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09-12-2004, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by thinkwild
Real hockey fans can follow the puck on the radio.

I think worrying about the southern markets is shortsighted. The billionaires who invested a hundred million dollars for a team in those markets think they can reproduce Colorados success if they develop a winner. Me too. I dont think fans of southern teams should be at all worried about attendance while they are developing. Even here in Ottawa, Hockey Country, we had the same problems. I think you can overcome them just as we did if you are patient and do it right. Pay no heed to those calling for contraction. Atlanta, Florida, Tampa Bay, Nashville, Columbus, Minnesota are great markets on the right path.
I think not worrying about the southern markets, is short sighted. Gary Bettman says lets not worry about how we got to this point ( the labour problems ), lets just concentrate on fixing the game now. Well Gary, if a little more thought was given before handing out a franchise to every city with beach front property, yeah we wouldn't have to worry about how we got here, because we may have averted the current problems. The real problem with the States in general, and more specifically the southern states, is that the NHL has not given those fans the chance to grasp the sport. It trickles down from the teams themselves. Rather than teach the game to these new fans, they just give them enough to like their team. Being a fan means more than watching your team, it means learning the game, knowing the players, and being aware of other teams aroung the league. The Broadcasters are lacking, as are the colour man, the beat writers, many of these people don't know enough about the sport to be in a position to comment. The American people are not stupid, nor is the sport of Hockey to complex. You need to teach the game and get them to buy into the NHL, before they truly buy into the Blue Jackets, or the Thrashers.

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