Monday, January 16, 2017
Currently with the Binghampton Senators
I was in the crowd recently when it was announced that they were relocating to Belleville. There were a lot of smiling faces in the crowd. Many of those people were formerly Belleville Bulls' fans, and were thrilled to see that hockey was returning to Belleville. In the same token, I am certain there were some disappointed fans in Binghampton.
Many of those people remember the glory days of hockey in the Quinte area when the Belleville McFarlands reigned supreme. There were some lean years following the exploits of the McFarlands. But there was decent Junior hockey and some senior hockey as well.
There were a few reasons why the Belleville Bulls left town.
The seating capacity was a little small. Mind you, even at the best of times, one could still find a seat here or there. Most of the time, even during the heyday of the Bulls, there were seats available during the regular season. Of course it was another story during the playoffs. But that situation really pertains to all levels of hockey, at crunch time.
The style of play was a big factor. Most fans had had enough of George Burnett. Let's just say that he was a defensive-minded coach, and did not emphasize an offensive game. There are many styles of play, and George emphasized the wrong one for Bulls' fans. Many refused to renew their seasons' tickets because of that.
In the dead of winter, it is cold in Ontario. No kidding. And yet, the Bulls' home games were broadcast live on television. So Don and his bride are sitting at the dinner table, and it is ten below zero, and he asks her if she might be interested in heading out to the Bulls game. They will have to park half a mile from the arena's entrance. On the other hand, they could crack a cold one, and watch the game on TV, in comfort, by the fireside.
There have been reports of relocations taking place at this time in the National Football League. Silly stuff. But the San Diego Chargers are likely on their way out of town, to become the Los Angeles Chargers. The Raiders are destined for Vegas, to join the hockey Knights. Sad times, as those with good memories will recall. The Colts bolted from Baltimore in the middle of the night, leaving a bad taste in many mouths. Sadly, it's all about the buck.
So let's get back to the playoffs. We now have the Steelers traveling to New England to play the Patriots, the Packers going to Atlanta to face the Falcons. Football fans across North America will enjoy this weekend's playoffs, with the SuperBowl only weeks away!
January 15, 2017.