Although fans aren’t always particularly “eloquent” about their distaste, most express their disapproval by doing nothing worse than booing (or maybe mockingly chanting a goalies name, preferably in two syllables).
Every once in a while, though, a fan base will start to turn on a team’s management. Often times these displays seem to echo political protest or acts of “civil disobedience” even though the stakes are pretty low compared to, say, the civil rights movement (sorry sports fans). One great example is the disastrous run of former Detroit Lions GM Matt Millen. He incited rage in Lions fans with numerous ill-fated draft picks and free agent signings which eventually lead fans to start “Fire Millen” chants and bring insulting signs to games. Those fans were usually kicked out of Ford Field.
With a passionate (and often knowledgeable) group of fans like the New York Rangers have, it’s not too shocking that a “Fire (Glen) Sather” rally was organized. However, despite garnering plenty of attention and gaining more than a thousand “confirmed” guests on Facebook, The Hockey Independent wrote that the rally only drew a little bit more than 100 people.
And, that’s how the great Fire Sather Rally went down that fateful day. 100+ faithful stood closed together in barricaded pens outside the Fuse building as onlookers casually watched from across the street. Two very bored members of NY’s Finest held the peace and urged everyone to keep clear and stay within the barricade. Whoopity doo.
Sather has long been the target of derision among Rangers fans (not to mention hockey fans in general, myself included). He has given superstar contracts to solid but unspectacular players like Chris Drury and Bobby Holik, is responsible for draft blunders like Hugh Jessiman and just generally seems to have a knack for making the wrong move.
Unfortunately for anti-Sather advocates, Rangers ownership isn’t going to fire Sather unless fans hit them where it hurts: at the box office. The team still attracts plenty of fans and has been limping into the playoffs (therefore making even more money) lately. It took some of the worst moves in NBA history, several years of missing the playoffs and a sexual harassment suit for James Dolan to can Isaiah Thomas.
I wouldn’t expect “Fire Sather” to become anything more than a cute grassroots movement anytime soon.