Back in the day, I was partial to hockey in a time when fans could cheer for their team without needing to be instructed.
There was no scoreboard with graphics and orders. There was no loud music to crowd out any independent thoughts. There were no ice girls and there were no mascots.
And, there were no loud horns.
That was then and this is now.
So, it should not have come as surprise to me when a the replacement of a goal horn prompted controversy in New York Islander land.
You say, as they begin their 2015-16 season the Islanders will be playing in a new home off the Island. After 4 decades plus at the Nassau Coliseum, the Isles start this campaign in Brooklyn – at the Barclays Center.
Some “off ice” enhancements mad the move (organ, organist). Some did not (mascot, ice girls). Moreover, the Islanders were hoping to integrate a new celebratory horn after goals – this based on 6 NYC subway horns that were to be placed on either side of center ice.
But the new horn was not well received by Islander fans and even before the season begins, they are history.
It is quite possible that the real issue was not about horns, but about fans feeling disoriented and disconnected.
The logo at center ice may be that of the Islanders, and the players on the ice wearing the Islanders uniform (Unless it is a new “third” jersey – a black one to be a connection to Brooklyn and the city), but there is a lot that is new and different to long time fans.
They are going to need someone to show some understanding and compassion.
It will be interesting to say if both sides in this gulf of cultures can connect.
New (and now replaced)