There’s been all kinds of talk about some stupid guy doing some stupid thing against the Devils exactly 18 years ago, and frankly, we think that’s all stupid. We weren’t hockey fans yet way back then, so all this nostalgia has us wondering what we were up to on this day in 1994. Pookie was wrapping up her freshman year of high school, Schnookie was a couple of weeks away from graduating, and we were dreading the fast-approaching graduation-gift trip we were going to have to take with our grandparents. (The trip itself was an absolutely amazing tour of Switzerland, followed by a few days in Paris. The price we had to pay was spending all that time with our grandfather, nervously tittering at every racist and xenophobic thing he said, and recognizing where the “ugly American” stereotype comes from.) More importantly, though, we were huge NBA fans, and the Conference Finals were just under way. Looking at Wikipedia, it appears that on this day 18 years ago we were getting ourselves all psyched up for some hawt Rockets/Jazz Game 2 action. Which, in hindsight, seems preposterous. Who voluntarily watches Rockets/Jazz games?? That was just the undercard, though, because for all our self-identification as NBA fans, our primary concern was the Knicks.
The sexy, run-and-gun, flashy-scoring, mid-’90s Knicks. Wait, no… they were the opposite of that. Heh.
On this day 18 years ago we were also reveling in what Wikipedia reports was a 100-89 win by the Knicks over the Pacers, which sounds like about 188 more points than we remember being scored in that series. The Pat Riley Knicks were sluggish, thuggish, low-scoring, defensively smothering, and basically seemed, in comparison to all their opponents, talentless and slow. We adored them. So you can imagine how, when we jumped to the NHL, we were already on the fast-track to becoming fans of the late-Lemaire Era Devils. (“Wait, there’s a team that’s even more plodding, lifeless, and underachieving in the playoffs? Sign us up!”) Actually, now that we’re looking back at this golden time in our lives, we have to wonder… were the Devils reaching out to us across sports? Were they sending their insidious trapping tentacles into the NBA’s fanbase and plucking out the choicest morsels (because we’re nothing if not choice)? Did they somehow influence David Stern’s beautiful league toward the dark side of Uglyball, all to lure in the impressionably defense-minded fans? Did the Devils try to kill basketball at the same time they were killing hockey??? When we look at the big picture, that seems like a far more significant “this day in sports, 18 years ago” story than some bullshit guarantee/hat trick combo from a self-aggrandizing bald guy. So there.