This afternoon the New York Rangers were defeated by the Los Angeles Kings by a score of 3-2. However, any major news outlet could tell you that and a million other things about the Rangers. I am going to tell you a story that you probably haven't heard. It is a story that makes you rethink what it means to be a fan.
This is a story I wanted to write months ago. However after all the facts regarding Derek Boogaard's death surfaced, there were mixed feelings about the situation. It is now months later and the hockey season has started.
The actions and dedication of the man I am writing about who I am glad to call a friend should not go unnoticed.
Kevin DeLury operates "The NYR Blog". This blog offers insight, opinion, and information concerning the New York Rangers. It is far from formal in nature as fans can act free in speech about their beloved Rangers.
This blog allows fans, including myself, to voice their opinion and interact in a multitude of ways. Fans have often developed this uncanny relationship among each other that is hard to describe. When you follow a team, you become very attached to the team.
When your team wins you will rejoice, but if they lose you will get frustrated and may even cry. I first learned about the death of Derek Boogaard when I was surfing Kevin's blog. I had been reading another article and then saw the updated post.
As soon as I learned the news, I wept with sadness. Derek Boogaard was a player who was loved by the fans. Boogaard had a softer side to him that I was particularly fond of.
Boogaard was a big supporter of the charity, Defending The Blue Line. This charity is involved with the family members of those who are in the armed services.
My uncle is in the Navy and has served overseas. Boogaard's charitable nature towards the family of these veterans left a remarkable impression on me.
In order to unite us fans and to start the grieving process, Kevin came up with the idea of having a contest. This contest would help remember Boogaard and would allow the fans to give back to the charity he proudly supported. The fans were given the task to design a commemorative logo for Derek Boogaard.
Many fans, including myself entered the contest and submitted entries. This logo was chosen as the winner and it was then printed on a t-shirt by the wonderful manufactures over at Glass Bangers Tees.The limited edition tee was sold for a week and all the proceeds were donated to Defending The Blue Line in the name of the fans.
Throughout the process the Boogaard family had kept in contact with Kevin via email. They expressed their thanks to him and even bought a couple of tee shirts to commemorate the life and memory of Derek. Kevin even published a few exchanges he had with the Boogaards.
The outpouring of submissions even garnered the attention of the New York Rangers as they retweeted many of the submission tweets that Kevin sent out. Steve Somers of WFAN radio even mentioned Kevin's actions on the air one night during his show. Recently, Kevin and The NYR Blog won CBS' Most Valuable Sports Blog as chosen by "The People."
It doesn't matter whether I wear the tee shirt to sleep, to school, or under my Rangers' jersey but when I put the shirt on, I think of Boogaard. I think of his memory and I wish that he was still here. I have received many positive comments from fans who notice the shirt while I am walking down the street. I wear it proudly and I am glad Kevin created this opportunity.
Kevin continues to post new blog entries each and every day. He does an excellent job and he doesn't get the credit he deserves. I implore you all fans regardless of your allegiance to tweet Kevin or leave a comment on his blog and thank him for his efforts in supporting Defending The Blue Line.
It is always good to take a look at the lighter side of sports. Many writers and bloggers today chose to just report the news and write things that people want to hear. Kevin truly bleeds true blue and it is evident through his passionate writing.
This man has his finger directly on the pulse of Ranger Nation. I am glad to call him a friend and I hope his blog continues to be successful for many years to come. However this friendship may be tested as we just started our fantasy hockey league. From me to you Kevin, you're going down!
You can follow Kevin and The NYR Blog here.
Tom Urtz is an NHL Featured Columnist. For more NHL free agent news, updates and alerts about players: