For as long as I can remember, I have been a huge New York Rangers fan. This is all thanks to my father. Ever since I was in kindergarten, I have been taking the LIRR to Madison Square Garden with my dad to watch hockey greats like Mark Messier, Mike Richter, Brian Leetch, Wayne Gretzky, and others. If it weren’t for the sport of hockey and the New York Rangers, I wouldn’t have the relationship I have with my father.
My dad and I have not had the greatest of relationships. We could go days with our speaking or even seeing each other. Although, when it came to hockey, we slowly developed a better relationship as the years went on. Just like the team over the years, we had good times and bad. During the years before and after they won the Stanley Cup in 1994, my dad and I were always together and talking about the Rangers. One of the greatest memories I have is sitting in front of the TV on June 14th, 1994. I was 6 years old in the first grade, it was 11pm and a school night. It was game 7 of the Stanley Cup Championship and the game was at Madison Square Garden, where my dad was lucky enough to be. When Mctavish won the face-off and Sam Rosen said the memorable line, “The waiting is over, The New York Rangers are the Stanley Cup Champions! And this one will last a lifetime!” I cheered and would not sleep until my dad came home. I was so excited that my favorite team had won the most prized trophy in the game, and I was even happier that me and my dad got to share this moment, even though he was there in person, we shared the moment together.
Just last year Mark Messier’s number 11 was going to be raised to the rafters of the same place where they had won the cup. When it was announced I would have given and arm and a leg to be there and to be there with my dad. At the time I was working at Best Buy and my general manager who I was close with said to me that he had an extra set of tickets for that ceremony and game. So as anyone else would have done I took the tickets and brought the person that got me into the team and was there with me to follow Messier’s terrific career. On January 12, 2006, my dad and I were there to see the man we called “The Captain” for so many years be honored in this tradition. My dad and I were both touched and it brought us back to the days during the ’93-’94 season. It’s really funny when I think about how something as far off as a hockey team brings two people together. One thing that I will always treasure and never forget are the years of being Ranger fans, especially during the playoffs, and especially the night where I got to bring my dad to a celebration of a man helped a team win, and bring a father and a son closer together.
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