Sunday, June 14, 2009

Can It Have Been 15 Years. . .?

For years after the Rangers won the Stanley Cup, I used to watch Oh Baby! or the Official 1994 Championship tape every year on the anniversary. It felt fun to re-live the memory, when it was nice and fresh. It felt important.

As the years went on, this anniversary ritual stopped. I honestly can't remember the last time I watched any of those tapes.

There just came a time when it felt different. And I honestly don't know if it was somewhere during the seven playoff-less years, the second lockout, or when, exactly. But something changed.

Perhaps it was just inevitable that there'd be a time when 1994 stopped being something that just happened and something you wanted to glorify, and more became a reminder of what once was and what, now, seemed almost impossible to be again.

For if the Rangers had a moment since 1994 (or past 1997) of truly making we, as fans, feel that it could, indeed, happen again for them - for us-, perhaps maybe I wouldn't feel so separate from that night, now 15 years ago.

But, yet, I do. Especially after watching a year of hockey where I embraced so few of our players and enjoyed so few of the moments I onced loved and longed to remember.

I hope, as do we all, that this team, our team, can turn it around someday, and hopefully someday soon. I hope, as we all do, that 1994 was not the only glory we'll see.

But you know what. I've always said, if it was, at least I got to see it, even if I was only a new fan, unsure of much, except the fact that I was drawn to this team. The devotion, the loyalty, and the full range of emotions that go along with bring a fan of a team, that came later. When things got worse, when you built favorites among the many, when you were still waiting for things to get better.

But 15 years. . .

I really can't believe it's been 15 years.

I Tivoed the replays on MSG Network tonight just in case. Maybe before I go to bed, I'll just fast-forward to those last moments. To the words now ingrained in all our memories. To the celebration images we've all seen so many times.

And thank silently, or perhaps aloud, each of the players that made that championship possible.

Thank them for standing together and giving us that one, true, glorious moment we still, consciously or unconsicously, find ourselves clinging to tonight.


Kerri said...

You know you love that Kovalev video after they won, lol. I can watch that on repeat... the unbelievable joy. I totally loved Alexei, though. He's one of the guys I still like to keep up on, and he's one of the reasons I have endeared the Canadiens to myself. Partially it's because of that video.

15 years ago seems like a long time. It's actually my birthday today :-D, I'm 22. Does it feel like 15 years ago? To me it certainly does. Because I 6, turning 7 the very next day. Unforunately, it's the reason I can't remember it besides my dad waking me up screaming, telling me to remember it forever because it only happens once a lifetime. And that kind of stuck with me, that it only happens once in your whole entire life.

For many teams, that's not the truth. But for Ranger fans... that's how they felt.

Even thought it feels like forever ago, and even though I was only 7 years old, I could tell how much the Cup meant. Because when my dad watched his Giants win the Superbowl... yeah, he was so very happy. But it wasn't the same, jump up and down, wake the kids up, and stick them in front of the tv and tell them to remember this moment for the rest of their lives.

Hopefully it won't last a lifetime. Hopefully, we get one soon enough that we won't be celebrating '94 every year until we die, lol. :-D

But it was the best birthday present anyone could ask for, right?

kels said...

That total was the best birthday gift anyone could ever ask for! That's a very cool story.

Meanwhile, I was the only one in my entire family who knew what hockey was and certainly the only one watching. ;) Ah memories though.

The funny thing, until I watched last night again, I didn't completely really remember that Kovalev interview. But nothing made me laugh harder. Gosh - you almost want to take that video and give it to him and have him watch it whenever things get bad so he can remember how great it felt to be young and good and playing in the best league in the world. Maybe he needs a big reminder how it felt to be 20-years-old and on top of the world.

I still love Alex though, ups, downs, and every which ways. :) And his troll.

And with that - Happy Birthday!!!!