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AJC: Thrashers fans coping with relocation six months later

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Old
12-14-2011, 10:35 AM
  #1
nhlfan79
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AJC: Thrashers fans coping with relocation six months later

http://www.ajc.com/sports/atlanta-th...e-1259308.html

You just have to love the money quote from Bob Williams.

Outside Philips Arena, a mural commemorating the city’s hosting of the 2008 NHL All-Star Game recently was painted over, erasing visible evidence of the event. Thrashers banners that once hung from the rafters -- among them one that recognized the team’s 2006-07 Southeastern Division title --*are in arena storage.

...

“Somebody, somewhere, is trying to extinguish the memory of the Thrashers,” fan Greg Mann said. “I don’t know who it is, but it’s very painful.”

Bob Williams, president of the Hawks and Philips Arena, would not address the mural’s removal other than to say to the AJC in an email: “I don’t deem the subject you inquired about to be newsworthy and therefore don’t feel the need to comment on it.”


So typical for this former ownership group.

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12-14-2011, 10:54 AM
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This is an interesting story. Obviously I'm glad to have the Jets, but the fans in Atlanta really did get screwed over pretty hard.

I'm not usually one to have sympathy for anything related to southern/sunbelt hockey, but that quote from Bob Williams is particularly harsh, and so is the idea that Atlanta fans are supposed to just forget they had a team.

As for the lack of interest in televised Jets games down there, that doesn't surprise me at all. I have a lot of respect for the Thrashers fans who do continue to follow the team now that they're in Winnipeg, but I don't blame the ones who don't.

I couldn't do it after the Jets 1.0 moved to Phoenix. To this day, the Phoenix Coyotes are my all-time most hated team in the history of hockey because of that. I loathe them. I would completely understand if Atlanta fans felt the same way about the current Jets.

This related story from that paper is also interesting: http://www.ajc.com/sports/atlanta-th...s-1259188.html .

It's basically just fan reactions to the relocation, six months after the fact. I thought this one was particularly funny:

Quote:
“We’ve since adopted a coping mechanism consisting of describing Winnipeg as a 19th-century town that is just now gaining access to things like indoor plumbing, electricity and automobiles.”

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12-14-2011, 01:54 PM
  #3
Wonko the Sane
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Reminds me of this Simpsons episode (Go Away! There ain't no hockey team and there never was!):

[Marge arrives in North Haverbrook. She sees a sign that says "Welcome to North Haverbrook, Where the Monorail is King!" Marge sees decrepit houses, old rusted cars and tumbleweeds. Marge hardly sees any people save for a crazy old lady in a rocking chair on her front porch, laughing evilly.]
[Marge then goes to the town center to investigate the monorail, and is shocked to see a crumbling track and a wrecked monorail.]
Woman: Go away! There ain't no monorail and there never was! [Woman slams her window shut, which reads "Monorail Café". A strange looking man approaches Marge, which startles her.]
Sebastian Cobb: Excuse me miss, you asked about the monorail?
Marge: Who are you?
Cobb: My name is Sebastian Cobb. Lanley hired me to build his monorail. He cut corners everywhere: bad wiring, faulty brakes, and the celebrity on the maiden voyage was Gallagher.

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12-14-2011, 02:04 PM
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nhlfan79 View Post
http://www.ajc.com/sports/atlanta-th...e-1259308.html

You just have to love the money quote from Bob Williams.

Outside Philips Arena, a mural commemorating the city’s hosting of the 2008 NHL All-Star Game recently was painted over, erasing visible evidence of the event. Thrashers banners that once hung from the rafters -- among them one that recognized the team’s 2006-07 Southeastern Division title --*are in arena storage.

...

“Somebody, somewhere, is trying to extinguish the memory of the Thrashers,” fan Greg Mann said. “I don’t know who it is, but it’s very painful.”

Bob Williams, president of the Hawks and Philips Arena, would not address the mural’s removal other than to say to the AJC in an email: “I don’t deem the subject you inquired about to be newsworthy and therefore don’t feel the need to comment on it.”


So typical for this former ownership group.
Is the city of Atlanta up in arms about this painting over a mural, or is it more or less just the hockey fans?

Would there be more of a story if it pertained to the Falcons or Hawks?

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12-14-2011, 02:34 PM
  #5
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Originally Posted by Fidel Astro View Post
I couldn't do it after the Jets 1.0 moved to Phoenix. To this day, the Phoenix Coyotes are my all-time most hated team in the history of hockey because of that. I loathe them.
i was the same...i cheered for only one team in the NHL for 15 years....whoever was playing the coyotes.

today i actually kind of like them...not sure why....maybe because i think their time is up and it is pointless to hold a grudge anymore.

it is funny to me that the 'balkan' guy is now on winnipeg radio every day...on the same station that carries the jets....

