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RE: [hockhist] Re: Rivalries-Was WHA-Bad for Hockey?

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  • William Underwood
    ... support ... a ... everybody to live happily ever after in all markets. That is not to be. It will never be. It has never been. A quick count tells me that
    Message 1 of 44 , Dec 2, 2001
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      >> But you won't accept it when we have a big marlket where there are few
      > fans...Let me geft this straight- we should bag smaller markets that
      support
      > teams but hang inthere is big markets where nobody gives a damn outside of
      a
      >> "few thousand fans..." Interesting logic!

      >This is a dreadful misinterpretation of my argument. I would prefer
      everybody to live happily ever after in all markets. That is not to be. It
      will never be. It has never been. A quick count tells me that there have
      been 21 franchises folded or relocated since the NHL started. Every
      >professional sport has a long history of teams folding or relocating.

      We agree here...

      >Markets who do not have an NHL rink will build a new rink or they will be
      bagged. It does not matter what the fan base is if there is no rink. If the
      NHL had not found all those revenue streams in the ice palaces maybe new
      rinks would not be necessary. So what? If ifs were skiffs, we'd all be
      sailors. No rink. No team. Those are the rules and the rules are not going
      >to change. To pretend otherwise is just not reasonable..

      And NO FANS shouild mean you don't get a team-- palace or not!

      >I don't want to argue whether those should be the rules or not. That is
      pointless. I think it is too bad that Quebec City and Winnipeg lost their
      >teams but both Denver and Phoenix are great NHL markets.

      One out of two ain't bad Tom--I'd agree about Devener but not Phoenix!
      And why are we living in the vacumn of just Denver and Phoienix, whyb don't
      we discuss the other new cities where there is declining attendanc? And how
      come we evade the very basic question of mass following which both in Denver
      AND Phoenix is a bit lacking...

      I'll say that Denver I can see--Phoenix may not be such a great idea!

      > Both decisions have
      turned out very well for the NHL and the people who moved the team.

      REALLY? Phoenix just sold after the last group lost a toin of miney, the
      Lanche have sold twice...and Pheonix isn't all the way out of the woods
      yet--something that you concisitanlty ignore! You've had one person who has
      been involved in pro ownership and one in franchise narketing tell you this
      about Phoienix yet you like to ignore these facts...

      >That is
      the only reason it happened. It did not matter to the people who moved the
      team that Quebec and Winnipeg had a great fan base. They got to stuff their
      >pockets with cash.

      YES owners did! But is it god for the loing term of the game?

      >It worked out exactly as planned. They have made
      >gazillions in Colorado,

      Not so true---they didn't do so well at all for several years, hence the
      sale...

      > and in a new rink they will make gazillions in
      Phoenix, too.

      Debatable.

      >I can accept it as a sad fact of life, or not. Either way, the NHL does not
      care, everybody who got to stuff their pockets with cash don't care, and
      >absolutely nothing will change whether I accept it or not.

      Ahh but if enough of us stop lining the NHL's pockets, they may HAVE to
      begin to care...

      > It is now more
      than five years since the last NHL game was played in either city. What are
      we supposed to do? How do we change what happened? How long do we
      >mourn?

      Unitl hockey comes to it's senses! Until we get a league small enough to
      deliver a qulity product on a nightly basis
      ! Unitl tht league vbegins to care about it's established loing term fan
      base! Until we stop seeing cities where there is ZERO real hockey support
      get teams! Until we see saner business practises protecting fans that do
      support their teams! Until hockey is brought back to it's TRUE fan base--the
      common fan, nnot the corporate wonk nor the fantasy possible future fan!

      >That is now hockey history. I accept it like I accept that the Montreal
      Maroons and the Cleveland Barons and the Kansas City Scouts all failed.

      And the Atlanta Flames...

      >There are now 30 teams. That is the hockey present and I hope each and
      every
      one of them is successful. I can't hope some of them fail because Quebec and
      Winnipeg failed. How does that help anyone? How does that make anything
      >better? That is bitterness.

