May 31, 2011

Giving Winnipeg A Lollipop Just To Shut Them Up

So Winnipeg finally got its team. Isn’t that nice? They only had to take one from another city, but hey, they got a team and that’s all that matters, right?

You know, it’s days like this that remind me how little empathy the majority of humanity has. “Who cares about Atlanta? We finally got another team!” Great. Remember what it was like when the Jets moved 15 years ago? Yeah, that’s what Atlanta’s feeling right now – not that you care. Bastards.

This whole situation pisses me off. For a variety of reasons. So, sit back, and enjoy the rant.

My first and biggest problem are the jerks who wanted this team in Winnipeg, and weren’t afraid to voice their arrogant and self-entitled opinions at the expense of slandering another – but American, so that’s okay – city. Not all of them were Canadian, and not all Canadians are like this, but the majority of those yelling for a team they felt they “deserved” (whatever that means) were Canadian. And they were bashing Atlanta, and Phoenix before them, for all they were worth.

And that annoys me the most; that Winnipeg seemingly got a team because they whined and yelled for one. It makes me think of giving into a spoiled child when they’ve been bad. Instead of telling them no, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman gave them a team to shut them up. It’s like they’re being rewarded for bad behavior, and that really grates on me.

Which is why I would’ve preferred Quebec City to get a team over Winnipeg. They’re dying to have an NHL team back as well, you know. But are they so bad-mannered about it? Nope. And yet, they probably won’t get another team for a while. If Phoenix moves in a year, I’m betting they go to another American city.

[More after the break...]

But the geographical snobbery bothers me a lot, too. It’s mostly perpetuated by the traditionalists of the sport who believe that hockey ought to be played in places where it gets cold enough to skate outside on lakes and ponds. When everyone skates primarily on indoor ice rinks – even in Canada. It has nothing to do with the temperature outside in the dead of winter, and everything to do with who these people think “deserves” a team.

And there’s that word again – “deserves”. What’s that supposed to mean, anyways? Who gets to decide which cities and which fans are deserving? It makes no sense to me. It’s like saying that vanilla ice cream deserves brownies. The reality is that people arbitrarily decide which cities are “deserving” based solely upon their own biases and prejudices, and there’s actually no such thing as a city being deserving or undeserving.

What it comes down to is that many Canadians feel that they own the sport of hockey – their country does, at least. I’m tired of being rated a second-class NHL fan simply because I’m an American. If they could, I bet those types of people would strip hockey from everyone and selfishly keep it just to themselves. And, really, what’s the point in that? And like anyone can own a sport, anyways.

How about, they can keep the NHL and their now seven teams, and the other 23 teams in the US can be their own hockey league, 'kay?

Another problem I have with this situation is the unfair labels that Atlanta hockey fans are getting slapped on them. That it’s all of the fans’ fault for not showing up. It’s Atlanta’s fault for not liking hockey enough. It’s Atlanta’s fault for not being good fans. Seriously? Have they not been reading up on the situation in Atlanta? Why is the ownership blameless when it comes to this?

If you want to see what kind of a difference good ownership can make, just take a look at the 2010-2011 Tampa Bay Lightning. And if you want to see what bad ownership can do to a team, take a look at the 2009-2010 Tampa Bay Lightning. Do you really think it was the fans’ fault for not supporting their team that were on the verge of moving themselves?

It was only about a year and a half ago when the Lightning were looking for new potential owners, after all. They could’ve been moved as well. But thankfully, they found a good guy who turned out to be a great owner thus far – they were one of the lucky ones. But the situation was eerily similar to what’s been going on in Atlanta – though, no one is willing to make that comparison publicly.

The real problem with this move is the NHL. Apparently, all you need is money and a convenient arena in a city to use, and...you, too, could own an NHL team! They really need to be doing background checks on these people, at the very least. Most of the problems with NHL teams come from the owners, and not the fans, and it’s all because the owners are incompetent or hire incompetent people.

So Atlanta gets screwed out of an NHL team, and because of this failure, will likely not get a chance at another one for a very long time. Perhaps ever. And all because of incompetent ownership.

And Winnipeg finally gets that team they’ve been yelling, crying, and whining over. I guess this proves that Gary Bettman doesn’t hate Canada after all, huh? At least, until Winnipeg starts failing in five to ten years. And the Ottawa Senators are looking to move south into the US because they can’t fill their building. With the Edmonton Oilers threatening to move to Quebec City or Kansas City if they don’t get a new arena.

Like I've said, I know that not all Canadians are like this. And I realize that the NHL is a business and that unsuccessful teams need to be moved to more viable locations - I get that. But this one makes me bitter, and I'm not even an Atlanta Thrashers fan. Probably because it's awfully close to what happened to the Lightning not so long ago.

About the only good news out of this is the fact that this team in Winnipeg likely won’t be called the Jets. I think that’s justice served, frankly. They badly wanted a team, but they probably won’t get to call them their beloved Jets. Ha! Hello, Manitoba Moose! (I wonder what happens to their AHL team....)

Now I think that Seattle ought to get Phoenix, and they ought to call themselves the Seattle Jets. Boeing is there, after all, so it makes sense. And wouldn’t that be fun?

Not that Seattle will be getting a team anytime soon – still no building after all – but a girl can dream, right?

Le sigh...poor, poor Phoenix!

2 comments:

  1. you are a true genius bud let me tell ya. considering that atlanta's revenue was going down the hole and being a financial burden to the city of atlanta and a slew of other things like crappy performance for the length of time that the thrashers has been in atlanta, 28th of out 30 teams for crappiest attendance, the team had crappy financial backup, and the fact that about 60% of all the hockey players are canadian sounds like canada deserves to have more teams than the US to me. also an interesting fact, 40% of all of the NHL revenue comes from 6 canadian teams...out of 30. USA has 5x more teams and can only come up with 60% of the total revenue that is a pathetic % dont you think? so use your brain jackass, the team will thrive a lot more in a city that appreciates them more, and has way better finances, and team support than in atlanta. GO JETS! peace out.

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  2. Right. And 10 years ago both Edmonton & Calgary were looking to move to the US because they couldn't afford their teams anymore - and the American NHL teams were supporting two more Canadian teams besides them. Nice try. Nothing stays the same forever, pal.

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