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12-14-2011, 02:38 PM
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it is funny to me that the 'balkan' guy is now on winnipeg radio every day...on the same station that carries the jets....
John Kincade is WPG radio?

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12-14-2011, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by nhlfan79 View Post
John Kincade is WPG radio?
Not that I'm aware of, I haven't heard of any disembodied feet running around town either....

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12-14-2011, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by nhlfan79 View Post
John Kincade is WPG radio?
Yeah, this is news to me. I know Dan Kamal is a road correspondent for Jets coverage on CJOB.

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12-14-2011, 03:00 PM
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John Kincade is WPG radio?
he is a co-host on 'The Doug Gottlieb Show' every day on 1290.

i heard him once make a comment about lobbying ESPN to not give the jets scores in their run down of games.


Last edited by peter sullivan: 12-14-2011 at 03:07 PM.
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12-14-2011, 03:09 PM
  #10
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It's still a little early in the grieveing process for Thrasher fans to forgive & forget.
Some Jets fans were still bitter up until they got a team back.

But hockey is an amazing sport, and some of those comments prove how hard it is to stay away a/o hate the game.
And on the Winnipeg board, this was just posted recently:
http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=1054595

An ATL fan has embraced the Jets.

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Old
12-14-2011, 03:22 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nhlfan79 View Post
Bob Williams, president of the Hawks and Philips Arena, would not address the mural’s removal other than to say to the AJC in an email: “I don’t deem the subject you inquired about to be newsworthy and therefore don’t feel the need to comment on it.”
And the douchiest statement of the year award goes to.....

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12-14-2011, 03:31 PM
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"Still, last week’s Hurricanes-Jets game from Winnipeg registered an unmeasurable ratings number: The game drew an Atlanta audience smaller than required for a 0.1 rating, or 2,400 households. "

Die hards only it would seem

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12-14-2011, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Chief Ten Bears View Post
"Still, last week’s Hurricanes-Jets game from Winnipeg registered an unmeasurable ratings number: The game drew an Atlanta audience smaller than required for a 0.1 rating, or 2,400 households. "

Die hards only it would seem
Why would anyone other than diehards care to watch two cellar-dwellars from foreign markets on a regional broadcast?

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Old
12-14-2011, 04:38 PM
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Why would anyone other than diehards care to watch two cellar-dwellars from foreign markets on a regional broadcast?
Yea. Talk about a non-story.

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12-14-2011, 06:37 PM
  #15
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And the douchiest statement of the year award goes to.....
Agreed. Talk about kicking people while they are down. Could not even say, "no comment", just had to throw in the "I don't consider this news" part to....troll Thrash fans? Only reason I could come up with.

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12-14-2011, 07:55 PM
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Not sure if this deserves its own thread, but I found it mind-blowing:

http://www.ajc.com/sports/ownership-...e-1259447.html

Quote:
Team employees said they had no direct contact from ownership during the entire process, which began in earnest in February, when co-owner Michael Gearon Jr. said there was a sense of urgency to find a buyer or investors. Confidentiality agreements are typically signed during such negotiations.
So they spent less than 5 months looking for a new owner and even then were unwilling to sell the Thrashers as part of a package or with ANY stake in the arena they operate at. What a crock of ****, hard to believe how crooked Atlanta Spirit is and that Gary Bettman let them get away with it because of the Coyotes losses.

The Coyotes get OVER TWO YEARS of league-brokered help to find a new owner, including offering to practically pay a millionaire to take them, then instead of just sending them back to where they came from, where they belong, they ship off my team. The team my family was a season ticket holder for over 6 seasons, the team that I own 5 jerseys from, the team that I hoped to someday take my son to see and tell him about sitting in the same seat with my father when I was his age... gone in less than 5 months.

Then to make the debacle complete they call them the Jets knowing full well that the Jets are toiling in the desert playing to smaller average crowds than Atlanta EVER had, despite making the playoffs regularly and getting a 5 year head start on fanbase building.

I'm done with this league, hopefully someday this will be rectified.

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12-14-2011, 08:15 PM
  #17
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As for the lack of interest in televised Jets games down there, that doesn't surprise me at all. I have a lot of respect for the Thrashers fans who do continue to follow the team now that they're in Winnipeg, but I don't blame the ones who don't.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bacon25 View Post
How are fans coping???

