Band of Gypsies and Islanders

Introducing our Atlantic Division Bureau Chief

You’re going to love this guy. Or hate him. We confuse those two emotions all the time.

We asked Vinny about writing for his team, the Isles, about a month ago and he readily agreed.  Unlike some of us relative noobs, he’s far more steeped in the culture and history of the game. 

He’s totally balls-to-the-ball and gung-ho to mix it up. He promises a delightful mix of the profane and the profound. He had us at profane.  

You can follow Vinny on the twitters at @TheLastIslander (but expect some NSFW chirping). He’s a Brooklyn resident and for his sake, we hope the Isles move there – even though he’ll be impossible to deal with after the relocation. We’re willing to take that risk however, and we hope the team does as well. -Craig

“What got me into hockey? Ha! A fascinating question, but one that has the standard fare for any child in the northeast is the answer. I was a kid. Funny thing, you usually know you’re a puckhead before you’re aware you are a queer.

The day consisted of going to school, begrudgingly plowing through homework (or blowingit off!) and getting out on the street to play hockey. Oddly, I’d never rock the popular players jersey. That’s continued to this day. But yeah, we’d wear jerseys. People got smoked into the side of parked cars, fences, and whatever else was nearby. I was primarily versed in trying to be a shutdown defenseman.

Unfortunately, I was a horrific skater, but thankfully, I made up for that in snarl and flat-out douchebaggery. Shot-blocking, elbows, slashes, the clutch and grab of the 1990s NHL was my forte. To a 90’s kid, that IS “olde time hockey”. 

I fell in love with the concept of that D-man who would crash the net on the rush, emerging as the trailer in the slot at just the right moment and depositing the biscuit in the basket.

I think the combined distance of all my goals in my hockey life is 40 feet. Crash the net. 

As far as my fandom, it’s a tortured road of many potholes. Flirted with the Rangers, Devils, and even Flyers. Never the Penguins though. Fuck them.

The reason for my hockey whoring? John Vanbiesbrouck. I LOVES ME SOME BEEZER. So, when the Rangers left him exposed for the expansion draft and went on to win the cup without the guy who carried them for the better part of a decade, I swore off them forever.

When the Flyers cast him aside like they’d done to 35,332 goalies before and since them, except the reused condom that is Brian Boucher, they made the list too. 

The Devils gave him that shot at a ring, and fell one game short, but the reason he got that shot? The Isles were willing to deal him to an in division rival to let the ultra-professional veteran  get a shot at the cup. That earned them some points. 

Drafting the uber-brash ultra-cocky Rick DiPietro sealed the deal. Beezer hung it up, and I moved on to my second netminder crush. Thus, I settled in the band of gypsies and nomads that is the New York Islanders. Furthermore, I developed some affinity for the Florida Panthers, during that AMAZING “year of the Rat” phenomenon, something the primary fanbase of this site often scoffs at, since they are one of the chieftains of the NuNHL. 

Face it, Crapsfans, you haven’t done shit since the mighty mullets of Bondra, Juneau, and Witt. I love me some Ovie, but it’s time to put up or shut up. I digress!

Like I said earlier, I was a fan of this amazing game before I realized I was gay. Look, coming out was shitty. It’s something straight people just don’t get. Likewise, finding a boyfriend is rough, because you have to deal with finding a dude that’s gay, and is down to puck. Gay Puckheads? Limited Breed.

So yeah, there’s some issues to wade through. Sitting at an Isles game while someone sings “Ave-ry takes it in the ass do-da” is a tad annoying. Sitting there while he gets his face turned into hamburger meat by Michael Haley and the PA man blares “Sharp Dressed Man”? Pretty fucking hilariously awesome.

The clearest encapsulation of my life was sitting at the Isles draft party franticly checking my phone for an update on the Same Sex Marriage vote before the NY Senate. What a night! And what a steak to end it. And then the waiter drew a heart on my cake!”

@TheLastIslander

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About RoseTintedVisor

RoseTintedVisor ( thats @RoseTintedVisor on Twitter for the newbs) is the nom de plume of moi, Vinny Piccolo. Park Ranger/ Grad Student (History) by day, token gay hockey player & blogger (devotee of the NYI) by night. In my spare time, I hit the ice on LI as a grinder and general irritant with a penchant for crosschecks and trashtalk. I also fancy comic books, wrestling, history, political discussion, particularly LGBT & Environmental Issues . Addtl interests include Miami Dolphins Football, Atlanta Braves Baseball, & The Florida Panthers. Contributor for puckbuddys.com WARNING: Chirp at your own risk.
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4 Responses to Band of Gypsies and Islanders

  1. GayCanuck says:

    Nice one, Vinnie! I just read it with a Brooklyn accent in my head, and it’s almost like you’re right here reading it to me. {batting lashes} XO

  2. FlIslesFan says:

    Hey, nice intro. I have to say it’s refreshing to see that people of all stripes like hockey, I’ve had it in my blood my whole life and try to get everyone I know up to speed on the game. As a former New York resident living in Florida, it’s tough to get good write-ups on my Isles, so don’t mind if a straight guy reads your work, okay?

    I particularly liked the bit about the Beez. I moved to Miami in the ‘Year of the Rat’, so I know what it’s like to see the mania a town can get in when there’s a playoff fever. Standing in line at a ‘Casa de los Trucos’ to buy some rubber rats was surreal, but it felt so good to fling them during the Flyers and Pens series. So even though I’m a good 1200 miles away now, I’d like to feel that mania again. Rock on!

  3. Thanks guys! Flirting isn’t just allowed, it’s encouraged.
    FLIsles, the year of the Rat was amazing. Cemented my love for JovoCop and Mellanby.

    GC, I’ll read you anything you want in hushed bedroom tones. :P

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