“Some low-class Isles fans were wearing Rangers jerseys, with my number, 14, and “CRACKHEAD” on the nameplate.” –Fluery
Celebrating tonight’s shut-out victory over the despised ranger$, it is time to reflect on what it means to be part of the NYRSuck family.
We have been a group of long-suffering fans since the end of the cup run. We have always lived in the shadows of the behemoths in the city. Year in year out rag$ are great, rag$ are wonderful.
The advent of the internet allowed more of us to come together than ever before. The time was 1995 something. Dial-up bulletin boards were a significant way people communicated online, especially if you were a geek. AOL started sending out their monthly discs offering free internet. Kids today have no idea how frustrating the sound of dial-up really was.
No matter what the platform, Islander fans came together. One recurring theme was always how much the rag$ sucked and why they got so much publicity regardless of their suckage.
Dial-up, AOL, Yahoo, My Space all brought us together.
Through it all, we would meet at games in person. Of course, everyone’s favorite was the Islanders versus rag$ rivalry. The “1940” chant. The chicken dance song. Potvin Sucks chant, the ambulance incident. These events brought us together as Islander fans in ways I think no one could predict. To this day, the rivalry’s phenomenon is unmatched in any sport between two teams ever.
Today there are groups of fans bound together under different flags of fandom loyalty. They make t-shirts, have their own websites, wrap their vehicles, banners, posters, and tailgating. However, you have to give credit to the first generations of internet loyalists coming out of the early 1990s and splinter faction groups like NY ranger$ Suck.
Regardless of whatever group you belonged to, when we came together as 16,297 screaming fans, we created a living, breathing entity that our opponents feared. The fans, even as early as 1975, could “will” this team to victory. If ever fans were part of the game, Islander’s fans continue to prove this theory true decade in and decade out.
As Islanders fans, we changed the dynamic of what it meant to be a fan—not just tailgating on a Saturday afternoon watching college football. We made it a way of existence.
The dawning of a new millennium brought some characters to the ice at MSG.
Theo Fleury was one of these people.
What a character this guy was. He played 244 games with the rag$, and all of it filled with controversy not seen again until Sean Avery’s days.
Theo was a tremendous player for his 5′ 6″ size who won gold at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. With the NY ranger$, he scored 69 goals in 244 games with 406 PIM (Career-high 216PIM in 2002).
His off-ice antics soon overshadowed his play on the ice. When he showed up to play for the NY ranger$ in 1999, NY Islander Fans responded.
A faction of die-hards fans rose out of this new-era dynamic of fandom. Set on wreaking havoc by disrupting players’ mindset heading into game day.
CrackHeadTheo.com was born
The website hit the internet in February of 2002. The term viral was still years away, so we did not have a name for the reaction. Today, getting 10,000 views in a day is nothing. Back then, we swept through New York.
The site was hosted on a friend’s business server. Remember, places like Go Daddy were coming to fruition, so creating a website wasn’t easy.
Then the boom dropped for the CHT.com website. Corporate attorneys for a corporation who shall remain nameless reached out and had a stern talking to us. At this point, CHT.com was no more.
Shortly after that, we re-branded as a parody site simply called NYRangersSuck.com.
Through the years, no one can question the success we have achieved. Perhaps the most significant indication of this is Theo Fleury’s biography, “Playing with Fire.” (Fleury, 2009)
One of the hockey jerseys that our group has procured over the years was mentioned in his book. Proof that our efforts rattled him so much that he responded in kind with a hand gesture that garnered him a $1,000 fine.
We rattled him. Although that night he won the on-ice battle, we won the bigger war.
“I MOVED into my buddy Jason Priestley’s place, a loft in Soho. I used to walk home from the Garden at night. I continued to try to keep a lid on things, not only for the sake of the Rangers, but because I knew Team Canada was watching me. But on January 22, we were back at Nassau Coliseum, and some low-class Isles fans were wearing Rangers jerseys, with my number, 14, and “CRACKHEAD” on the nameplate. For the record, I had never done crack in my life. Every time I touched the puck, sixteen thousand people would yell, “Crack- head!” What would you do? I think any normal person would react. New York is a tough place to play, real tough. No matter whether in New Jersey, Long Island, or the city, those people are ruthless. They will take your biggest flaw and expose it. These are the guys who take their lunch pails to work every day, go home, have twenty beers, and kick their dog.” (Fleury, 2009)
For the record, Crackhead, we have never kicked our dogs.
