Isiah Thomas: ‘Truthfully, I’m Not Such a Fan of the Garden’

I was at the Garden Thursday night for the Rangers shootout win over the Penguins. Man, Madison Square Garden is an amazing place. The whole Garden was on its feet for the shootout, the chants alternating between support for goalie Henrik Lundqvist and booing whoever was shooting for Pittsburgh. The energy in the building was simply stunning. It was more religious service than sporting event.
I report on this only because Alan Hahn, who used to cover the Islanders for Newsday and is now covering the Knicks, had a cool blog post about how different sports are in New York.
Obviously, some people might call it fickleness, but it’s really much more complex. New York fans only respond to hard work. It’s not about scoring and it’s not about stats in New York. All most serious fans want to see is effort and engagement. And if they don’t see it or feel it or sense it, they’re going to boo. No one gets a pass. Maybe Derek Jeter, but no one else. Certainly no one in hockey, though.
Speaking of the Penguins, Versus is really plugging their Monday night game featuring Pittsburgh against Washington. Both Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin will be mic’d, which is pretty cool, because since caller ID became pretty common, you just don’t get that heavy breathing action a lot of us miss.