Gillan: Open Letter to Brett Yormark

Posted on Oct 4 2015 - 11:16pm by The StatMan


Thank you, Brett Yormark, for bringing back our goal horn.  You should not have to deal with people saying bad words to you, even if the criticism “between the lines” was more than justified.  We should really try to be more polite and think twice before attacking Twitter-handles.  It is not so much that we were closed-minded to the idea of changing the goal horn, so much as the idea you and your masterful brain-trust came up with sucked.  It sounded dreadful, and there is no need to remind fans of the delightful moments that come from riding the subway daily.  Brett, we know it is less about a horn and more about infusing Brooklyn into the team, but you are not going to sell tickets with a goal horn.  You are only going to potentially anger your existing fan base, which you accomplished.  Any-who, thanks again.  You should know this Islanders fan appreciates the fact that you wanted to “do the right thing” and not because you are acquiescent towards us.

Onto the third jersey: no, Brett, black and white are not, in fact, the colors of Brooklyn.  Those would be blue and gold.  I have got the Wikipedia file right here to prove it!  Perhaps the same marketing gurus who told you that also told you that goal horn sounded swell.  Or, perhaps the suspicion you are going for a look that corresponds with the Nets’ colors are correct.  If that is the case, you can tell us.  There is no need to hide from the truth.  Nevertheless, a black-and-white uniform is a pretty big stamp on the team, no?  Our colors are clearly blue, white and orange.  I would say that should not be downplayed at all, even if that thing is only worn occasionally.  for what it is worth, I do not totally hate the black-and-white sweater.  Like the move to Brooklyn, I suppose it is just going to take some getting used to.  I just know when I am being fed a line of crap about how the colors were chosen.

Now, you stated you have worked hard to be sensitive to the traditions of Islanders hockey.  I have got it on good word that you have, in fact, talked to fans in person to hear their concerns.  Well, Brett, I do not necessarily see how bringing our banners over to Brooklyn is something you should have to be told to do.  Are you in Barclays Center reading this?  If you are, take a look up into the rafters.  You will clearly see Nets banners on display, celebrating their past Atlantic Division titles.  Yes, Brett, the same Nets that won the Atlantic when they were playing basketball in East Rutherford, New Jersey, long before they became the Brooklyn Nets.  Again, you heard the fans, and you came to your senses.  You brought our banners to Barclays.  Thank you for that, though I am not so sure as to why that was not the original plan, what with all the hard work you have done to become sensitive to the history of the Islanders.

I could speak in regards to the other topics such as Sparky or the Ice Girls, but I know your time is precious and you need to get back to making more fearless decisions on how to “create a balance”, as you put it.  Just a few more moments of your time, if I may.  You probably know this because you are a savvy businessman with access to loads of statistical analysis, but not every Islanders fan can afford season tickets.  In fact, some of us have a tough enough time buying tickets to a single game each year.  I am not a season ticket holder, but a very close member of my family is.  He will tell you I am as devoted and enthusiastic for the New York Islanders as it gets.  However, we choose to support our team in our way, and we are still going to voice our opinions.  You are going to have to accept that.  Islanders fans are a close-knit, passionate, dyed-in-the-wool fan base.  If you do not believe me, ask John Tavares.  Whether we watch the 41 Islanders home games in front of a television or in your building, we are fans all the same.  We stand together, no matter what.  We are also your meal ticket, so you probably should not alienate us in a weak attempt to sell tickets during a radio interview.  I did not go to Wharton, but I am thinking that is probably not the wisest business decision.  Just saying.

It is our job as fans to learn to accept “Tradition’s New Home”.  It is your job not to destroy the affections of those who helped to build that tradition.

Wills Gillan is an occasional columnist for StatManSports Online.  He is alive and in living color on Twitter.  Follow him for his NSFW take on sports @iamwills.

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