Thursday, December 06, 2007

Welcome to Hockeytown!

After concluding that Detroit, with poor attendance at Red Wings games, no longer deserves the moniker "Hockeytown U.S.A.," Sports Illustrated's Michael Farber analyzed three cities, Buffalo, Philadelphia, and St. Paul, to find a city deserving of the title. The decision to go with St. Paul should hardly be a surprise, but Farber notes that St. Paul is Hockeytown for much more than simply its devotion to the Wild:

The Wild has sold every ticket to every game since it entered the NHL as an expansion team in 2000, but it has never tried to bigfoot hockey in a city that was home to America's iconic coach, Herb Brooks; the No. 2 U.S.-born career NHL scorer, South St. Paul's Phil Housley; the only cartoonist to draw a Zamboni-driving bird, Charles Schulz; and the leading state high school tournament in the nation.

This is the unwritten hockey schedule in the Twin Cities: boys' hockey Tuesday night, girls' hockey Thursday night, the University of Minnesota Friday and Saturday nights. Boys and girls also play on Saturday afternoon. It is no coincidence that the Wild often plays on Wednesday and Sunday. This is a franchise respectful of the game, aware of its niche and almost obsequious in its treatment of fans.

Ya, as much as I love the Wild, nothing pisses me off more than when the Gophers get bumped on a Friday.

Kudos to Farber for recognizing what is apparently obvious to just about everybody, except the Twin Cities own Sid Hartman, who insists the Twin Cities is now basketball country.

Hey Sid, how's attendance at those Wolves games?

That's what I thought. Basketball town my arse.

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