      NO IT ISN'T! It is the REALITY that this sport lacks the TALENT BASE to
      stock teams worth of entertining product! I WOULDN'T gieva damn if a team
      was on Mars! The day that they went past 24 was a mistake! A BAD one!

      I don't hope any fail out of bitterness but rather out of wanting to see a
      better quality league! And yes, some markets plainold don't dseserve teams!
      Their exisitance IS a slap inthe face to many loyal fans AND is a redundnat
      wasyte of hockey resources!

      There are MANY reasons why "i'd like to see contraction--first and foremost
      the product! Secondly the fact that a lot of expasnion is based upon a
      faulty premise. One that has led to REAL structural flaws in the league.
      Part of which is bigger is better. We've touched on this! 30 teams either
      KILLS rivalries or means you are stuck seeing too many sub par teams! Not to
      mention the economis implications that it brings...It has encouraged over
      spending by some teams. and it has encouiraged the aura that there is
      actually a big four in the US (OK there is, MLB, NBA, NFL and NASCAR)
      encouraging hockey to price itself right out of the wallet of most fans! All
      of this is REPREHENSIBLE!

      No, I love the NHL. But to me it is like that alchohalic uncle...it has
      developed some VERY bad ways and you'd like to see them righted!

      Qeubec and Winnipeg are probably gone forever. But STILL I advocate
      contraction! Not out of vindicativenss, it couldn't be FARTHER from the
      truth! Rather out of wanting to see the league retunr to the days when I
      never would switch the TV off of a hockey game...

      >I can't even hope that teams fail in the hockey present and you go much
      further than that. You are advocating that we delete ten franchises before
      >they have even had a chance to succeed.

      How long do we give them that chance? Some have had it for nearly a
      decade...Others have had over 2! Take note, I think New York is also
      a nice place to contract....

      >We delete them even though they have
      not failed and show no real signs they are about to fail.

      An already declining ticket base, ZERO TV ratings! Now THOSE are signs of
      hope...

      > Apparently if I am
      willing to accept that Winnipeg and Quebec failed, I shouldn't be allowed to
      reject the idea that we destroy ten franchises before they have a chance to
      >succeed..

      No, Tom. But the fact is that the game is a mess with this many teams. Even
      you acknowledeged a smaller league would create grrearter intensity which is
      vital to the game! Somebody has to go and it SURE AS HELL shouldn't be
      places with a REAL fan base--not one we have to wait until Mr Spock's
      Grandson is buying tickets to develop one!

      >That is ridiculous. Even if I agreed with you about some of the choices the
      NHL has made about franchise location, those choices have been made.
      Expansion was too fast, but it happened. The franchises exist. They are
      entitled to a chance. Anything less is unfair. Wrong. There are a lot more
      fans in those ten cities combined than there were in Winnipeg and Quebec
      >combined.

      THAT I'd GLADY dewbvate! Let's take TV nuymbers and go ten paces...Lets cut
      out the corporate tix and just count real fans who actually watch non NHL
      hockey too! The fact is that there are probably more people in one SECTION
      of Toronto that watch national TV games in Canada than in all of them
      combined! You have NOI IDEA HOW BAD the TV numbers are in the US! An under
      1.0 NATIONALLY impleius only a few million people NATIONWIDE watching a
      game!

      >You want that many people to be hurt and disappointed like the
      people in Winnipeg and Quebec were hurt and disappointed? Why?

      I debate how many. In fact I'd bet that the talk on local sports radio
      wouldn't be much about hockey atall if a team left--it would be about "who
      will atv football this weekend, who doyou like in college hoops,etc...the
      soul of the cities woiuld hardly be ripped out!

      >The NHL is not going to bag ten teams because you don't think they can be
      successful. You are saying ten owners should flush a $2 billion
      >investment.

      First of allthe lrague willnot contractg. Sesond of all, if and when there
      will be a contraction it will be as individual ownewrs make the
      decisionthyat enough is enough and conditions dictate that a slae is not
      possible.

