Drums-Odetta), and JIM FIELDER (bass-Mothers/Springfield) to join him as his backing band for a one-oft project to raise money for KOOPER’s move to England. (Un)-Fortunately, the evening did not make the money expected but the vibe was good and the band decided to give it a go as a legit ensemble. August of 67 FRED LIPSIUS (sax/piano) joins the band for the scheduled (September 16, 1967) AL KOOPER/STEVE KATZ billed gig at the Village Theatre as a support act with KINGDOM COME for THE JAMES COTTON BLUES BAND. (Note: The Village Theatre will become FILLMORE EAST). By October, the band numbers eight members by including DICK HALLIGAN (trombone, organ, flute, vocals), RANDY BRECKER (trumpet, flugelhorn), and JERRY WEISS (trumpet, flugelhorn). Practicing and gigging at CAFE AU GO-GO the new band gets recognition and signs with COLUMBIA RECORDS (November 67). The first (and only album featuring AL KOOPER) was released February 26, 1968. April 11 of that year was the last BS&T gig for AL KOOPER,  with RANDY BRECKER and JERRY WEISS leaving a few weeks later.(BS&T #2)

   Rumor has it that everyone from ALEX CHILTON (BoxTops) to STEVIE WONDER was offered the job as BS&T lead singer. LAURA NYRO was considered/auditioned for the spot of lead singer, wisely turning it down. (Note:Blood, Sweat & Tears would go on to have a hit with a cover of Nyro’s “And When I Die”). CHUCK WINFIELD (trumpet), LEW SOLOFF (trumpet), JERRY HYMAN (trombone) and the new singer DAVID CLAYTON-THOMAS round out the ensemble now a nine piece(BS&T#4) while the first album from the ORIGINAL EIGHT reaches #40 on BILLBOARD.

   BS&T (#4) plays FILLMORE EAST supporting The Amboy Dukes and headliners THE CHAMBERS BROTHERS September 13/14 1968. Two weeks later they are recording the second album with producer JAMES WILLIAM GUERCIO who previously added horns to hit singles by THE BUCKINGHAMS at the helm. He also produced for CHICAGO (TRANSIT AUTHORITY). The second album, simply titled “BLOOD SWEAT & TEARS” is released December 11,1968. The band headlines FILLMORE EAST January 24/25 1969 (JETHRO TULL opens).The album gets major radio play, climbs the charts, offers a few Top Ten hits and wins a Grammy. The band is a featured act (July 4, 1969) in the NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL’s “An Evening of Jazz-Rock) and later that summer plays WOODSTOCK.

   This is the band’s period of rapid success as music stars but it is also the time where I questioned what I heard and saw. I thought it was “pop-jazz” and I was not a fan. September 1969 the album “BS&T 3” produced by BOBBY COLOMBY and ROY HALEE (Simon and Garfunkel) is a bust to me. January 1970 JERRY HYMAN leaves as DAVE BARGERON (trombone/tuba) joins (BS&T #5).

   New Years Eve 1971-72 DAVID leaves as does FREDDIE LIPSIUS and BS&T#6 is born with the usual core (4) of COLOMBY, KATZ, FIELDER and DICK HALLIGAN with CHUCK WINFIELD, LEW SOLOFF, DAVE BARGERON and adding JOE HENDERSON (tenor sax), Joiie WADENIUS (guitar/vocals) and (a blind) BOBBY DOYLE (lead vocals/piano).

    BS&T #6 last two months as in APRIL of 72: BOBBY DOYLE (lead vocals) and JOE HENDERSON (sax) are fired. A few weeks later original member DICK HALLIGAN decides to leave.

   BS&T#7 is a 10 piece unit featuring the “originals” now numbering three of KATZ, COLOMBY, FIELDER with LEW SOLOFF, DAVE BARGERON, Joiie WADENIUS, CHUCK WINFIELD and adding

“Blue Lou” MARINI (sax), LARRY WILLIS (KEYBOARDS) and JERRY FISHER (lead vocals). FISHER preferred the band do new material, not all DAVID CLAYTON THOMAS stuff. He lasted five years.

   BS&T #8: January 1973: Original member STEVE KATZ leaves the band as now a 9 piece unit. COLOMBY(drums) and FIELDER (bass) are the only two original founding members with veterans LEW SOLOFF, DAVE BARGERON, Joiie WADENIUS, CHUCK WINFIELD, LARRY WILLIS (KEYBOARDS), JERRY FISHER (lead vocals) and new comer “Blue Lou” MARINI,Jr (sax).

   BS&T # 9:March 1973: Still a 9 piece but  Chuck Winfield is out with Tom MALONE (Trumpet, flugelhorn, trombone, flute, bass) replacing him.

