During the Islanders’ 17 game point streak earlier this season, there were 16 lobster sightings, one for each of the wins during that streak. Now it’s not a surprise to come across a lobster on Long Island. After all, an island is surrounded by water and there are plenty of great restaurants on Long Island where one could enjoy the delicacy that is a lobster.
Keep in mind that at every Islanders home game, there is a moment when Billy Joel’s “The Downeaster Alexa” is played over the sound system. That song is about the fishermen of Long Island and of course there was a time when the Islanders logo was an angry fisherman holding a hockey stick.
But we’re talking about lobsters.
And when it comes to the Islanders, the sighting of lobsters occurs on social media after every win with a video of dancing lobsters and lobster emojis on victorious posts. It’s something that the Islanders’ social media team has come up with and it’s really caught on with the fans…when the Islanders win, it’s time to “bring in the dancing lobsters”.
The Islanders have certainly gone through a rough patch over the last few weeks, so there haven’t been a lot of appearances by the lobsters. There was an 8-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings last Tuesday at Nassau Coliseum but then the lobsters didn’t return until a week later following Tuesday night’s 4-2 win over the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
So, what is the deal with the lobsters?
For younger fans that grew up watching Nickelodeon, particularly from 1999 to 2002, the sight of the dancing lobsters certainly resonates, especially if you watched “The Amanda Show”, a comedy skit series starring actress Amanda Bynes. During a skit in the show called “Judge Trudy”, the judge would end the scene by saying “court dismissed…bring out the dancing lobsters!”. The courtroom doors would then swing open and in come three dancing lobsters.
I really didn’t get the whole Islanders/Lobster phenomenon until I boarded a Long Island Railroad train with my family for a trip to Barclays Center on January 11th to see the Isles face the Boston Bruins. On the train, I noticed four fans wearing lobster hats so they were clearly on board with what has become a successful social media campaign.
“I really like the lobster reference especially because I feel like it first perfectly with the team and the island,” said Dean Ostrofsky of Bellmore. “As a kid who grew up in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, I knew of the reference from “The Amanda Show”.
Ostrovsky was accompanied on the train by his sister Eliza, his brother Jack, and his brother’s girlfriend Sam Thuilot from Middle Village. They purchased the felt lobster hats on Amazon and had some fun that evening wearing them on the train and at the game.
(Islanders fans Sam Thuilot, Dean Ostrofsky, Jack Ostrofsky, and Eliza Ostrofsky)
They couldn’t believe that there weren’t others that had the same thoughts that they had.
“My brother, his girlfriend, my sister, and I were shocked that people haven’t been showing up to games in lobster gear this season,” said Ostrofsky. “Considering how much the Isles have taken on this unofficial mascot, we decided to start the trend for ourselves.”
Unfortunately, the dancing lobsters didn’t come out that night as the Islanders lost to the Bruins 3-2 in overtime.
But after the win over the Rangers Tuesday night, the Islanders head into the All-Star break with a good taste in their mouths after struggling a bit recently. But now the Islanders, their fans, and the dancing lobsters will enjoy a ten-day break before beginning getting back to work on February 1st when they welcome the Vancouver Canucks to the Barclays Center.
Now given the fact that the Islanders are all in on the lobster campaign, don’t you think they should take the ice for warmups to the B-52’s song “Rock Lobster”?