The NY Times described the aftermath.
‘I don’t mind the booing and all that stuff,” said Fleury, who was jeered for most of the evening in response to the chicken dance that Fleury directed at the Islanders’ Eric Cairns November 8 during a 6-2 Rangers’ victory. ”But when you get personal, you’re crossing the line. Especially when you call me a crackhead. I have never, ever, ever used crack in my life.” (Diamos, 2002)
At least one fan was shown on the scoreboard screen wearing a Fleury jersey with ”Crackhead” above the No. 14 where Fleury’s name would be stitched.”
First, let’s set the record straight about Fleury’s chicken dance routine taunting Cairns into a fight. Cairns had his hands taped from prior altercations. If he had gotten in a row, he would have received league-mandated discipline. So as with everything Fleury did back then, he was wrong.
There are more jerseys for more teams, but only the “Crack Head” jersey gained celebrity.
Over the years, we have had our group members participate in a lot of ownership functions and at multiple media coverage levels. We have been seen across the continent at games in both Canada and the states for our efforts as we have focused on other teams not just the ranger$. Flyers and Maple Leafs are our other favorites.
For a while we were on sports radio in Buffalo during a playoff run, keeping the Sabre realm straight as their fans suck, too.
More recently, Sean Avery provides excellent fodder for our efforts. Especially when it comes to the surprise factor of his antics off-ice, whether it is getting into law enforcement disputes (Kumari, 2011) or a street fight (TMZ Staff, 2017).
Another tremendous success for #NYRSuck, as pointed to the failure of the career of Henrik Lundqvist. Called “The King,” he has done nothing in the way to have earned that accolade.
Failure after failure. Collapse after collapse. Benching after benching, yet the hapless ranger$ fan kept calling him royalty in some maladjusted hope for the future. NYRSuck.com outlasted “The King,” so I guess that makes us supreme.
After his epic collapse in the 2014 Stanley Cup Finals, Lundqvist laid strewn on the ice after losing the championship to Alec Martinez’s shot heard ’round the Big Apple, the #Lundqvisting campaign began.
As we look towards the future, we have already seen the fiasco that is Panarin and our latest marketing campaign, #YeastInfection. A play on the restaurant chain’s name, Panera Bread, identifies him as a bothersome itch that serves no purpose.
We have to wait and see which one of the NY ranger$ two-goal minders fails faster. But rest assured, we will be here to start the new #Stitsterkin campaign.
First and foremost, we remain committed to spreading the historical hypocrisy of the NY ranger$, their fans, and their legacy. We are never ones to maintain good-taste or the modicum of decorum.
One Stanley Cup victory since 1940 is an abomination.
A mere four championships in nearly 100-years of existence.
The New York ranger$ organization is a abject failure. Billions of dollars spent with nothing to show for it.
Tonight we share the historic victory moment. For the first time, an Islander’s goaltender shut out the NY ranger$ twice in the same season.
Tonight we remember CrackHeadTheo.com website and celebrate 19 -years of keeping the rag$ fans honest.
Fleury, T. (2021). Theo Fleury Life. Theo Fleury Life. https://theofleury.life/
Grantland, K. R. (2013, July 1). Theo Fleury’s Rise And Fall. HuffPost. https://grantland.com/features/theo-fleury-rise-fall/
Diamos, J. (2002). Fleury Fined $1,000 for Flashing Ire at Fans. New York Times, D4. https://www.nytimes.com/2002/01/24/sports/hockey-fleury-fined-1000-for-flashing-ire-at-fans.html
Fleury, T., Day, K. M., & Gretzky, W. (2009). Playing with Fire. Harper Collins : Toronto.
Staff TMZ (2017, June 12). Sean Avery Street Fight Video Surfaces, Ex-NHL Star Fought 2 Guys at Once. TMZ. https://www.tmz.com/2017/06/12/sean-avery-street-fight-video/
Kumari, H. (2011, August 6). Rangers’ Avery busted in LA cop fight. New York Post. https://nypost.com/2011/08/06/rangers-avery-busted-in-la-cop-fight/
Fleming, K. (2016, April 17). Ex-Ranger Sean Avery is ruining his life — and maybe his model wife’s. Page Six. https://pagesix.com/2016/04/17/volatile-sean-avery-is-destroying-hilary-rhodas-career/
National Hockey League. (2014, June 14). Alec Martinez wins the 2014 Stanley Cup for Los Angeles Kings in 2OT. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4SVih8Rn5Y