One down, three to go. Tonight’s Game 2 won’t determine the series per se, but a win would certainly help Rangers fans sleep better knowing they’re a split and a game away from the conference finals. And with the Knicks teetering on the brink of embarrassment, the hockey bandwagon in New York City’s about to get a hell of a lot more crowded. The tides are turning in this town; what was blue and orange only weeks ago is now plastered with the colors of true patriots, and it’s not hard to see why. Anyone with half a brain and a respectable father figure knows that Callahan is a much better leader than Carmelo. Torts got nominated for the Jack Adams. D’Antoni got fired. And since Chris Kreider is the now the white Jeremy Lin, don’t be surprised when droves of honkies start crowding up bars to watch their hero en mass. Thank god we’ve finally got someone of the same race playing hockey to idolize!
But seriously, this year feels different. I’ve seen more Rangers hats, shirts and jerseys around this town in the past couple weeks than there were in total over the last two years. When monster celebrities like Edie Falco and Snooki start shamelessly using their status for free tickets, and sports talk radio shows finally acknowledge hockey’s existence outside of their mid-hour updates, you know we’re getting closer to the cup. Because even though most of its inhabitants couldn’t pick the Blueshirts’ captain out of a police lineup, this town loves a winner. Just ask Eli Manning’s now sterling reputation. So as we approach Game 2 for both the Knicks and Rangers, New York is split. One group wants to watch a bunch of selfish dicks smash the Knicks into a fine powder and sweep them under a rug on their way to what is hopefully another hilarious letdown, and the other group, the one that’s actually growing, wants to watch their hometown team turn into champions through hard work and determination. Hop on, winner pickers and bandwagoners, because come parade time it’s the more the merrier. LET’S GO RANGERS! @Osgood_StoolNYC