Tuesday, August 9, 2011
|Hat tip to my friend Mike for the excellent Photoshop.|
There are preliminary discussions between another Long Island county, Suffolk, and Charles Wang to determine if the Isles could fit there. Others suggest that the Islanders could move to either Queens or Brooklyn. I don’t know anything about Queens, except that Kevin James drives a mail route there, so I can’t vouch for its viability, but I do know that Brooklyn is absolutely perfect for the Islanders – at least culturally.
Brooklyn is one of the five boroughs in New York City and is home to Williamsburg, a hub for hipsters. Now hipsters don’t necessarily appear like the sports loving type, what with their oversized glasses and super tight jeans, but don’t let appearances fool you, there is enough about the Islanders that hipsters can grab hold of.
Well, for one, Islander fans are apathetic. That’s evident after years of paltry attendance figures and a dismal turnout at the polls to determine whether Nassau County should help finance Charles Wang’s new arena. But not caring about the Islanders is perfect for Brooklyn hipsters. Hispters love being apathetic, or at least looking apathetic. Having the Islanders in Brooklyn would at least make not caring about the team cool.
But there are also aspects about the Islanders that might turn cool Brooklyn apathy into genuine hipster love.
First, the Islanders are easily the least popular of all three New York area teams: the Rangers are a classic, original six team who routinely appear at the top of the NHL attendance leaders; and the Devils have won three Stanley Cups in the last two decades. In comparison, the Islanders have been run into the ground for over two decades and routinely draw sparse crowds. The only NHL team that might be less cool than the Islanders is the Coyotes and it’s only a matter of time until they move somewhere in Canada, thereby increasing their popularity immediately. The fact that no one likes the Islanders makes them hipster cool. I think the only team that hipsters could like even more is the California Golden Seals. Who are they? Oh, they’re some obscure team you’ve probably never heard of.
But the Islanders were popular during the 1980s, so you might think this should discredit them among their potential hipster fans. Well, no. You see, the 1980s is actually one of the most beloved decades for the modern hipster. Hipsters love 80s nostalgia, even though, for the most part, it was a decade they were born in, not the decade they actually grew up in and can remember.
Another reason hipsters would immediately adopt the Islanders is their love of facial hair. The Islanders in the mid-1970s began the tradition of growing their beards during the playoffs for solidarity. The tradition remained popular throughout the Islanders’ dynasty of the 1980s (hipster alert!), but was abandoned until the mid-90s, when it became permanently embedded in playoff culture. Hipsters love beards and moustaches, especially ones grown ironically, which is good because they can all show up to regular season games with ironic playoff beards, because, obviously, the current Islanders won’t need to grow any this post-season.
Additionally, if the Islanders do indeed move to Brooklyn, the fans can clamour for management to bring back the old Highliner uniforms: the ones with the fisherman logo that are routinely listed as one of the worst jersey designs in the history of the league. This might seem puzzling, but hipsters love to wear ugly things ironically. Supporting a team with one of the most hideous designs in the league will ensure that the hipsters rock the new Islanders’ gear all over Brooklyn. Plus, there is a fisherman in the logo and I’m pretty sure fisherman wear plaid. You know who loves plaid? Hipsters.
Moving the Islanders to Brooklyn would also take hockey arguments to a whole new level. New hipster fans could wax poetically about how mainstream Wayne Gretzky is and how Mike Bossy was actually the greatest goal scorer of all-time.
If the Islanders wanted to really make this work they could start advertising in Vice and play Bon Iver during the intermissions and Fucked Up after every goal. They could even sell PBR exclusively throughout the arena and official Islander super-skinny jeans in the gift shop.
This seems like a match made in hipster heaven.