The NHL Postseason is in full effect as the hometown Islanders and Rangers are both in a hard-fought series. The environment at Madison Square Garden (home of the Rangers) and UBS Arena (home of the Islanders) has been electric, as the passion of both fanbases has been evident.
Recently, a passionate Islanders fan has caught the attention of many other fans via an unusual yet entertaining tradition. John Scibilia, a lifelong Islanders fan, has been a season ticket holder since 2015, when the Islanders moved to his hometown of Brooklyn.
While at a game at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Scibilia made eye contact with an opposing player and yelled at him following a cheap shot at an Islanders player. Scibilia said he remembers he “stood up, pointed my finger at him, and kept shouting “YOU’RE OUT – YOU ARE OUT” while pointing to him the way to get to the penalty box.” Fans in Brooklyn would cheer Scibilia on, but it remained low key as nothing came about besides Scibilia becoming the voice of his section as he would cheer on the start of a power play.
When the Islanders moved to their current home, UBS Arena, Scibilia wanted to get more fans involved while keeping the tradition alive and well. After a penalty at a game in the Fall of 2021, Scibilia turned around and asked Islanders fans sitting behind him, “WHERE IS HE?”. Eventually, the answer from the fans morphed from “HE’S OUT” to “IN THE BOX,” which is what we know it as at today’s games. One of these passionate fans that Scibilia has been approached by and become friendly with is Hills West Assistant Principal Dr. Abrescia. Abrescia, like Scibilia, has been a lifelong Islanders fan and attends many games throughout the year.
Scibilia sees himself not as a celebrity or an influencer to fellow islander fans but as one of the many passionate and lifelong fans. Despite this, a worker for the Islanders Public Relations Department informed Scibilia that the organization would place a camera to show the arena Scibilia and others doing this tradition. Scibilia realizes that it “Seems to be catching on in ways I never dreamed or intended. But, what fun. For me, it’s all about fun.”
It is safe to assume that this tradition created by Scibilia will continue for the foreseeable future, and one can easily say that it will only grow in popularity as the years go on. Fans will cheer on their Islanders tonight as they return to UBS and fight to survive against the Hurricanes.