This past year blogging amongst the other founding members of the blog box brought with it too many memories to relive in one post. But I'll hit on a few I hold dear. Like the time in February I went to Hooters on Hempstead turnpike for a drink after a game with fellow bloggers, Tom from the Tiger Track and Mike from Islesblogger, and had to order a glass of red wine from the waitress because I had given up beer for Lent. Red wine at Hooters. I don't know if I can ever repair my reputation in that place.
Then there was the night in the locker room after a game when during a player interview Richard Park's shoulder pads dripped sweat on and ice water on my head. I didn't think anyone noticed my situation, until the following week Ken Rosenblatt from Islander's Outsider remarked "Jim, I wish you could have seen your face when that sweat was dripping on you from Park's pads". I wish I could have too.
As I said, there are countless other stories I could touch on, but the theme remains the same. What really made this experience remarkable for me was the friends I made amongst my fellow founding members of the blog box. The ability to attend many home games and have semi press access will not surpass in fondness the memory of carefree exchanges with my friends in the blog box during game intermissions, over drinks, or at an Islander event.
I am moving on from the New York Islander Blog Box because I do not feel I currently have the time required to do this thing right. This is primarily due to work and personal commitments. Can I watch the games and write a good post at least weekly? Sure. But can I find the time to read all my fellow blogger's posts and comment on their unique and impassioned viewpoints? Sometimes. And sometimes is not good enough. They deserve better, as does the vision of the blog box as a whole. While I love my Islanders, and I love to write, its time to give someone else a shot at this.
To the Islanders, I wish to express my heartfelt thanks. Everyone, from Charles Wang, Garth Snow, Ted Nolan, Chris Botta, and Corey Witt through the Islander players took a very big risk with this thing. They enabled a group of dedicated fans to take the love of their team to the next level and generate greater exposure for the organization. In time, I believe the Islanders will be viewed as having had great vision with the Blog Box. I also believe this little experiment demonstrated their commitment to the first amendment. Never once was I contacted about content or my viewpoints. Never.
As far as my parting thoughts on the team and its future? Pretty simple. One- they are on the right track rebuilding. The '08 draft strategy will take a few years to assess, but good decisions by management through this development period can create a contender in 3-5 years. Two- The jerseys have to go. Return to the royal blue of the mid eighties. I wrote at some length about this back in May- keep it simple and restore seriousness and nostalgia back to this franchise. Finally- they need a new building. Period. If the Lighthouse Project fails, we'll be getting fitted for Hamilton jerseys. New building + new jerseys = new era.
If any of you guys ever want to keep in touch, just drop me a comment and I'll get back to you. I'll keep this open so when anything big happens (Lunqvist ice girl incidents, Isles promote Sillinger to assistant GM, etc.), I can opine. Thank you all for reading and supporting this blog!
As for me, I'll be working, fishing, firing up the 360 for Fallout 3, and keeping up with my favorite Fall pastime of all...
I'll go on being a Potvin loving, blue bleedin' Islander fan.
And they'll bury me that way.