If you’ve been living under a rock for the past two weeks, a prominent NHL reporter and podcaster has made his hatred of the New York Rangers and their fans extremely vocal. Paul’ Biz Nasty’ Bissonnette is part of the world’s most famous hockey podcast, Spittin’ Chiclets of Barstool Sports. Bissonnette also works as a TNT in-studio reporter doing pre, and post-game segments and in-between-period reports. As a longtime fan of the show, he’s one of my favorites, and he brings a comedic element to a traditionally very bland hockey commentary on TNT.
Before the season, Bissonnette picked the Rangers to make the playoffs, but the feud began a few weeks ago when the Rangers started their first-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Since the start of the playoffs, the usually lovable ‘Biz Nasty’ has turned all of the Blueshirts faithful against himself. After the Rangers defeated the Penguins in game 7, Bissonnette proceeded to go on record, saying the Rangers and their fans were “fugazi and frauds.” Your next question is probably, what the heck is fugazi?
Bissonnette also claimed that the referees handed the Rangers the series. After the Game 1 goalie interference call on Kaapo Kakko that favored the Penguins, Bissonnette cried out to Rangers fans to stop complaining about the refs. A week later, he was pounding the table about various calls in games 5, 6, and 7. He also failed to mention another 50/50 call that went the Penguins way in Game 7 when Jake Guentzel made his best Pele impression, kicked the puck above the crossbar, and smacked it into the net. The announcers doing the broadcast even thought it was a high stick. Nevertheless, the Rangers won the series in an overtime thriller.
Since then, Biz has been on a Vendetta against the Rangers fanbase. Calling a bunch of New Yorkers/Tri-staters “fugazi” should go over well. We’re usually very rational people. “They are passionate, they are possessed, they are obnoxious, they are demeaning, they are loyal, they are vulgar, and they are loving.” Those were the words of Curt Schilling as he described the Yankee faithful before Game 3 of the 2001 World Series. I think a lot of similarities between the fanbases.
His biggest complaint about the on-ice product the Rangers are displaying is that they’re too reliant upon Hart trophy finalist Igor Shesterkin. The ironic thing is that genuine Rangers fans have been pounding the table for the same thing all year long. The 5v5 has been atrocious at times, but the exciting thing that is being lost in the sauce is that this team is growing and learning how to play different styles in the same playoffs. Round two has been a completely different team. Through four games, the Rangers have clamped down defensively and fixed a lot of the mistakes they were making against Pittsburgh (which probably has something to do with not having to play against Sidney Crosby).
Part of me notices a similarity between what Biz is doing and The Rock circa 1999. He’s almost like the heel in wrestling who loves to rile people up. He’s essentially in sports entertainment, and I have no problem with it. If he wants to call a fanbase or team fugazi, he’s a fan of a team that can’t get out of the first round. I have futures on Calgary to win the Stanley Cup. Seeing that Calgary can’t even play defense against Edmonton, there is almost no shot they beat Colorado in the next round if they somehow pull off this comeback. I would gladly see Edmonton beat the Flames if it means him going on National TV with a terrible haircut.
We’ve all experienced that one jabroni of a fan who shatters our otherwise neutral feelings towards another fanbase, and that seems to have been what’s taken place here. I’ve been at a bar when some random baked potato yells incoherent nonsense at me. So, I understand it. I can’t speak for the rest of the Garden faithful, but I still love you, Biz, partially because I’ve been fading your picks.