Sports and Jews of the tri-state area may be the theme of the afternoon as word has come in over the transom that the National Hockey League’s New York Islanders–based in Nassau Country, Long Island–will be moving to Kings Country, Brooklyn. While the NHL is in a labor dispute that may cause its season to be canceled, the Islanders will eventually play at the new Barclays Center starting in 2015. The Barclays Center, which was anointed by Jay-Z with a menorah lighting each night of his opening eight shows at the arena. Brooklyn has already became the new home of the NBA’s New Jersey Nets, who will tip-off the season against the New York Knicks in the coming days.
But for those lamenting the lose of Long Island’s team, know this. Technically, and as many often forget, Brooklyn is still on Long Island. As Sam Roberts writes:
Check your geography: Brooklyn (like Queens – think Long Island City) is situated on the western edge of Long Island.
Check your history: During the Revolutionary War, the Battle of Long Island was fought in what is today Brooklyn (the old City of Brooklyn, a village dating from 1646, was in the northwest slice of the borough, which explains why the neighborhood still referred to by some residents as South Brooklyn is nowhere near Brooklyn’s southern rim). Brooklyn was originally one of six towns in what became Kings County.
And check marketing reasons. While Brooklyn (with 2.5 million people) is Long Island’s most populous county, Nassau and Suffolk comprise 37 percent of the island’s population (and, with Queens, make up fully 67 percent).
For Brooklynites who feel slighted, consider that Long Island is bigger in land area than Rhode Island, is the largest island in the contiguous United States, and is the 17th most populous island in the world, ahead of Ireland and Jamaica.
Marty Markowitz, the borough president and Brooklyn’s biggest booster, was unfazed that the team would still call itself the Islanders, and the New York Islanders, no less.
“The journey from Long Island is not a long one for the Islanders,” he said. “After all, Brooklyn is where Long Island begins and Nassau County is just a short Zamboni ride away from the big stage of Brooklyn and the Barclays’ Center.”
Next on tap for Brooklyn? How about the Miami Marlins?