Not well, aside from the trolls that invade the ESPN boards when the Jets play, asking for Winnipeg to be 9-11'ed, I would say that most fans are bitter towards to ownership, seeing that Winnipeg was not the reason the team moved.
The article said that Center Ice package sales in Atlanta are up significantly (but wouldn't divulge how many), and that a lot of ATL fans have adopted the Predators (makes sense, "close," but Western Conference so not a rival).

Fox Sports ATL is showing 45 Nashville and 45 Carolina games this season.

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12-14-2011, 08:23 PM
  #18
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So they spent less than 5 months looking for a new owner and even then were unwilling to sell the Thrashers as part of a package or with ANY stake in the arena they operate at. What a crock of ****, hard to believe how crooked Atlanta Spirit is and that Gary Bettman let them get away with it because of the Coyotes losses.

...

Then to make the debacle complete they call them the Jets knowing full well that the Jets are toiling in the desert playing to smaller average crowds than Atlanta EVER had, despite making the playoffs regularly and getting a 5 year head start on fanbase building.

I'm done with this league, hopefully someday this will be rectified.
Couple points:
-- Yeah, Atlanta didn't fail. Atlanta Spirit Group failed.

-- What can Bettman really do? ASG wanted to divest itself of the Thrashers. They wanted no part of them. Find a local owner, sure, but...

-- EVERYONE knows how ridiculously incompetent ASG was/is. Why would you spend $200 million on the Thrashers for the privilege of being screwed over by ASG, who'd be your landlord in THEIR arena?

-- The overwhelming support in Winnipeg for the Jets name is another example of the fans being stuck in the middle. Did you see the ESPN 30 for 30 on "The Band That Wouldn't Die" ? The Baltimore Colts marching band kept playing after the Colts left, trying to get an NFL team back for their city. And they had to take pause when they got the Ravens, because they knew Cleveland just had it's hearts ripped out by the Browns leaving. Long story short, you can't blame Winnipeg for (a) being happy they got a team back and (b) naming them what they were before. In their minds, they never should have left.

-- As for rectifying it, Gary Bettman has faced approximately 11 relocation situations:
Minnesota to Dallas
Quebec to Colorado
Winnipeg to Phoenix

Hartford to Columbus
Hartford to Carolina
New Jersey to Nashville
Edmonton to Houston
Pittsburgh to Kansas City
Nashville to Hamilton
Phoenix to Hamilton
Atlanta to Winnipeg

Bettman awarded four expansion teams: MIN (lost Stars), ATL (lost Flames), NASH (didn't get Devils), CBJ (didn't get Whalers); and approved ATL to WIN (lost Jets) when he was out of options. Quebec is rumored for the next team to move.

Bettman DOES believe in righting the wrongs.


Last edited by KevFu: 12-15-2011 at 12:01 AM.
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12-14-2011, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by DungeonK View Post
Then to make the debacle complete they call them the Jets knowing full well that the Jets are toiling in the desert playing to smaller average crowds than Atlanta EVER had, despite making the playoffs regularly and getting a 5 year head start on fanbase building.
I was with you until this part. Nothing in Phoenix bears any resemblance to the old Winnipeg Jets. There is no connection left - so why wouldn't they do the people of Winnipeg the favor of giving them their team name back?


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I'm done with this league, hopefully someday this will be rectified.
This is how I felt after the Nordiques, and then the Whalers left. I gave up on the NHL and started following MLS. If all goes well I'll soon be able to follow the Nordiques again - but it's been a damn long wait.

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12-14-2011, 08:38 PM
  #20
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Originally Posted by Chief Ten Bears View Post
"Still, last week’s Hurricanes-Jets game from Winnipeg registered an unmeasurable ratings number: The game drew an Atlanta audience smaller than required for a 0.1 rating, or 2,400 households. "

Die hards only it would seem
If I recall correctly the Thrashers TV numbers last season were about 7500 a game.

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Old
12-14-2011, 09:59 PM
  #21
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Not sure if this deserves its own thread, but I found it mind-blowing:

http://www.ajc.com/sports/ownership-...e-1259447.html

So they spent less than 5 months looking for a new owner and even then were unwilling to sell the Thrashers as part of a package or with ANY stake in the arena they operate at. What a crock of ****, hard to believe how crooked Atlanta Spirit is and that Gary Bettman let them get away with it because of the Coyotes losses.

The Coyotes get OVER TWO YEARS of league-brokered help to find a new owner, including offering to practically pay a millionaire to take them, then instead of just sending them back to where they came from, where they belong, they ship off my team. The team my family was a season ticket holder for over 6 seasons, the team that I own 5 jerseys from, the team that I hoped to someday take my son to see and tell him about sitting in the same seat with my father when I was his age... gone in less than 5 months.