   Original bass player JIM FIELDER leaves in 74 but BOBBY COLOMBY hangs in “retiring” in 1976 owning the name, the music, and all rights to BS&T to this day.

   To Recap: from WIKI…

Original eight

CURRENT MEMBERS (BS&T)

  • Keith Paluso: vocals
  • Brad Mason: trumpet
  • Jonathan Powell: trumpet
  • Ken Gioffre: saxophone, flute
  • Mike Boscarino: trombone
  • Dylan Elise: drums
  • Ric Fierabracci: bass guitar, vocals
  • Julian Coryell: guitar, vocals
  • Glenn McLelland: keyboards

PAST MEMBERS:(161)

  • David Clayton-Thomas: vocals, guitar (1968–1972, 1974–1981, 1984–2004)[12]
  • Lew Soloff: trumpet, flugelhorn (1968–1973) †
  • Chuck Winfield: trumpet, flugelhorn, backing vocals (1968–1973)
  • Jerry Hyman: trombones, recorder (1968–1970)
  • Dave Bargeron: trombone, tuba, horns, bass, backing vocals (1970–1978)
  • Bobby Doyle: vocals, piano (1972) †
  • Joe Henderson: tenor sax (1972) †
  • Lou Marini Jr.: tenor & soprano sax, flute (1972–1974)
  • Larry Willis: keyboards (1972–1978) †
  • Georg Wadenius: guitar, vocals (1972–1975)
  • Jerry Fisher: vocals (1972–1974)
  • Tom Malone: trombone, trumpet, flugelhorn, alto sax, bass (1973)
  • John Madrid: trumpet, flugelhorn (1973)
  • Jerry LaCroix: vocals, alto sax, flute, harmonica (1974) †
  • Ron McClure: bass (1974–1975, 1976)
  • Tony Klatka: trumpet, horns (1974–1978)
  • Bill Tillman: alto sax, flute, clarinet, backing vocals (1974–1977) †
  • Luther Kent: vocals (1974)
  • Joe Giorgianni: trumpet, flugelhorn (1974–1975)
  • Jaco Pastorius: bass (1975–1976) †
  • Steve Khan: guitar (1975)
  • Mike Stern: guitar (1975–1977)
  • Keith Jones: bass (1976)
  • Danny Trifan: bass (1976–1977)
  • Forrest Buchtel: trumpet (1975–1977)
  • Don Alias: percussion (1975–1976) †
  • Roy McCurdy: drums (1976–1977)
  • Jeff Richman: guitar (1976 fill in for Stern)
  • Randy Bernsen: guitar (1977)
  • Barry Finnerty: guitar (1977–1978)
  • Neil Stubenhaus: bass (1977–1978)
  • Gregory Herbert: saxophone (1977–1978) †
  • Michael Lawrence: trumpet (1977) †
  • Chris Albert: trumpet (1977–1978)
  • Bobby Economou: drums (1977–1978, 1979–1981, 1994–1995)
  • Kenny Marco: guitar (1979)
  • David Piltch: bass (1979–1980)
  • Joe Sealy: keyboards (1979)
  • Bruce Cassidy: trumpet, flugelhorn (1979–1980)
  • Earl Seymour: sax, flute (1979–1981) †
  • Steve Kennedy: sax, flute (1979)
  • Sally Chappis: drums (1979)
  • Harvey Kogan: sax, flute (1979)
  • Jack Scarangella: drums (1979)
  • Vernon Dorge: sax, flute (1979–1981)
  • Robert Piltch: guitar (1979–1980)
  • Richard Martinez: keyboards (1979–1980)
  • Wayne Pedzwater: bass (1980–1981)
  • Peter Harris: guitar (1980–1981)
  • Lou Pomanti: keyboards (1980–1981)
  • Mic Gillette: trumpet (1980–1981) †
  • James Kidwell: guitar (1984–1985)
  • Jeff Andrews: bass (1984–1985)
  • Taras Kovayl: keyboards (1984–1985)
  • Tim Ouimette: trumpet, horns (1984–1985)
  • Mario Cruz: sax, flute (1984–1985)
  • Ricky Sebastian: drums (1984–1985)
  • Steve Guttman: trumpet (1985–2005)
  • Dave Gellis: guitar (1985–1990, 1996, fill in – 1998, 2005–2016, 2017, 2018)
  • Ray Peterson: bass (1985–1986)
  • Scott Kreitzer: sax, flute (1985–1986)
  • Teddy Mulet: trombone (1985–1986), trumpet (2005–2013)
  • Barry Danielian: trumpet (1985–1986, 2013–2014)
  • Richard Sussman: keyboards (1985–1987)
  • Randy Andos: trombone (1986)
  • Tom Timko: sax, flute (1986–87, 1995, 1998–2001, 2005–08, 2009–10)
  • Tom DeFaria: drums (1985–1986)
  • John Conte: bass (1986–1987)
  • Steve Conte: guitar (1986, 2013)
  • Jeff Gellis: bass (1987–1990)
  • Charley Gordon: trombone (1987, 1988–1994, 2001, 2013–2014)
  • Dave Panichi: trombone (1987–1988, 1997–1998)
  • Glenn McClelland: keyboards (1987–1993, 1998, 2005–present)
  • Dave Riekenberg: sax, flute (1987–1990, 1995–1998)
  • Jerry Sokolov: trumpet (1987–1994)
