Sunday, July 22, 2007

Why the Outsider?

As sports fans we often feel as though we are on the outside looking in. This blog intends to embrace that viewpoint. I chose the Outsider as a name and concept because it speaks to the way I often feel as an Islanders fan. Examples:

  • As hockey fans in the U.S. we cannot ignore that our sport occupies a space near the fringe of the sports scene. Our sport is on the outside looking in.
  • As Islanders fans we know that our team often takes a back seat to the eight other major pro teams in the tri-state area. Our team is on the outside looking in.
  • I grew up in Westchester County, which was, for all intents and purposes, enemy territory. Now living in NYC, I remain an outsider when it comes to my NHL rooting interest.
  • Despite being a very active participant in competitive sports while growing up, I never laced on a pair of hockey skates (yes, it is a regret). Yet, my enthusiasm for the game grew and grew from outside the glass.
  • While this blog is being promoted by the New York Islanders, I am obviously not a member of the organization. I remain an outside observer.
Having never lived on Long Island for any length of time, I have rarely had the opportunity to enjoy a sense of community with other Islander fans. But I know I'm not the only one out here. If anything, I hope that this blog will serve to promote interest in the team, and the sport, on a larger scale.

Having said that, this blog will not be about overtly drumming up support for the team. That needs to happen naturally, the way it likely happened for anyone who cares enough to read this or any other Islanders blog. I will focus from time to time on the public perception of the Islanders as an NHL franchise and as a New York team. I will comment on the way in which the franchise presents itself, as well as on the way in which media outlets cover the organization--again, the outsider's perspective.

The everyday activities of the club, especially the games and personnel decisions, will also play a significant role.
But I will make it a point to respond to stories, comments, and opinions about the Islanders, whether from Mike and the Mad Dog, Larry Brooks, or Bob McKenzie. I've always wanted an outlet for my frustrations with some statements made by members of the media (more on that in a later post).

My one goal for this blog is to have people visit simply because it makes for a good read. I hope that one person's thoughts and perspectives will appeal to others who share a common interest. If a community of commenters develops here, I hope it only serves to make the page more engaging. I do reserve the right to remove any comments that are inappropriate. I would like this to be a positive place where people participate enthusiastically and respectfully. We can exchange observations, opinions, and even constructive criticism. I hope you will join me in keeping a light tone in relating to one another.

Leading up to the launch of the Blog Box, I am discovering that there is a deep and talented pool of Islanders bloggers out there. Islanders Outsider aims to be merely one voice among many that enriches the experience of being a fan of the New York Islanders.

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