This Should Teach Them to Have Hockey in Dixie
I’m back on the bus this morning, catching up on the world via my BlackBerry, when what to my wondering eyes should appear but news that the Atlanta Thrashers of the NHL are moving to someplace cold:
The struggling NHL franchise was sold Tuesday to a group that will move it to Winnipeg next season, making Atlanta the first city in the league’s modern era to lose two teams.
[ . . . ]
In Atlanta, there was little reaction other than a tearful news conference held by co-owner Michael Gearon.
That’s because Gearon probably lost his shirt in the sale and no one else in Atlanta cares about hockey. Because, you know, it’s Atlanta, which is a great city and all, but people there just aren’t interested in cold weather sports. Even the NFL’s Falcons play in a dome, and if fans won’t put up with a couple hours of frigid Georgia autumn weather </sarcasm> to watch football, then hockey is doomed.
As it turns out, history agrees with me. The Atlanta hockey team of my childhood was the Flames, who flamed out and moved to Calgary.
Now, thanks to the Thrashers’ demise, hockey is back in Winnipeg, which sources in the know tell me is filled with people just begging for something to distract them from the fact that their city is a pit. As Atlantans greet news of the team’s move with reactions varying from a yawn to, “What? We have a hockey team? Why wasn’t I told?” Winnipegans (?) are reportedly elated. It’s a win for everyone.
Now if we can just purge North Carolina, Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California of professional hockey, the world of sports will be right again. As I have often said, no place where the ponds aren’t frozen in January has any business having an NHL team.