This is coming from a fairly young Islanders fan. I'm 19 years old, and I've only been watching the Islanders for a few years now. But in my five full seasons of watching, four of them have included a color commentator by the name of Billy Jaffe- a smart, funny and classy gentleman who taught me more about the game than I ever thought possible. Every season he would consistently raise the bar with his breakdowns of my favorite sport, showing how different lines and even different players worked on the ice, and offering knowledgeable opinions and information.
Now, four years later, after countless broadcasts during which the only bright spot would be Howie Rose and Billy Jaffe's broadcasts... Jaffe is let go. And why? Supposedly because he wasn't "positive" enough? With all due respect, who would the Isles like alongside Howie Rose, a cheerleader? Jaffe is an analyst, not a lobbyist. His job is to break down the game for us to understand, and that means all aspects of the game, not just the good ones. Besides, I can remember plenty of broadcasts during which he was a positive presence. One could tell he just loved this team (an example- last game of the 06-07 regular season, where he showed more emotion than I ever thought possible during regulation and the eventual playoff-clinching shootout against New Jersey). Moreover, he was a fan favorite, made himself available for numerous fan events, and had tremendous chemistry with Howie. Why would the organization allow something like that to be broken up? I can't understand it.
Granted, perhaps there were certain things behind the scenes that we fans don't know about. That aside, though, fans are being kept in the dark as it is. There was no press conference about Jankowski not being renewed and who would take his place, there was nothing about Bryan Trottier leaving his position in the organization from the org itself, and I wonder how long it will take for the Isles to say something regarding Billy, if anything at all. It's all extremely frustrating, and I don't know how much more I, as a fan, can take.
I don't expect an answer from anyone in your department regarding all of this. I just wanted to reach out to you to let the organization know that they are alienating what remains of their fans, whether they realize it or not. We don't want to be treated like mindless peons- we want something constructive, clear and substantial. Nothing against the candidates for Jaffe's replacement, of course- they are both icons of the team's glory days, and they deserve to be respected. But I can't imagine how much better they would be than a guy who is quickly becoming known as one of the best in the business.
Thank you very much for your time.
Williamsville, Buffalo, NY (formerly of Brooklyn, NY)
(an actual email sent about ten minutes ago)
Welcome to the NYIslesScene!
A blog by a long time New York Islanders fan who stays true to the fellas wearing orange, white and blue…but thinks the Islanders organization has some shaping up to do.
Friday, July 23, 2010