Sports Law: Number of Rings Do Not Matter, The Parades You Were At Do

by Ned Moraghan, special to The North Jersey Nonconformist

Prior to the quarantine, I was watching a Devils game at a sports bar. A Rangers fan made a snide comment on how I could watch a last place team. As someone who rarely backs down from a challenge, I responded with “3 Cups in my lifetime”. His response: “We have 4”. I go, “Wow, you look really good for someone in their eighties. How was the parade in 1940?” I pretty much won the argument right there. I could have gone on further since I was at all three championship parades as well as the banner raisings. The point still exists: How much credit does a fan get for championships they don’t remember or weren’t around for?

Devils fans have a very underrated history especially when you compare them to their rivals. Yes, the Devils have 3 vs the Rangers and Islanders 4 each. However, you must be close to fifty to remember the Islander run. The Rangers fan only remembers 1994. I have 1995, 2000, and 2003. All more recent than all of those titles. It’s even better with the Flyers. Three Cups to two plus I have no memory of the Flyers winning either of theirs.

Being from New Jersey and being a Mets fan is definitely being a second-class sports citizen when it comes to baseball. I was around for the 1986 Mets World Series win. The Mets did own New York then. Sometime in the 1990’s that changed. The Yankees became a mini dynasty. That is why the 2000 World Series really stings. Had the Mets won, I could argue that is doesn’t matter how many World Series the Yankees won, they couldn’t beat the Mets. Of the 27 championships the Yankees have won, only five are really of the recent variety. Just by picking the Yankees doesn’t automatically give you credit for all those championships in the 1920’s-1950’s. In my opinion, a ten-year-old kid who hasn’t seen the Yankees win one title doesn’t get to boast about 27. Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, and Mickey Mantle are all time greats, but only someone in their late sixties could have seen Mantle play.

It is in the NFL where most fans already don’t count the titles that happened before the Super Bowl. I have personally used this fact up until recently to torture Eagles fans. Whether it was Lincoln Field was defective since it didn’t have a trophy room or the occasional ‘1960’ chant at Giants-Eagles games, I lost some good material when the Eagles finally won the Super Bowl. Fortunately for me, I’ve seen the Giants win four of their own. I also more than hold my own with the annoying Cowboy fans when I point out I was around for four Giants Super Bowl wins but only three for Dallas.

If you did not witness the Championship in person, do you get credit for it? Did you have the joy of viewing the Championship Parade in person? Did you spend a small fortune on championship pennants/hats/shirts/videos? Were you able to attend the following year’s banner raising? If the answer is no to all these questions you don’t get to brag about those titles. If you do not believe me ask a Maple Leaf fan. They are the second most successful team in the NHL with 13 Stanley Cups but none since 1967. Leaf fans consider themselves cursed not great. They don’t count the 13 they weren’t around for so you really shouldn’t either.