<![CDATA[As a Rangers fan, there really is nothing better than watching games with my friends.
It usually includes booze, screaming at the television, a bunch of laughs and more booze.
There’s celebratory high fives after goals and the drowning of our sorrows in alcohol after an opponent finds the back of the Rangers net.
Fights are met with thunderous applause, while the referees feel our armchair wrath after a questionable penalty call.
Inevitably, we have intense conversations about the turning point of the 1994 Stanley Cup Final (Richter’s penalty shot save on Bure…duh) or if we were Team Richter or Team Vanbiesbrouk.
Despite having opposing positions, we always respect and listen too each other. Unless we’re really bombed, then it usually leads to some kind of drunken wrestling match (or at least in our younger days it did). But I digress.
And I’m sure this is a similar scene that’s played out in the basements and dens of countless Rangers fans over the years.
In our own closed off man caves, we’re very comfortable with the way our group of friends view the Blueshirts. We’re not exposed to how other Rangers fans are dissecting games or celebrating them.
That is until we check our social media accounts. Suddenly, we’re witnessing other residents of Rangerstown lauding players we just mocked with our friends, while viewing the game through a completely different prism.
Sadly, instead of using these social media platforms to be, you know, social and having constructive conversations on the merits of our arguments, the keyboard warriors and Ranger fan police come out in full force.
Where you previously respected your friend’s opinion on Tanner Glass’ positive impact while watching the game in his basement, you’re now ridiculing an anonymous fan on Facebook who wants more toughness (or is it toffness?).
Because of social media, Rangers fans have literally become more concerned with how a fellow fan is rooting for the Blueshirts than how the team is actually performing on the ice.
And now that analytics have become all the rage, the divide has only grown deeper.
There are times I sign into Twitter after a convincing win and the Blueshirt Faithful are at each other’s throats like they just lost their 10th straight game.
So my advice is this, stop giving a sh*t how other Rangers fans root for the Blueshirts.
If someone wants to be completely miserable while calling for the trade of Henrik Lundqvist, let them.
If another fan enjoys crunching the numbers postgame to spot trends and predict whether the Rangers current play is sustainable, more power to them.
And if yet another fan chooses to show loyalty by standing behind Rangers players through thick and thin (cough – Girardi – cough), that’s their prerogative.
No matter which of these scenarios you identify with, it doesn’t make you any more or less of a Rangers fan. This isn’t a contest.
We’re all fans of a team that’s won exactly one Stanley Cup in the last 76 years. So guess what? We’re in this together.
So I beg of you Rangers Nation, stop demeaning fellow fans for how they “enjoy” their beloved Blueshirts and instead focus on what really matters: cheering this team on to another God damn Cup!!!]]>