Big Bang TheoryWritten by Jim Ellis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
I have to admit it feels a little different at the end of this hockey season. Wish the boys could have gone farther in the playoffs, but they gave it a good go and we have every reason to be proud of them. This looks like the last season for a little bit and, as a fan who has seen the Blades and the Hornets, the ‘Diggers and the Storm, I have one serious question plaguing me…
Can I blow up the Sports Arena?
Wait, Wait…put down that phone …this isn’t a Homeland Security thing. I am talking about professional, controlled demolition of the building at One Main Street. I think a spectacular, explosive show would be the perfect demise for what one seasoned hockey traveler, me, describes as the Worst Arena in North America (WANA).
I’ve been to a lot of hockey games over the years, from Boston to L.A., from Montreal to Muskegon, even places where they don’t speak English, like Dallas, Atlanta and Quebec. I even tracked down a game one Saturday night in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. (Why was I in Saskatoon? Because there were no hotel rooms in Regina, of course.) There is only one arena I refuse to enter ever again, and it has got…to…go. The sooner the better.
It has to go down before the Save our Team people meet up with the Kill the New Arena faction and find the greedy weasels who smell cash in the air from lawsuits, settlements or voter initiatives and save the WANA. Smart money will not start the new arena until the old is dead and gone. In the last 30 years, the New Arena myth has produced more tales than the Brothers Grimm. SeaGate, Rossford, Westgate. Each time we ended up back at the WANA — plumbing that hasn’t worked since the Cuban Missile Crisis. A sound system designed by Helen Keller. Lighting that Edison would have been ashamed of.
I stopped going because we all deserved better — players, fans and media. I’m not looking for crab sushi and valet parking, but a clean, well-lighted arena with a management that cares. It has got to go before somebody claims it was a stop on the Underground Railroad.
This is not about the hockey. I saw great teams play fantastic hockey. It was the love of the teams that kept bringing me back to a worse arena than the California State Livestock Pavillion. In the 80s, when you smelled the purple haze of smoke from the last concert. In the 90s, when the roof leaked (I got rained on). Bad beer and worse popcorn, odors that cannot be duplicated, dates walking out muttering “never again.” I want to exorcise everyone’s bad memories with one earth-shattering KABOOM!
The WANA has survived more attempts to kill it than that Jason Krueger dude in all of them Freddy the Thirteenth movies that I never watch. Already, the Storm is gathering against the New Arena — The City will fight the County (old story). East Siders will whine about crossing the River (older story). And some lawyer will file a suit (the oldest).
I want to blow it up because I have gone there even after I knew better. I want to blow it up because the teams that played there always deserved better. I want to push the button. Here I sit, 10 fingers at the ready.
E-mail Jim Ellis at email@example.com.