OK, below is an e-mail from one of the blog followers. I was going to wait to publish a few e-mails at once, but the subject was Brooklyn, which there has been a lot of talk about in the last week. So I'm keeping it topical and adding my $0.02 about BK.
If you'd like me to answer your e-mail, please send to rory(dot)toohey(at)gmail. Thanks!
Wanted to say great site and thanks for being a loyal Nets fan. I've been a fan and going to the games since I was 3, 24 now. I am completely sick to my stomach knowing that Ratner, hate the guy, is still going strong with this supposed move to Brooklyn. I've emailed the Nets and the Izod center plenty of times expressing my opinions and the Izod center actually got back to me and said they appreciate the support and they are doing what they can to keep the Nets here as well. I am fully in if you or anyone you know are doing anything to try and keep our team here. Thanks.
Well, the Nets "imminent" move to Brooklyn seems to hit road block after road block, so I'm not quite sure when it will get done. The official word I get from my ticket rep and other Nets officials is 2011 - however, last year I was invited to an event where the theme was "Brooklyn in 2010 Come Hell or High Water." So I don't know what to believe. If it is any comfort to the pro-Jersey crowd, about three years ago, the Nets renewed their lease at the Meadowlands through 2013. I'm not sure what the terms are for breaking that lease, but it provides a safety net for future Barclays Center delays.
My thoughts? The Nets need a new arena, period. The Izod Center (a.k.a. Continental Arena a.k.a. Brendan Byrne Arena) is the second oldest arena in professional basketball, behind Madison Square Garden. It is incredibly inconvenient to get to if you do not drive (as documented in my second ever post). A new arena would re-invigorate a lethargic fanbase, and provide more revenue to the team (via luxury boxes).
Frankly, it seems the best option would be the new Prudential Center in Newark, where the Devils call home. The Nets will be playing some pre-season ball there this October. I have never been to the Rock yet, so I might just check this out. If you are pro-Jersey, going to the pre-season games would be the best way to show your Jersey pride. Usually, pre-season games have very low attendance in the Meadowlands, so a large showing would definitely make the owners take notice.
Ultimately, however, I think Brooklyn is best for the team long-term. The Nets will have a new arena that is accessible from tons of public transportation. They will have a large population of new fans, as Brooklyn is one of the most populous cities in the United States without a sports team. Furthermore, think of the merchandise sales: wearing a hat or jersey with "Brooklyn" on it definitely has more street cred than "New Jersey". The event I went to earlier (about Brooklyn in 2010) also mentioned setting up bus transportation from the Meadowlands to the new Brooklyn arena to help the loyal New Jersey fans, so that may provide you some relief. Basically, a move from Brooklyn transforms the Nets from a small market franchise to a big market franchise. Perhaps it will allow Ratner to open up the purse strings and go after some high-quality free agents!
Once again, thanks for the e-mail, and to all my readers out there: keep them coming! It's great to hear from you!