I go to a lot of delis during my work week. Typically, I find things like drinks in the deli coolers. Maybe coleslaw. Never have I seen an Alex Ovechkin jersey.
“Yes, I have a jersey in the [fridge],” said Blane Barbour, the owner of Bageltime Deli in Marlboro, N.J. “I’m cooling Ovechkin off so he doesn’t hurt us in the playoffs.”
Of course, the obvious next question is why an ardent Rangers fan in New Jersey would even own an Ovechkin jersey. Turns out Barbour is a huge hockey fan and memorabilia collector who has jerseys for many NHL stars. Come playoff time, though, they turn from collectors’ items into amulets.
“It’s playoff time; now it’s business,” he said. “I mean, the Rangers are not playing well. I’m trying everything. I have to put my Rangers jerseys in the ovens with the bagels, heat ‘em up. I’m cooling Ovechkin down, so now I have to heat the Rangers up.”
Barbour’s shop is more in Devils country than Rangers country, but as you can see, his shop isn’t exactly subtle about which team it supports. And as it turns out, Barbour is hardly the only Rangers supporter attempting to put Ovechkin on ice. There’s Boomer Esiason, for example.
And then there’s this guy.
And they appear not to be alone, either.
My brothers ovechkin jersey is currently in the freezer..
— Kristen Giustiniani (@kcheer523) May 5, 2013
My ovechkin jersey is in the freezer, and my garnett is in the deep fryer
— Brandon McEwan (@BrandonMcEwan) May 2, 2013