And it's not because of the great weather recently. It is because after getting pasted by our cross-river Rivals, the New York Rangers, I am livid. You can read why I love the New Jersey Devils for back information here. But after this series, my feeling is that there are still too many New York Ranger fans who live (and more importantly) grew up in New Jersey for my liking and, admittedly, they did a good job flooding the Rock for the Devil home games (and usually have).
I am writing an Op-Ed on these feelings for an NJ paper and will expand further there.
But I need a vacation. In my observations, it is no surprise that the greatest percentage of Devil fans compared to Ranger (or Flyer) fans is at the North Shore. It is the heart of New Jersey Devils' country.
I could have expanded this map to Middlesex, Somerset and parts of Hunterdon too, but I haven't been convinced of their Devil fan loyalty the way I have with the North Shore.
Considering New Jersey, the North Shore is pretty geographically isolated from both New York and Philadelphia and I am finding the Jersey Pride is the strongest in these areas, in part due to their geographic position. One person told me that their pride is a result of the beaches and the fact that they're not a backwater of any city (though this is debatable).
True, there are Ranger fans in these areas too and all over New Jersey. The romance that people in the northern (and central) areas of the state have for "the city" is tough to ignore (look at me, why do you think I live in Hoboken?)
But I need to be around my fans now without any blue shirts lingering. Read Kevin Smith's NHL blog for more insight why (I recommend his entry on "Live to Hate the Rangers"). By the way Kevin Smith is also from the North Shore.
After playing hockey (in New York) on Wednesday and looking to find a place in Manhattan to watch the Devils-Rangers Game 4 , I was surprised to hear other fans cheering when the Devils scored a goal. It was a punk band, from Asbury Park, catching the game before their gig in the city. It was nice to see and from my whole documentary observations - typical. Right now, I LOVE the North Jersey Shore and am dreaming of the waves to drown out my sorrow.
NOTE: I hold no grudge toward the South Jersey fans of the Philadelphia Flyers, in this instance because, for the most part, they have never been able to get the Devils on Cable TV.