We've seen the "Orange Crush" in Philadelphia, the "C of Red" in Calgary, "Rock the Red" in Washington and the failed "Black out" in Los Angeles. The origin of these color movements, the "white-out", started back in Winnipeg in the late 1980's during playoff games. The "all-for-one" color schemes have typically been used during the postseason to support the team in their quest for the Stanley Cup. Never has it been done to bring attention for a team's need for a new arena.
The dominant story with the New York Islanders off the ice the past few years has been the ongoing saga of building owner Charles Wang's dream, the Lighthouse at Long Island, while overhauling their current digs at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Commissioner Gary Bettman has stated publicly the need for the Islanders to upgrade their building. Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi has said, "It can't come soon enough for all of us." Yet, despite all of the public pleading, the Town of Hempstead is still dragging their feet in this process, leaving Islanders fans to worry about the future of their team (despite six more years on the arena lease) and rumors and jokes about a future Kansas City Islanders franchise. (Though calling them the Islanders would be just a silly as naming a sports team in Utah the Jazz, right?)
Tonight, during their game against the New Jersey Devils, Islanders fans have planned a "White-out" in support of Wang's Lighthouse project. Why was tonight's game chosen? It's "Town of Hempstead Night" at the Coliseum and a representative from the Town will be dropping the ceremonial first puck.
This "Night" was held last year and Town Supervisor and focal point in the Lighthouse situation, Kate Murray, was absent.
No word on if she will be representing the Town tonight while receiving a likely chorus of boos that will probably surpass those that Sarah Palin received in Philadelphia earlier this season. Hopefully, the Islanders keep the carpet the Town representative will be walking out on far, far away from goaltender Joey MacDonald. They've suffered through enough goalie issues, though it would be ironic if he Legace'd in front of a politician who is the key to franchise's future.
- Charles Wang