Jim Dolan

Why Bother

by Jess Rubenstein

Only a James Dolan can take what should have been a special night for Mark Messier and ruin it. Why of all nights did he decide to announce to the Ranger fans that Glen Sather would be returning for a 5th year?

In my book it is simple given how little the reaction from the media on the announcement it was intentional to keep the negative reaction down to a low roar. Good move on his part but the price he might pay for it just might cost him a lot more than the 10% ticket price cut for the next hockey season.

For one thing I got an announcement of my own to make regarding the Rangers. On July 1st I am going to become a fan free agent and see if there is another team worth supporting. After 45 years of being a Ranger fan I can no longer find it in my heart to support a team that abuses their fans the way the Rangers do.

I mean why should I continue to give my loyalty to a franchise that clearly is owned by not only the most hated man in NYC sports but also perhaps the stupidest one as well in James Dolan? Why should I keep supporting a team that doesn’t give a damn what their fans think or feel?

In seven years of ownership, the Dolans have totally turned the Rangers into a laughing stock and I am tired of being embarrassed at being a Ranger fan. In the last 4 years alone I have watched the Rangers get worse without any signs of improvement so why should I bother anymore.

When I see James Dolan say that he has no idea what went wrong then I realize it that is time to consider other possibilities. In spite of all that has been said in the media about the job Glen Sather has done, that in spite of the demands of Ranger fans for his termination there goes James Dolan giving Sather another season to screw up the Rangers.

I also know that I am not alone in feeling the way that I do as several long time Ranger fans have told me that they are finished with the Rangers as well. Their feeling that as long as Sather and Dolan are running the show then little will change so there is no reason to bother supporting them any more.

For me it means I would be ending a relationship that has lasted 45 years and goes back to my own father and grandfather. My grandfather was one of the first season ticket holders back in the 1950’s when season tickets were first introduced. It is embarrassing for me to say that I seriously considering ending a family tradition of Ranger support and for that I will curse the Dolan family.

A year ago I was telling people that we had to hold on, that the Rangers might be owned on paper by the Dolans but in truth they belong to us fans. Never once in my wildest dreams did I even imagine that I too would be thinking about saying, “I have had enough of this crap goodbye.”

I have been told in my life that if you can’t trust someone that you are in a relationship with then it is always best to end such a relationship. I don’t trust the Dolans; I don’t trust Glen Sather so that is factoring a lot in my decision to look for another team.

After all honesty and the Rangers has disappeared from the hollow and empty threats of accountability from Sather to the treatment of Brian Leetch surrounding his trade. Once upon a time Ranger class and pride were more than just words they were a reason why one was proud of being a Ranger fan.

When I think back to seeing an Adam Graves exiled from the Rangers while seeing a convicted rapist named Billy Tibbetts wearing the Ranger uniform, I realize how much things have changed for the worse.

When you see the President/GM say flat out not once but on several occasions that Ranger fans were to blame for the team’s failures and he is allowed to keep his job then you know things are bad. In any other city or in any other sport attacking the fans for your failures would have resulted in a swift termination.

Not in the world according to James Dolan who not only is the most hated man in NYC sports but clearly he wants also to be known as the stupidest one as well. Only someone who clearly doesn’t give a rat about his fan base would ignore every single bit of evidence that shows just how bad a job Sather has done and keep him in his job.

When the owner of the team has no idea what went wrong with the season and that it isn’t the fault of the person he hired to fix things then the owner is a bigger idiot than anyone has given him credit for. One has to question where in the world does he see that things are better today than they were 4 years ago when Sather was hired.

Over the past 4 years the team has become less and less competitive as the season wore on. In this what was supposed to be the latest in desperate attempts to earn just the 8th seed the Rangers were basically out of the playoff hunt faster than in any of the previous 7 seasons.

So how does James Dolan expect any of us to continue to support the team then? Easy he is expecting our loyalty to keep us coming back for more but I fear that he has made perhaps the biggest mistake in his life here.

Had James Dolan fired Glen Sather and then replaced him with someone who would rebuild the franchise he would have gotten the support from the fans. He didn’t and now there is a price to pay for it.

Ranger fans are tired of being taken advantage of, they are tired of being blamed for things they didn’t do and worse of all they are tired of seeing their loyalty taken for granted. That James Dolan can’t see that either is another of the things he doesn’t understand.

I am so sick and tired of the losing, I am so sick and tired of the lies and distortions that come from the MSG spin machine. I am tired of supporting a team that leaves me feeling like I am being taken for granted.

So that means for me that perhaps it is time to say good bye to the Rangers. I write for this site and Ranger Fan Central and I am tired of writing about all the bad things that the Rangers continue to do. I want to have fun doing what is supposed to be a hobby and as long as Sather and Dolan are running the show it is doubtful it will happen.

I want to enjoy a sport that I love more than anything else once again. I don’t want any special privileges for being a fan of a team. I just want my team to be a hard working competitive team that makes the games exciting to watch.

All I want really when it comes right down to it is that I want to enjoy the games I am watching most of the time. I don’t believe I can do that with the Rangers anymore thanks to James Dolan and Glen Sather. They have been responsible for the franchise alienating their fans and they don’t care whom they chase off.

That is fine with me because I now know that I can a team elsewhere if the Rangers can’t figure out how to fix what is wrong. The problem is that I do know how to fix what is wrong but since I can’t fire James Dolan I will start to look elsewhere.

I will watch the entry draft and the July 1st opening of free agency with a very cautious view. If I see what I expect to see which is another sham played on Ranger fans then I am gone.

And I got James Dolan and Glen Sather to thank for it.

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