RIP Rob Zee (LiasTheGoat)

The Rangers community has lost another diehard fan. A few months following the passing of Stephen Curatolo (stephennyr89), another passionate fan of the Blueshirts has passed away.

Rob Zee, better known to Twitter as LiasTheGoat, is no longer with us. A good guy who wore his emotions on his sleeves, Rob was truly a pleasure to interact with. His loyalty was unquestioned and when he debated you, he always supported his arguments with the same vigor you would expect.

As recently as July 1, he let everyone know how he was doing. But still tweeted his enthusiasm for a Rangers off-season that included Kaapo Kakko, Adam Fox, Jacob Trouba and as he predicted, Artemi Panarin. I think maybe Curatolo brought them luck along with Steven McDonald in winning the lottery to land Kakko with the number two pick.

What I liked most about Rob is he let you know how he felt. He never pulled any punches. No matter the topic, you always were entertained by @LiasTheGoat. He had a good sense of humor. Something that’s not always common these days on social media. Here is one of my favorites:

Can you only imagine what his thoughts were on Kevin Hayes winding up in Philadelphia under Alain Vigneault? It’s too bad we’ll never get to see his tweet on that subject. But I can only imagine it being hard hitting and full of sarcasm. For that reason, I can’t help but chuckle.

Like everyone on May 10, he sent out his thoughts on the loss of Stephen 🙏. Deep down, I know the both of them are watching above sharing a beer and discussing the palpable excitement for the upcoming Rangers season.

When friend Madison Miller told me about Rob’s loss, I was truly saddened by the news. All I can think of is why. It truly sucks. I feel like Madison summed it up best.

It’s ironic. We all complain about petty nonsense. Compared to what both Stephen and Rob faced, our issues pale in comparison. I guess it’s true what Billy Joel said in his hit song. “Only the good die young.”

That was his take after the President’s Trophy winning Lightning were swept by the eighth seeded Blue Jackets. It couldn’t have been more appropriate. My bracket was extinct by the time the Avalanche eliminated the Flames in the same first round. I laughed about it. He was also right about upsets. They happen. If they didn’t, Virginia wouldn’t have become the first one seed to lose to a 16 in 2018. They bounced back to win their first ever national championship a year later.

It’s hard to believe two of the best Ranger fans have been taken from us. All in just over three months. It’s very mind numbing and shocking. I’m sure the Rangers organization will do something for Curatolo, who was everywhere at MSG despite being in and out of the hospital while battling cancer.

My only hope is that the team honors both by having a good season. How I wish they could be here to see it. I still miss Stephen’s tweets. Likewise for Rob.

You are both sorely missed. But let’s remember one thing. Your fighting spirit isn’t gone. That will last forever. 💜😢

About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included separate stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also interned for or hockey historian Stan Fischler and worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil telecasts. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has covered consecutive Staten Island Yankees NY Penn League championships in '05 and '06. He also scored Berkeley Carroll high school basketball games from '06-14 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree. The Battle Of Hudson administrator and chief editor can be followed below on Twitter and Facebook.
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