Fans of the New Jersey Devils never cease to amaze with ways they come up with to attack the New York Rangers and their fans, by means of wearing little pins and t-shirts with the official Ranger logos on them and the words “Rangers Suck” placed on the crest instead, and other shirts from years past featuring the Statue of Liberty all donned up in black and red with a slogan that went something along the lines of “This is Where Her Loyalty Really Lies.” While I was always amused at the pins, because you had to get within a foot of the fan wearing it to actually see the replaced words, thus making these people the only fans in the history of the sport to place the logo of their most hated rival on their actual apparel. The reason for this has always been an inferiority complex to New York, and a little bit to Philadelphia in the south. The Devils have won three Stanley Cups since 1995, a commendable achievement, and that has left their minuscule fan base unable to wrap their heads around why no one actually cares about their hockey team—a team with that amount of success should be selling out every night. I have long thought that their fans care more about attacking the Rangers and rooting against them than rooting for and cheering on their own team.
While the Rangers and their fans most certainly hate the Devils, we do not spend our time not facing them speaking their name and toiling over how they are playing, such as when Devils’ fans chant “Ranger suck!” at every single home game, in intervals. Nothing has ever been more infuriating to the feeble Devils’ fan mind than when the Rangers come to town, and the Prudential Center has a good deal of Blueshirts in attendance, usually in numbers of 30-40%. During the first round playoff series in 07/08, the loyal following repeated itself, and as the Rangers celebrated on The Rock’s ice, chants of “Let’s Go Rangers” drowned them out, leaving color commentator Chico Resch to express his disgust. So what are the Devils going to do about this? Well, they have launched a little ploy to keep Ranger fans from attending, one of the most childish announcements to ever come from a professional sports franchise. The link to the page on their website has since gone inactive, but luckily, we have what it said. If you are a Devils’ season ticket holder or fan who has purchased playoff tickets, you are instructed to do the following (none of which includes actually using your ticket(s) to attend the game!):
Through exclusive pre-sales, the majority of the seats at The Rock for all Devils home games this series, are in the hands of Devils fans. However, seats remain on the secondary market for purchase and to ensure the we “Protect Home Ice” below are some ways in which you as Devils fans can ensure the Rock is PACKED in RED:
1) If you own seats and have to sell for any of the home games because of conflicts, do NOT list your seats on the secondary market. Blogs such as Fire and Ice, In Lou We Trust, and HFBoards provide you with outlets to speak directly with other Devils fans who are looking for seats. This will ensure you are selling ONLY to other Devils fans. You can ask for pictures or meet them to deliver tickets, to ensure where their loyalty lies.
2) If you are unsure about conversing on Devils blogs to sell your tickets, you can call the Devils Fan Experience Team line at 855-DEV-ARMY, and as a service they will help you sell your seats you can’t use, to other Devils fans.
3) If you do not own seats already, visit secondary market ticket sales websites including Ticket Exchange to purchase your tickets immediately. Thousands of seats still remain for both Rangers home games at The Garden. Therefore, there is a window right NOW, for Devils fans to swallow up all the remaining tickets for the upcoming Devils home games at the Rock. Seize that opportunity now while it is still available.
No, this is not a joke, or a satire created by Down Goes Brown, but an actual announcement coming from an NHL franchise. Have you ever seen such desperation? Have you ever seen such an unintentional admittance that their team is nothing but a Mickey Mouse Organization, as Wayne Gretzky so deemed them in the 1980’s? Rather than be happy that tickets are going to be sold at high prices, to help sell out an arena that never fills up for any Devils game, for a team that is in bankruptcy, they are basically hoping that as a last resort, should you have tickets (prices starting at about $225…the “cheap” seats) and are unable to use them, that you will rip them up and throw them in the garbage, rather than flip them to a Rangers fan and get your money back. Have you ever seen such moxie? To tell a fan what they can or cannot do with something they paid for? Utterly ridiculous!
This is not a matter of Rangers vs. Devils, it is a matter of setting a precedent, that fans of a certain team are not welcome in a certain arena. Of course, you never want to see another team’s fans in your home building, and there is usually the general ribbing and some verbal disagreements, but this is basically sanctioning the fact that Ranger fans are officially not welcome, which could set the stage for a bit more than verbal disagreements. No fans go to a game with the intention to hurt someone, but after a few beers and some incitement, it always happens. This is not a cute little ploy, but something with serious implications, and something that will fall flat on its face. If anything wanted to make Ranger fans come to these game even more, this was it. Any Ranger fan with some money lying around for a rainy day that was not sure if he or she wanted to take the trip to Newark for a game is now busy scouring the internet for tickets. Demand a picture of them before you sell? What is this, a dating service? To quote Mike Emrick, “My goodness!” And good riddance!
It truly is a shame. The Devils are such a fantastic team on the ice and have nothing but idiots running their tickets and marketing office. For every intelligent fan they have, one who would sell their tickets, if need be, to the highest bidder regardless of their loyalty, there is another one that crawled out of a Newark gutter and thinks a scheme like this will actually go over well.