  • Graham Hawthorne: drums (1987–1988, 1989–1991)
  • Van Romaine: drums (1988–1989)
  • Nick Saya: drums (1991)
  • Neil Capolongo: drums (1991–1993)
  • Peter Abbott: drums (fill in – early 1990s)
  • Wayne Schuster: sax, flute (1990–1991)
  • Larry DeBari: guitar, vocals (1990–1997) †
  • Gary Foote: bass (1990–1994, 1996–2004, 2005–2012)
  • Jack Bashcow: sax, flute (1992)
  • Tim Ries: sax, flute (1992–1993, 1993–1995)
  • Matt King: keyboards (1994–1998)
  • Mike Mancini: keyboards (fill in – 1980s/1990s)
  • Henry Hey: keyboards (fill in – mid-1990s)
  • Cliff Korman: keyboards (fill in – mid-1990s)
  • Mike DuClos: bass (1994–1996)
  • Jonathan Peretz: drums (1995–1997)
  • Craig Johnson: trumpet (1994–1998)
  • Matt Milmerstadt: drums (1995, 1998)
  • Tom Guarna: guitar (1997–1998)
  • Jon Owens: trumpet (1998–2000)
  • Charles Pillow: sax, flute (fill in – 1998)
  • Brian Delaney: drums (1997–1998, 2001)
  • Dave Stahl: trumpet (fill in – 1995–1999)
  • Winston Byrd: trumpet (fill in – 1998)
  • Dave Pietro: sax, flute (fill in – 1998)
  • Dale Kirkland: trombone (1995–96, 1998, 1999–2001, 2002–06, fill in – 2007)
  • Pat Hallaran: trombone (1998–1999)
  • James Fox: guitar (1998–2000)
  • Dan Zank: keyboards (1998–2000)
  • Zach Danziger: drums (1998–2001)
  • Joe Mosello: trumpet (2000–2002)
  • Gil Parris: guitar (2000)
  • Gregg Sullivan: guitar (2000–2004)
  • Phil Magallanes: keyboards (2000–2001)
  • Andrea Valentini: drums (2001–2012)
  • Darcy Hepner: sax, flute (1999 fill in, 2001–2004)
  • John Samorian: keyboards (2001–2003)
  • Nick Marchione: trumpet (2002–2004, fill-in – 2015)
  • Eric Cortright: keyboards (2003–2004)
  • Leo Huppert: bass (2004)
  • Steve Jankowski: trumpet (2005–2013)
  • Rob Paparozzi: vocals, harmonica (2005–2011)
  • Scottie Wallace: vocals (alternating with Rob P. – 2005–2006)
  • Thomas Connor: vocals (fill in – 2006 & 2007, 2012, early 2017)
  • Tommy Mitchell: vocals (fill in 1 show 2007)
  • Jens Wendelboe: trombone (2006–2013)
  • Chris Tedesco: trumpet (fill in for Mulet – 2007)
  • Brian Steel: sax (fill in – 2008)
  • Bill Churchville: trumpet (fill in – 2008)
  • Ken Gioffre: sax (2010–2015, 2016–present)
  • Jon Pruitt: keyboards (fill in for McClelland – 2010)
  • Ralph Bowen: sax (fill in for Gioffre – 2011)
  • Dave Anderson: bass (fill in for Foote – 2011, joined 2012–2013)
  • Jason Paige: vocals (2011–2012)
  • Bernard Purdie: drums (sat in for 1 tune 2011)
  • Tom Bowes: vocals (2012, 2018)
  • David Aldo: vocals (2012–2013)
  • Joel Rosenblatt: drums (2012–2015, fill in for Elise – June 2017)
  • Bo Bice: vocals (2013–2018)
  • Jon Ossman: bass (2013–2014)
  • Michael Davis: trombone (2013)
  • Carl Fischer: trumpet (2013–2015, 2016)
  • Dan Levine: trombone (2014 & 2015 – fill in, 2016–2018)
  • Dillon Kondor: guitar (fill-in – 2014-2016, 2017–2018)
  • Buster Hemphill: bass (2014–2016, 2018 – fill in)
  • Trevor Neumann: trumpet (2014–2016)
  • Brandon Wright: sax (2014 – fill in)
  • Dylan Elise: drums (2015–present)
  • Mike Cottone: trumpet (2015–2016)
  • Mike Boscarino: trombone (2015–2016, 2018, 2019)
  • Ric Fierabracci: bass vocals (2016–present)
  • Brad Mason: trumpet- MD (2015, 2016–present)
  • Leonardo Amuedo: guitar (2016)
  • Jonathan Powell: trumpet (2017-2019)
  • Mark Miller: trombone (2017, 2018 – fill in)
  • Adam Klipple: keyboards (2017 & 2019 – fill in)
  • Frank David Greene: trumpet (2017 – fill in)
  • Anibal Rojas: sax (2017 & 2019 – fill in)
  • Bryan Davis: trumpet (2017 – fill in)
  • Brian Bonvissuto: trombone (2017 – fill in)
  • Greg Mayo: guitar (2018 – fill in)
  • Julian Coryell: guitar vocals (2018, 2019 – fill in)
  • Ozzie Melendez: trombone (2018 – fill in)
  • Chris Rodriguez: guitar vocals (2019)
  • Keith Paluso: vocals (2019-present)
  • Sam Ryan: vocals (2019 – fill in)

