It ain't called "The Greatest Arena on Earth" for nothing, but Esiason has an unexpected take on how Madison Square Garden actually hurts the Knicks and Rangers. "If you're an opposing team and you come in there to play, I always say this, the Knicks and the Rangers are actually behind the eight ball in the sense that every team comes in there like it's Game 7," Esiason says. "Whoever that key player is on the opposing team, he wants to light it up." Reggie Miller's single-handed shocker of a comeback over the Knicks in Game 1 of the 1995 semifinals is a testament to that. Then there is the unparalleled pressure that New York fans hoist onto any newcomer to step onto the hardwood or skate onto the ice. "I've told many a Ranger that has come here as a free agent, most notably Brad Richards," Esiason recalls, "I said, 'Be careful of what you wish for, because your anonymity in Tampa and Dallas probably was really good for you. You can have a week where you didn't score a goal. But let me tell you something, when you come to New York, everybody's going to expect you to score a goal every single game.' "
Credit: Nathaniel S. Butler / Getty Images
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