      And yes, at a certina ppint individual investors do dump financial black
      holes...

      >You are saying 230 players are out of a job. The 30 coaches and front
      offices, gone.

      Sad and true. But honestly, the real tragedy hereis athat many of them were
      ever in the league to start with and givent eh delusion that they are big
      leaguers. These guys I feel the most for! But then again, you always feel
      bad for that guy that isn't quite good enough..and there does have to be a
      line.

      >We will disappoint several hundred thousand fans because
      there aren't a million of them.

      I doubt several hundred tousand is all that accurate in many cases. Is we
      even grouped 6 of some of teams together you'd probabl;y have a tough time
      going overc a hundred thousand true fans. Corporations can find another tax
      write off!

      >We will stick taxpayers with the cost of a
      spiffy new rink while yanking the tenants.

      And maybe there is a lesson here! DON'T FUND THESE tHINGS WITHOUT A TON OF
      PRIVATE MONEY! This would be a nice lesson for ALL sport! We'd have less
      franchise free agencyb and other such nonesense that has tsaken the game
      from the fan if cities were discouraged form stealing each others teams!

      THIS might be the BEST net effect! That tax money should be going elsewhere!

      >It is not going to happen because it should not happen and there is no good
      reason for it to happen.

      Sure there is! No string support nor develoment of it means losses and
      utlimately we will have some sort of major upheaval (it is a part of life)
      and such structures topple.

      Tom , you ought to coime down here to live for a few monthes, you'd have an
      entirely different view of hockey in the US! For every Morey there are 20
      people who only marginally give a damn about the game and a 1000 who don't
      give a damn at all!

      It's easy to sdit up in Vancouver and selectively look at numbers, not being
      involved in the industry and shout "three cheers for Gary!"

      >Why should it happen?

      The same reason NASL failed, an overestimation of market...

      >Why would it be good?

      Becasue it was an un natural expansion that marred the product. Quality
      control is in order! And hey, I'm not theone voitng here, the million s in
      thoise cities who never watch on TV., NEVER support the game and consider it
      a castyl secoindary entity are the ones who speak loudly!

      Whjy is it good Tom? Beccuas eTom thinks that hockey is the world's only
      sport and will sele in Upper Volta? Because you's like a 500 team league?


      > Because you don't think they can
      succeed in the hockey future? Because you don't think the people there will
      like hockey? That's not reasonable.The future has not happened.

      EXACTLY what do we call the last 40 odd years of televised hockey?
      You know I just saw a rather amusing magazine article "Hockey's Explosion in
      the South and West". It was from the early/mid 70's. Odsd thing happened on
      the way to the explosion I guess!

      You tsalk as if hockey has had NO presence inthe US for the past 50 years.
      And in some places that would be a mismnomer--it is more like 100 years! We
      are NOT talking about there being no data!

      Again, you sit up there in Vancouver obvioulsy knowing little of our hockey
      history and culture and preside with such confidence...

      > Sometimes
      crystal balls are cloudy.

      I guess rtrhey were...inthe 50's the 60's ,the 70's ..back when they were
      saying "hockey will be a US national passion by 1980!

      >If they can't succeed, they won't. The exist. They deserve the chance.

      Abd again, cities where there are real fans don't deserve that! Tom., your
      passioi for the game would be better served battleing for your fellow
      CANADIANS in Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa and maybe even yoru ownb Vancouver to
      have their futures assured so that they keep their teams. Rest assured, in
      the towns that you so valiantly struggle for there are few Toms. And that is
      meant as a compliment--youa re a true fanh of the game!


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    • Morey Holzman
      Roy McGregor wrote a great piece in today s National Post, which is sort of what Bill and I have been bantering back and forth on.
      Message 44 of 44 , Dec 4, 2001
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        Roy McGregor wrote a great piece in today's National Post, which is
        sort of what Bill and I have been bantering back and forth on.

        http://www.nationalpost.com/commentary/columnists/story.html?
        f=/stories/20011129/810536.html

        Morey
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