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Legendary Rangers Anthem Singer John Amirante Passes Away At 83

Fuck, man.

It’s been a tough 24 hours for Rangers fans. We’re out hitting the back 9 in the midst of April for the first time since 2010. Then we got the Devils taking the liberty to make fun of that very statistic last night as they tried to claw their way back into their series against Tampa bay. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say the only people in the building that enjoyed the screen graphic more than the Devils fans themselves was the old crew of JT Miller, Anton Stralman, Dan Girardi, and Ryan McDonagh.

And then news hit this morning that’s worse than any screen graphic the Devils could came up with…and that’s including the possibility of playing the Henrique goal over and over and over until my eyes & ears give out.

John Amirante, a staple at Rangers games since 1980, passed away earlier at the age of 83. John began doing Anthems for the Garden’s 2 tenants, the Knicks & Rangers, 38 years ago. He stopped doing the Knicks in the mid 90’s, but thankfully he continued to strut his stuff with the Rangers all the way up until 2015 with a few more recent appearances sprinkled in.

Regrettably, I wasn’t alive when John Amirante belted out his most famous anthem before Game 7 against Vancouver 1994. The good news is I didn’t have to be because the footage speaks for itself. The likes of Elton John could’ve done the honors and would’ve gotten nowhere near the reaction Amirante did from the Garden Faithful that night.

Seeing that cute little old man waddle out to the microphone gave people goosebumps. It could’ve been a Game 6 in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Canadiens with an opportunity to go to the Cup on the line, a November game against the Atlanta Thrashers, or a Stanley Cup Game 7. The Voice. The Towel Wave in the postseason. The swagger. Everything he did was more than memorable.

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So R.I.P. Mr. Amirante. Anthems at the Garden will never be the same.