Then to make the debacle complete they call them the Jets knowing full well that the Jets are toiling in the desert playing to smaller average crowds than Atlanta EVER had, despite making the playoffs regularly and getting a 5 year head start on fanbase building.

I'm done with this league, hopefully someday this will be rectified.
As bizarre as it sounds, the NHL's hands were tied. The only way that the Thrashers could have stayed is if the NHL had gone to court to force ASG out, which would be unprecedented in NHL history (and, I believe, only the second time in pro sports. Leonard Tose with the Philadelphia Eagles was forced out by the NFL.).

But no matter what, it would also require forcing ASG to divest itself of any involvement with Philips Arena. Barring incredible incompetence or sabotage, that's just not going to happen...I don't know if it's ever happened.

As a longtime Browns fan who remembers Art Modell packing up and leaving like it was yesterday, trust me when I say this, as counterintuitive as it may be. It's better in the long run to have gotten ASG as far away as possible, even if it means losing the team entirely. In five years, they'll be nothing but a pathetically flaccid group of clowns who will still be fighting each other in court over who goes to the bathroom first, and with a new person or group running the arena, anything is possible. Atlanta is way too big, way too moneyed, and way too important to stay off the NHL's landscape...there'll be another team there in the future.

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12-14-2011, 10:22 PM
  #22
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While I feel for the hockey die hards in Atlanta, and I'd be pretty choked too.

You guys need to accept, maybe not now, but eventually, that there is virtually ZERO chance you will ever get a team again. There were two tries. It didnt work out. Come to grips with that, dont stop trying petitions or whatever you think up. You all just need to understand it wont happen again.

Dont blame Canada for this either. It's all Atlanta and the lack of fan support in the city for anything outside of the Falcons. Follow the Jets, follow the Flames, follow something else.

Just dont expect another team any time soon, or more likely, at all.

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12-14-2011, 10:29 PM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DungeonK View Post
Then to make the debacle complete they call them the Jets knowing full well that the Jets are toiling in the desert playing to smaller average crowds than Atlanta EVER had, despite making the playoffs regularly and getting a 5 year head start on fanbase building.

I'm done with this league, hopefully someday this will be rectified.
Who is this "they" you are referring to?

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Old
12-14-2011, 10:40 PM
  #24
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Originally Posted by nhlfan79 View Post
John Kincade is WPG radio?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mungman View Post
Not that I'm aware of, I haven't heard of any disembodied feet running around town either....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank Chinaski View Post
Yeah, this is news to me. I know Dan Kamal is a road correspondent for Jets coverage on CJOB.
Kincade has an ESPN radio show that is on 1290 every night that there is no hockey on.

I was listening to him about an hour go while I went to get gas

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12-14-2011, 10:45 PM
  #25
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Originally Posted by KevFu View Post
Couple points:
-- Yeah, Atlanta didn't fail. Atlanta Spirit Group failed.

-- What can Bettman really do? ASG wanted to divest itself of the Thrashers. They wanted no part of them. Find a local owner, sure, but...

-- EVERYONE knows how ridiculously incompetent ASG was/is. Why would you spend $200 million on the Thrashers for the privilege of being screwed over by ASG, who'd be your landlord in THEIR arena?

-- The overwhelming support in Winnipeg for the Jets name is another example of the fans being stuck in the middle. Did you see the ESPN 30 for 30 on "The Band That Wouldn't Die" ? The Baltimore Colts marching band kept playing after the Colts left, trying to get an NFL team back for their city. And they had to take pause when they got the Ravens, because they knew Cleveland just had it's hearts ripped out by the Browns leaving. Long story short, you can't blame Winnipeg for (a) being happy they got a team back and (b) naming them what they were before. In their minds, they never should have left.

-- As for rectifying it, Gary Bettman has faced approximately 11 relocation situations:
Minnesota to Dallas
Quebec to Colorado[/B]
Winnipeg to Phoenix[/B]
Hartford to Columbus[/B]
Hartford to Carolina
New Jersey to Nashville
Edmonton to Houston
Pittsburgh to Kansas City
Nashville to Hamilton
Phoenix to Hamilton
Atlanta to Winnipeg

Bettman awarded four expansion teams: MIN (lost Stars), ATL (lost Flames), NASH (didn't get Devils), CBJ (didn't get Whalers); and approved ATL to WIN (lost Jets) when he was out of options. Quebec is rumored for the next team to move.

Bettman DOES believe in righting the wrongs.
Winnipeg to Minneapolis before they went to Phoenix

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