DISCOGRAPHY:

From STEVE KATZ

When the Blues Project broke up soon thereafter, Katz found himself working with Al Kooper, the member of the old band with whom he had fought most often. The new band, called Blood Sweat & Tears, would go on to sell millions of albums, win several Grammys, including one for Best Album (beating out “Abbey Road”) and tour the world, playing everything from festivals to Las Vegas.

But that was all in the future. Their debut album, “Child is Father to the Man,” was recorded in late 1967 with the mercurial Kooper, and it’s still considered by some to be the band’s finest hour. Yet Kooper departed soon thereafter, and his place was filled by the big-voiced, barrel-chested David Clayton-Thomas, who became, for Katz, “the Canadian albatross” and made Kooper seem like Gandhi by comparison.

The band’s second album, called “Blood, Sweat & Tears,” with Clayton-Thomas singing “Spinning Wheel,” “And When I Die” and “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy,” soared to the top of the singles and album charts and stayed there for months. In an irony that only rock music can produce, when Katz was at his most successful commercially, he was most miserable personally. The band was for him now more a business consideration than a musical entity.

“Part of my problem was that the band did not have the family vibe that Blues Project had,” said Katz. “Mainly, I didn’t like the direction the band was going in, which was deeper and deeper into jazz. Plus, David was beginning to sound like Sammy Davis Jr. But once we had the hit singles, we had no choice. You have to deal with lawyers and accountants and you have to trust them but, unfortunately, there was nobody you could trust in those fields back in those days.”

Nonetheless, the band did have some exciting times, such as playing a muddy, late-night set at Woodstock that was not included in the movie. They had happier experiences at the Atlanta and Toronto pop festivals, and toured Eastern Europe at the behest of the State Department. Katz hung on through four albums and even outlasted Clayton-Thomas, but eventually left in 1973.

CHILD IS THE FATHER TO THE MAN/BS&T

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CHILD IS FATHER TO THE MAN

   Christmas 1966 my folks gave me the only gift I truly wanted, an AM-FM portable AC powered radio with a battery backup.They got me one of the best, a PANASONIC which lasted until 1976 when my friend, Bobby T. threw it against the wall after a NY Yankees loss. Not one of his best tantrums but close as his best was throwing an ashtray through the TV after losing at a game of “Spades”. But I digress. My portable radio had a pull out antenna and in the gift box was a strange looking wire. I asked my Dad if he ever saw this kind of wire as he was an electrician for the NYTA. He laughed, went to his workbench downstairs and came back with a small spool of the identical wire. He told me when the wire is attached to the pull out antenna the clarity of sound of distant stations would probably be clearer. Clearer I could not imagine as the sounds emulating from this radio was already amazing.  Pulling in distant stations was intriguing. So I got a ladder, climbed up the tree next to my upstairs bedroom window, shimmied up to the upper branches, as high as I could go (remember, I am afraid of heights) and attached the wire to the tree bark with a few heavy duty staples. The other end of the wire was attached to the side of my night table which when needed I would hook to my radio. WHEW…I could pick up all sorts of stations, especially at night when I could get the Canadian station CKLW (The Big 8). One night I heard ITCHYCOO PARK (Small Faces) on that station.

