4 comments on “New York Rangers Fans: Don’t Drink the MSG Flavored Kool-Aid

  1. Greg,

    This is not surprising at all to me.

    Circa 1979, a friend of mine who I had season tickets with started compiling a small handout with the active rosters of the Rangers and their opponents. He would call the offices of the visiting teams a day or two in advance and they were happy to tell him who was on their rosters. After a while he and I and several other contributors starting writing honest, insightful articles. This was no small feat for that pre-email period; we had to write articles in advance and give them to my friend before each home game in anticipation of the next game. He then had to type them on a typewriter, reproduce and collate them. It was a labor of love for him, and most of the time his rosters were more accurate than the ones published in the game programs.

    As the handout expanded into several pages, my friend titled it “From the Blue Seats” and started to ask for a small donation, 25 or 50 cents, to help defray his expenses. Real Ranger fans were more than happy to comply, some would even give him a dollar. Overall his publication was much superior to the program that at the time was selling for $2 and contained only advertising and fluff articles.

    After a few weeks, Ranger management called him and told him he could not collect money. So people started to hide handing him money or would give it to him between periods out by the escalators. With the help of John Halligan he was able to get some access to the locker room at practice to interview players but he talked to them man to man instead of just lobbing them fluff questions. He also did not disrespect them and I never heard of any negative incident involving him and any player.

    The first game of the 1981-82 season, he and my wife (who was a fellow season ticket holder but whom I had not yet met at the time) were hauled downstairs by Garden security. They told my friend to cease publication or he would be arrested and prosecuted. They claimed his publication cut into program sales, but nothing could be farther from the truth. The people who read his publication were other season ticket holders who never bought the program because it was not worth the paper it was printed on.

    At least we can’t blame Dimwit Dolan for this because it happened when Gulf & Western owned the Garden and the Rangers.

    In defense of the Rangers and MSG, I think most pro sports teams operate the same way–the info their PR departments put out is always spun positively and they look down on any information source they are not in a position to control. That’s why it is great that we have the mainstream media and sites where we can post our opinions freely, but as long as we stay at a safe distance.

  2. Jumbo, that is a very interesting story and a small piece of Rangers history. I knew once I saw John Halligan’s name it would be with something positive, and sure enough, it was.

    Whatever shred of class the Rangers organization had unfortunately died along with Mr. Halligan.

    • This mess we have down the street will contunue because the blame starts at the very top, The Dolans. Until they either sell the MSG empire, or get a president/GM who knows what he is doing AND leave him alone!!
      I have been a fan since 1948, yes, 1948, when I was in high school, admission was .50 cents with high school ID.
      I still look forward to every season with enthusiasm!!
      Tom D and crew

  3. Pingback: My Letter to Jim Schmiedberg of Blueshirt Banter « From New York to San Francisco

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