go jets go

The glory days.

* * * * *

Well, it happened: NHL hockey is returning to Winnipeg.

How sad.

I remember when 'it happened' in reverse, in 1996 -- when they took the team away. I was living in Winnipeg then, and the sweeping feeling was that this was a very bad thing, this thing that was happening. Happening to Winnipeg. Poor Winnipeg! Like a tornado or a hurricane or a flood or a plague. Like Delilah and the Philistines, that kind of Biblical betrayal.

And so all sorts of guys threw together all sorts of rescue plans, and held all sorts of rallies, and little kids offered up their piggy banks, and wept tears they could not possibly understand. And the team moved anyway.

And all this was sad on a number of levels.

Not least of which was its passive quality. Because it really was happening to them: some business guys (those philistines!) making a business decision and moving the team to Phoenix. Because professional sports is a business. Because professional hockey players -- at least the kind who play in the NHL -- make millions of dollars, and their allegiances run as deep as the ink on their contracts. And to weep about this is to be a child.

But none of that matters now, because they're back! Not the team from Phoenix, mind you, but one from Atlanta. Good enough. And too bad the Atlanta team -- the Thrashers -- were such a flame-out down there but, well, the people of Winnipeg still want them. Desperately. Really, any washed-up franchise would do.

Christ it would have been such a sight -- just imagine -- if the people of Winnipeg had collectively shrugged at the idea of an NHL team coming back. If they hadn't wanted it so badly. Or at all. If the corner of Portage and Main was only as noisy as the wind, instead of the horn-blaring, fist-pumping gong show it is right now.

Some cities just grow up faster than others, I guess.

Comments

  1. wait. is this post about sports?

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  2. oh, it is. but it's *hockey* so OK! go canadiens! yay!!!

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  3. It *is* a big deal, apparently. But why? They left for money. And now they're back ... for money. And everyone is cheering like they cured cancer or something.

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  4. Hang in there. I'm sure something will distract the masses in no time. Until then, I'd like to inform you of some stupendous news.... You won my giveaway! Let me know your address and your collage will be winging its way in a matter of a few short days - annambetts at gmail dot com.

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  5. The Jets are back home where they belong.
    Now bring back the Nordiques!

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  6. O, don't worry, Kaz -- Quebec City will get theirs in the end as well.

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  7. Hope you were impressed with my *passion* for Canada's game ;-)

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  8. Always felt a kinship with the other non-traditionals like y’all, Florida, Tampa, and Nashville. To see y’alls team taken away so unceremoniously is depressing for Southern hockey fans everywhere. My condolences.

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  9. Currently the loony is nice and stable against the dollar, but back in ‘96 $1 USD was worth about $1.40 CAD. It presented a big problem for Canadian teams who collected revenue from ticket sales, TV deals, merchandise, etc. in Canadian dollars but had to pay their players salaries in American dollars and it’s one of the main factors that sent the Jets down to Phoenix in the first place. Things are favorable now, but there’s no telling what the future will hold and if the loony dips again small Canadian markets (i.e. Winnipeg and Quebec City) will again, like they were 15-20 years ago, just not have any potential for profitability whatsoever

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