   My neighbor across the street, an older guy by 4 years, had an eclectic taste in music and occasionally would lend me albums like The Blues Project, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and such. I nagged him about taking me to see The Lovin’ Spoonful to which he said he would but my Dad nixed it before it got any further. What’s this got to do with “Blood Sweat and Tears”? Well, one night (Spring of 68) while reading a book under the lamp in my bedroom with the radio playing softly in the background I heard something that caught my attention…”I Can’t Quit Her”, a nice little ditty, piano leading with horns. “WOW”, I thought, “This is good, who is it?” ROSKO, one of the Dj’s on the new WNEW-FM format announced it was “BLOOD, SWEAT and TEARS”. I thought, “That’s a weird name for a band”. A few weeks later while perusing the record department in TSS Stores I saw a strange looking album cover with an even stranger title ,“CHILD IS FATHER TO THE MAN” by BLOOD SWEAT & TEARS, needless to say I purchased it.

   As per my usual procedure I awaited until evening for the darkness and comfort of my bedroom before partaking of the sounds recorded on that 12 inch vinyl. I lit up my Marlboro Red, dropped the stylus down and …”The Overture” to which I thought, “What’s with that laughing?” … and then, “I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know” an amazing song, all 5 minutes and 58 seconds of it. Then, the cacophony of horns as intro to “Morning Glory” (with what later in another incarnation of BS&T the organ/arrangement becomes “You Made Me So Very Happy”). I was mesmerized sitting there, then NILSON’s song “Without Her”, Side 2 with “I Can’t Quit Her”, “Something’s Goin’ On” and all the others.  This album is a keeper.

     As things turned out AL KOOPER the originator of the band was “fired” from his own band due to “creative differences” leaving BS&T to chart a different course, hit making pop music, as the second album BLOOD SWEAT and TEARS released at the end of 68 soared up the charts and included three (3) Top Ten singles. Critics hated the new version of the band but the record buying public loved it. Meanwhile, Alan Peter Kuperschmidt aka Al Kooper  Summer of 68) had a TOP TEN album on the charts with “Super Session” featuring MIKE BLOOMFIELD and STEPHEN STILLS.

Led Zeppelin: February, 1969



IRON BUTTERFLY at FILLMORE EAST January 31 and February 1, 1969,  Pete my buddy at work attended one of those shows that weekend. He raved about this new band who blew Iron Butterfly off the stage, leaving Iron Butterfly to play just one song, their hit IN A GADDA DA VIDA, and according to Pete, Led Zeppelin the other band came back out due to the booing of Butterfly and the calls from the crowd for more Led Zeppelin. I have never been able to verify that but Pete said it, so…it must be true. 
   A few days later while at work Pete asked me to join him to see LED ZEPPELIN at THE SCENE a club in Manhattan. With little provocation I agreed to go to the Wednesday night show. But alas, the shows were cancelled due to John Bonham’s son falling at home in England and Bonham was needed there. So, I made due by purchasing LED ZEPPELIN and listening to the debut album, over and over again. And waited for their return to NY.

Animal Collective/ Time Skiffs

Today: Animal Collective

   It’s a cold Saturday morning, in fact its a freezing cold morn in New York, but I am armed with my second cup of coffee as I finish my routine of online newspaper readings. In one paper I found a review about the newest ANIMAL COLLECTIVE album. Intrigued I do something I haven’t done in many months, I downloaded music, specifically the afore mentioned band’s “Time Skiffs”. Usually I would search out the album in the local record store (they still exist folks) and buy the vinyl copy but as I said it was freezing outside so I remain in my comfy chair with my coffee.

   Now some will not know of this band let alone the fact that this is their eleventh (11th) album.  I had one of their previous recordings “Meriweather Post Pavilion” and gave it many spins a few years ago so I thought, “Why not again?”

   These new songs are somewhat thematic based around folks being isolated and confused for the last two years, something we all can relate to. Also, the fact that time passes too quickly, “Treatin’ every day, as an image of a moment that’s passed.”as sung on the tune “Prester John”.

   The band’s live performances have been described as telepathic and dreamlike, with a 3-D, modern Beach Boys like harmonies laid over a Grateful Dead groove, aka neo- psychedelic. I’m in, I’m more than ready for another trippy recording. “Let’s say tonight, you and me, we’ll watch the sky fall into pieces!” from “Strung With Everything”

   Now, the only problem is it is Saturday morning and I’m not in my stained-glass work space where normally this music would be playing on my stereo. Its playing on my Mac Book where others having breakfast can enjoy. And I hear from the nearby other room, “What is that?” and not in a good “What is that?” kinda way… more of the “Get that shit off” kinda way. Oh well, to each his/her own. I still like it. Worth a listen, 3 1/2 stars on first listen (out of 5). 

THE NERD IN ME…aka February 2: The Centenary of ULYSSES

   Covid-19 aka two years isolation gave me the opportunity to “get my nerd on”. Some who read my blog know I am on a quest to revitalize, resurrect, rejuvenate, and renew myself with the ultimate goal of being “the better man” not just a better man when I fully get back out in society. Truthfully, it ain’t going so well but I can tell you that I did have the time to revitalize, to resurrect, and to renew two obsessions I have which can be well…nerdy.

