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.

Guest WrestleMania Spot

by Ned Moraghan, special to The North Jersey Nonconformist

WrestleMania 35 is this weekend.  This will be the fourth time I will be attending in person and the first that I’m taking my kids with me.  I’m very much looking forward to going.  I also am trying to figure out which matches I will remember years from now.  At WrestleMania 18, it was Hogan vs Rock.   Hogan was supposed to be heel but we were going to have none of it.  We nearly willed Hogan to victory but he came up short.  I still remember being exhausted at the end of the match.  Of all the sporting events, concerts I’ve attended in my lifetime, I’ve never been a part of a crowd like that.  For WrestleMania XX, both main events were awesome.  I also vividly remember Lesnar vs Goldberg getting booed out of the building.  Punk vs Taker stole the show at WrestleMania 29.  The irony is that it’s Punk’s last WrestleMania match as well as the last match that Taker won in the Streak.

Now to figure out which matches have a chance of having that WrestleMania moment.

  • Angle vs Corbin – I’m very torn on this.  I’ve following Angle’s career and been at some of his most memorable matches (first title win against the Rock, street fight against Shane, WrestleMania XX against Eddie).  Angle’s matches were always must see.  He was an Olympic gold medalist and picked up pro wrestling so easily.  However, he’s now 50 and has definitely lost a step.  This is his retirement match and he’s facing Baron Corbin.  That is a huge disappointment. Ric Flair got HBK for his final match.  HBK got Taker.  I’m glad that I get to see his last match but I wish it was against a better opponent.  Winner: Corbin.
  • Miz vs Shane – The Miz is right, he is must see TV.  I’m not aware of any current wrestler that is better than the Miz both in the ring and on the mic.  He gets Shane who is now 49.  AJ Styles carried Shane to a decent Wrestlemania match.  I believe that Miz can too.  The falls count anywhere guarantees some crazy spot will happen, hopefully the rest of the match is good too.  Winner: Miz
  • HHH vs Batista – Really don’t see the need for this match.  Winner: HHH
  • Battle Royal(s) – The second year in a row they are wasting Braun Strowman.  Hopefully they move him over to Smackdown to face Daniel Bryan.  As for the women’s side, they have also wasted Asuka who can actually put on a decent match.  Winners:  Strowman and Asuka
  • Bryan vs Kofi – This match could steal the show.  Both are great workers and here is Kofi’s first chance to shine on the grandest stage.  Bryan’s heel turn has rejuvenated his career.  I think Bryan hangs onto the title for a little bit longer.  Winner: Bryan
  • Styles vs Orton – A sleeper pic for match of the night.  Styles has put on some classic matches since joining WWE.  I think Orton has one more classic still in him.  Winner: Styles
  • Reigns vs McIntyre – I’m happy that Reigns has beaten leukemia.  I’m also happy that Reigns is not in the main event this year.  Raw is lacking some top heels.  Hopefully, they let McIntyre become the monster heel.  Winner: McIntyre.
  • Lesnar vs Rollins – Similar to Angle, I also in person for Lesnar’s first title win, also against the Rock.  His part time status hurts more than helps.  The Universal championship should be defended at every ppv and for years now that hasn’t happened.  It’s time to let Rollins run with the title one more time.  Winner: Rollins
  • Rousey vs Flair vs Lynch – the WWE has done a great job booking this match.  The seeds were planted at Summerslam when Lynch beat the crap out of Flair after losing the title match.  That was the spark that pushed this feud into high gear. SummerSlam was also Rousey’s first title win.  I thought that Rousey was going to be the female equivalent of Angle. Unfortunately she is the female equivalent of Lesnar.  One year in and she’s already burnt out.  Lynch is going to win, the question is will it be the match of the night.