The Curious Case of Ryan Callahan

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New York City. The media capital of the world. Birthplace of Linsanity and the new home of Tebow-mania. A market where good (but not necessarily great) players are often praised and regarded as superstars.

 In the Big Apple, whether you embrace or succumb to the city’s demands, one thing is for certain. Nobody flies under the radar.

Well, almost nobody.

I’ll elaborate.

If you’re reading this article, it’s unlikely that you actually live in Manhattan. Nonetheless, you probably know the captains of all of New York’s major sports franchises.

And really, why wouldn’t you?

Knicks captain Carmelo Anthony had a reality show on VH1. Giants captain Eli Manning has been on the cover of every major newspaper twice in the last five years. Jets captain Mark Sanchez was a GQ cover story. And Yankees captain Derek Jeter? Well, we know more about his ex-girlfriends than we do about the entire Yankees outfield.

But what about Rangers captain Ryan Callahan?

Callahan’s name doesn’t resonate like Eli’s, Carmelo’s, Derek’s or even Mark’s. He’s not mentioned on Chelsea Lately, TMZ or David Letterman. He’s not a staple of newspapers, sports radio or online message boards. He’s not even a regular topic of discussion amongst NHL analysts and experts.

But the 27-year-old forward might be most underrated player in today’s NHL. And in that sense, he’s probably the most underpublicized star athlete currently residing in the Empire City.

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3 Comments

  • Chris F says:

    Jay,

    While I appreciate the respect you're paying Callahan (he deserves it), and your optimism certainly resonates with all of us true blue Rangers fans ("But it certainly won’t last much longer. I’d guess June, at the latest."), I must say, there is nothing entirely peculiar about an NHL player flying under the radar in an American city.

    Callahan is no different; nor is New York. Hockey gets no love in this city. The Rangers were first in the East, in an intense, physical race with Boston for that coveted Conference lead. Yet, any mention of the Garden in early February brought only talk of the basement dwelling Knicks and the rise of Linsanity. It took not the 1st place Rangers and their black-and-blue work ethic, a style of which this city should have have been bursting with pride, to break the impasse between MSG Network and Time Warner Cable, but rather the introduction of the previously unknown Jeremy Lin to the Knicks' starting lineup. The city was in an uproar to see what that kid might do to the listless, sub-par Knicks season. No such populism drove any effort to demand local coverage of the the most dominating Rangers team to hit the ice since '94. That's not peculiar. That's a travesty.

  • Drew says:

    When Jagr was the captain of the Rangers, he once said playing in New York was easy because hockey was maybe the fifth most popular sport in town, behind golf. Maybe the Rangers are one of the oldest and wealthiest teams with some of the most die-hard fans, but the media and casual fans always brush aside any news about the blueshirts. But being a hockey fan in the US has made this an expected norm.

  • Dave says:

    John Tavares would like to have a word with you…

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