   It goes without saying that I am a collector or as my lovely bride would say, a “hoarder” of memorabilia, vinyl records, autographed books and the like, but since I document and categorize every item, and since the “stuff” is neatly stored I call it “collecting”. Many years ago, over 60 to be closer to the truth, I started collecting coins. Then, my paternal Grandmother gave me two Whitman’s books for collecting pennies and nickels, filled mostly with the entire set. Well, the collection grew and grew. About the same time she gave me my Dad’s stamp collection started in the 1930’s. Now these stamps were used not mint (new) but great to look at. Needless to say I started my “mint” collection of stamps.

   Over the years I would take a few hours to review what I had in stamps/coins and search out what I needed. During the Great Covid Hibernation I went full out in search of newer items and started to collect stamps from other nations, especially if the issue involved a person from/of literature, art, music, science, etc. which leads me to this: February 2 ,the Irish postage company An Post have released two new stamps, “The Ulysses 100″, to celebrate the centenary of the publication of James Joyce’s acclaimed novel “Ulysses”. The colors of the stamps are in direct correlation to “Gilbert Schema” which makes it more interesting. The photographs used on the stamps are said to “offer a glimpse into James Joyce’s Dublin at the turn of the last century.”

   The question is, How many folks, (English majors need not apply”) actually read all 700 plus pages of “Ulysses” and if so did you understand what was happening? For those who don’t know, the novel takes place in Dublin on an unremarkable single day in the lives of LEOPOLD BLOOM and MOLLY BLOOM. – June,6 1904, and is widely regarded as a masterpiece on parallel with Homer’s Odyssey. 

to be continued…

OPINIONS and OBSERVATIONS: THE PAST EIGHT PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS 

Oh, Ye, gentle mistresses and most distinguished gentlemen, and others… The opinions and observations are solely my own views, and I take full responsibility for any errors of fact, not to mention any predictions that prove to be wildly inaccurate.It’s time to prepare for the MID-TERM elections.

THE POPULAR VOTE is what many Americans believe elects the president. Many of those mistaken Americans are learning at least from the last few elections about a thing called the ELECTORAL COLLEGE which officially verifies and elects the president.This is my take on the “popular vote” and how the people nationwide actually pull the levers (Or fill in the dots, or chads, or whatever). 

Of the last eight (8) Presidential elections (1992,1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2020) more Americans have voted for a DEMOCRATIC candidate than the REPUBLICAN counterpart.The exception was 2004 when GEORGE W. BUSH beat his opponent JOHN KERRY by@3 million votes. Of those eight (8) elections the DEMS have won the PRESIDENCY only five (5) times 1992 and 1996 (Bill Clinton), 2008 and 2012 (Obama) and now Biden (2020). The overwhelming popular vote for one candidate while  that candidate did NOT obtaining the office is an interesting statistic to consider.

The Dem v GOP Psyche:

The 1980 Presidential election was a landslide victory for the Republican Party under RONALD REAGAN. The incumbent JIMMY CARTER (D) faced strong opposition in seeking the nomination from his own party with TED KENNEDY actively seeking the nod, up to and including during the convention. Fearing a deadlock at the Democratic Convention, a “draft Mondale” cry was initiated but did not come to pass. The DEMS send the incumbent CARTER/MONDALE slate against the former governor of California RONALD REAGAN and former CIA Director GEORGE H.W. BUSH. The REAGAN/BUSH ticket wins 489 electoral votes to the incumbent’s 49 (538 total). 

The REAGAN/BUSH team seek a second term (1984) continuing with their conservative thoughts of supply side economics, strengthening the military, etc. The DEMS offer the ticket of WALTER MONDALE (former VP under Jimmy Carter- a one and done president) and a woman GERALDINE FERRARO as vice president. JESSE JACKSON was also in the mix. Needless to say, the Reagan /Bush team easily won re-election, securing the Electoral College 525 to 13 (538 total) an even larger victory that 1980. The Democratic party has had two consecutive disastrous runs for president as well as losing house and senate seats. 

THE REAGAN ERA continues with the win by GEORGE H.W. BUSH and DAN QUAYLE, the 1988 GOP Presidential ticket running against MICHAEL DUKAKIS and LLOYD BENTSEN, the Democratic slate. Dukakis is too much of a “liberal northerner” for the taste of the neoconservatives of the Reagan Era. The GOP easily move into a third term with a 426 to 111 electoral vote with BUSH stating “read my lips” when asked about raising taxes which he promised would not happen.

During his term BUSH did raise taxes, the economy was in a recession and all the hopes and dreams, the goodwill of Ronald Reagan was not continuing. The American people questioned Bush’s ability to lead and as well the future of the Republican party. 

