Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Letter to Nashville Predator Fans

I commented on the Globe's website, responding to criticisms about our lack of empathy for Nashville Predator fans. Here is what I wrote...

To all Nashville Predator fans:

Excuse us Canadians (particularly Hamiltonians) if we are not sympathetic to your impending NHL loss. Yes, there are some Nashville fans who will be upset with spending their money on season tickets and merchandise, only to see their team move up north. But with a team that finished third overall with a fan base that barely cracked an average attendance of 14,000 and season ticket sales of less than 9,000 is quite simply pathetic. You have been coddled by the NHL, and are now acting like spoiled brats, wanting something you do not deserve.

If that does not explain our lack of sympathy, perhaps a history lesson on Hamilton's numerous disappointments will suffice. Since the 1970's, Hamiltonians have been subjected to at least seven relocation and two expansion opportunities. Each time, the citizens of Hamilton and Southern Ontario were elated and even provided proof of their support (e.g. built an arena, sold out season tickets in 2 days during the 1990 expansion bid), only to have their hopes crushed. Not only have we been used as leverage for other owners to get better deals in their city (e.g. Pocklington in Edmonton), our expansion bids by any objective measure were superior to others, only to lose out Southern American cities and less deserving bids. And I am just touching the surface here. For more details I recommend seeing

No one, not even Canadians up until now, cared much about these heartbreaking events. You had a gift that Hamiltonians could only dream of, and you (the collective you, including corporate sponsors) could care less. So please, excuse us for not shedding a tear.

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