Enter BILL CLINTON as the Democratic candidate, he being an unknown from Arkansas and ROSS PEROT an independent third party candidate in a challenge to George HW Bush for the presidency in 1992. ROSS PEROT’s popular vote (19,743,821) should be noted that despite  him obtaining zero electoral college votes Perot’s popular numbers did have a substantial influence on the election. The two major candidates were separated by 5.8 million votes. However, after three GOP presidents the office was ceded in 1992 to CLINTON 370-168 electoral votes. A huge victory for the Democratic party as they would control the House and The Senate with overwhelming numbers, a plus for any president on his first day of office.

1996 Clinton (379 electoral votes) defeats BOB DOLE (159) by 7,774,396 popular votes. In his two campaigns CLINTON defeated his challengers by a total of 13.5 million votes.

2000 Al GORE(266), Democrat received 543,596 more popular votes than the victor George W. BUSH (271).

2004 George W. BUSH received 3,011,595 more popular votes than his opponent John Kerry who quickly conceded the election despite the fact that there were irregularities in OHIO (20 electoral votes) costing Kerry the election.

2008 Barack OBAMA (365) received more popular votes (69,456.032) popular votes than any other presidential candidate defeating John McCain (173) by 9.5 million votes.

2012 OBAMA(332) is re-elected defeating MITT ROMNEY(206) by 4.8 million votes.

2016 Hillary CLINTON (227) wins the popular election by 2,864,903 more votes than the election winner Donald TRUMP (304).

2020 Joe BIDEN (306) defeats incumbent Donald Trump (232) by 3,862,744 popular votes.TRUMP is the 4th incumbent president to lose an election in the last century. BIDEN received the most popular votes ever, 81,268,924.

Overall, 1992-2020

Dem Pop Votes    53,398,839

GOP Pop Votes   47,579,244

Difference: GOP  -5,809,545

According to Election lore, The incoming president will usually see a decline in his party’s Congressional seats at the midterm elections. So we await 2022.(Opinions and Observation soon)The 2021 SENATE is split evenly between 50 Democrats(48 Dems and 2 Indeps) and 50 Republicans. But according to IAN MILLHISER(VOX) the 50 Democratic Party senators represent 41 million more people than the 50 GOP senators.

The statistics for the Presidential Election of 2020 have been scrutinized with a keen eye by the media, the candidates, their supporters and distractors, and ultimately the judicial branch of government. What should be noted is only 66.20% of eligible voters (239,247,182) turned out to vote (158,383,404) for one of the ten (not just two parties, folks ) candidates. More than 100 million votes were cast before Election Day (early voting OR mail in). 2020 is the 9th consecutive presidential election where the victor did NOT win a popular majority by double digits (1980).

So be it.

FEBRUARY 1: La Fheile Bride…

Today, the first day of the month of February is known as “La Fheile Bride” in IRELAND, that is THE FEAST OF ST. BRIGID, with St. Brigid of Kildare being the second most popular Saint in all of IRELAND, just behind you know who. I try to explain to my non-Irish acquaintances the significance of BRIDY but sometimes they lose interest. Heathens they are. But when I show them the “cross” they say ,“I’ve seen that”. DUH.

   St. Brigid was one of four “fire” god/goddesses in Ireland before becoming a saint. The “fire” was a term for the changing of a season, the midpoints of the year, seasons. She represented IMBOLC which was an ancient festival marking the beginning of spring.Today St. Brigid is the patron saint representing many factors of Irish life including sailors, poetry, learning, healing, protection, blacksmithing, livestock and dairy production, teens, unmarried mothers, and children without fathers. She takes care of them all and  also had a reputation as an expert dairywoman and brewer, was reputedly could turn water into beer. She is my kind of goddess.

   To celebrate, on the eve of Her day, folks leave a piece of cloth outside their doors awaiting St. Brigid to come by and bless the cloth with the powers to heal and protect.That cloth is then woven into clothing, used in  drapes, or left hanging conspicuously around the home. On the first of February, a feast honoring her is held with a parade through town and later she is celebrated at homes with family activities culminating in the making of St. Brigid’s Cross.

   Next year, 2023, ST. BRIGID’S DAY will be a national bank holiday in THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND but not the six counties to the north to which I say “Fxxx The Crown, Hail, Muire na nGael” (Mary of The Irish).

   Next year, 2023, ST. BRIGID’S DAY will be a national bank holiday in THE REPUBLIC OF IRELAND but not the six counties to the north to which I say “Fxxx The Crown, Hail, Muire na nGael” (Mary of The Irish).

THE RUSSIANS WERE COMING…

  Forget the UKRAINE, the REDS are screwing with IRISH FISHERMAN and that ain’t too cool.The Russian Naval Flotilla was planning a “war games” exercise in International waters, waters extremely close to Ireland’s maritime Exclusive Economic Zone. This exercise would have involved “live fire” 160 miles off the coast of Cork lasting for five days.This type of activity would be a threat to marine life and fish stocks in the area, the life’s blood for the Irish fishermen. As many as sixty Irish trawlers are planning to fish in the waters where the Russian exercises were being planned, as they do every year on February 1 when the fishing quota begins. However, this would have been the first time that Russian’s had sought to do a naval exercise in the area. Perhaps the Russians are being deliberately provocative.After much negotiations the Russian’s decided to change their plans. Let’s keep an eye on it.

to be continued…

Bloody Sunday @ 50

BLOODY SUNDAY: 50 Years Later

January 30, 1972…

January 30, 2022…

   Most times while holding my first pint of Guinness in a pub I look skyward, nod in silent tribute to my relatives from the “old sod” and softly mumble, “Fuxx The Crown”. One asks,“Why would you curse out The Crown?”. Here’s just one of many,many reasons. Fifty years ago,13 innocent Irish civilians of County Derry were shot dead by members of the British Army’s Parachute Regiment (The Crown) at a march protesting internment without trial. A 14th victim died months later.

   This past Sunday, January 30, the 50th Anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” a “Families’ Walk of Remembrance “was held starting off from Creggan shops and ending at the Bloody Sunday Monument. Children in the procession were holding a white rose for each of the 14 victims, while other family members carried photographs of their lost loved ones. At the monument a ceremony was held and  the cathedral bells tolled 14 times at 4:10pm — the time the killings began 50 years ago.

“We pledge to honour the memory of those who died on Bloody Sunday by standing with all victims of the Troubles and continuing to work for permanent peace on our shared island.””Very painfully, the Bloody Sunday families were denied for too long the truth about what happened to their loved ones,” said Archbishop Martin.”Sadly, they are not alone — a whole legacy of heartbreak and with it a dark shadow of secrecy still hangs over much of our troubled past.”

In total twenty-six (26) unarmed Irish citizens were shot, 14 of the 26 died. The British Army’s Parachute Regiment said those shot were armed or were “bomb throwers” which proved to be totally false during two separate investigations into the Bogside Massacre. It was proven that  NOT ONE WAS ARMED.The casualties are listed (Wiki) in the order in which they were killed. R.I.P.

  • John “Jackie” Duddy, age 17. Shot as he ran away from soldiers
  • Michael Kelly, age 17. Shot in the stomach while standing at the rubble barricade on Rossville Street.
  • Hugh Gilmour, age 17. Shot as he ran away from soldiers near the rubble barricade.
  • William Nash, age 19. Shot in the chest at the rubble barricade. Three people were shot while apparently going to his aid, including his father Alexander Nash.
  • John Young, age 17. Shot in the face at the rubble barricade, apparently while crouching and going to the aid of William Nash.
  • Michael McDaid, age 20. Shot in the face at the rubble barricade, apparently while crouching and going to the aid of William Nash.
  • Kevin McElhinney, age 17. Shot from behind, near the rubble barricade, while attempting to crawl to safety.
  • James “Jim” Wray, age 22. Shot in the back while running away from soldiers in Glenfada Park courtyard. He was then shot again in the back as he lay mortally wounded on the ground. Witnesses, who were not called to the Widgery Tribunal, stated that Wray was calling out that he could not move his legs before he was shot the second time.
  • William McKinney, age 26. Shot in the back as he attempted to flee through Glenfada Park courtyard.
  • Gerard “Gerry” McKinney, age 35. Shot in the chest at Abbey Park. A soldier, identified as ‘Private G’, ran through an alleyway from Glenfada Park and shot him from a few yards away. Witnesses said that when he saw the soldier, McKinney stopped and held up his arms, shouting, “Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot!”, before being shot. The bullet apparently went through his body and struck Gerard Donaghy behind him.
  • Gerard “Gerry” Donaghy age 17. Shot in the stomach at Abbey Park while standing behind Gerard McKinney. Both were apparently struck by the same bullet.
  • Patrick Doherty, age 31. Shot from behind while attempting to crawl to safety in the forecourt of Rossville Flats.[2][66]
  • Bernard “Barney” McGuigan, age 41. Shot in the back of the head when he walked out from cover to help Patrick Doherty. He had been waving a white handkerchief to indicate his peaceful intentions. 
  • John Johnston, age 59. Shot in the leg and left shoulder on William Street fifteen minutes before the rest of the shooting started.

“Give Ireland back to the Irish”…

26+6=1

The “Six” counties of the North held hostage by the British: Fermanagh, Derry, Antrim, Tyrone, Down, Armagh.