… Confetti is still wafting in the air over the RBC ice and “seven long years of waiting” by the patient long-suffering (!!!) Triangle hockey loyalists have been rewarded. Fill up Lord Stanley’s Cup with Brunswick Stew and let’s PARTEEEE! …. A tad bit of hyperbole perhaps but what the heck… It’s all “A Very Good Thing” … but NOW WHAT?
Will ACC Sports and every eyebrow twitch of every local college coach be relegated to agate type? Will the local TV sports guy no longer lead-in with “Today Chuck Amato and Roy Williams both sneezed … back with the complete details after this message from Mark Jacobson Toyota of Derm”.
Will UNC, NCSU, and Duke sports marketing guys start hearing … “Gee, we’d love to buy the back page of your program BUT we just bought a dasherboard instead.”
Will entire sections of Carter-Finley and Kenan start looking as empty as Wally Wade as area sports fans “with a choice” opt for a pre-season game between “the ‘Canes” and “the Thrashers”?
Will Chuck Kaiton replace Woody, Bob, and Gary as “the most recognized VOICE in the Triangle“?
The answer to these and other “bewildered Triangleites want to know” issues is “sorta kinda but probably not really …”
First … Kudos to the adults down at Raleigh City Hall. That “airheaded bimbette with the pastel leather Day-timer” that actually proposed a “reception with ice cream and punch” was quickly reassigned to polishing parking meters in Moore Square. “The City” responded most appropriately to the situation with both an RBC parking lot event AND a downtown parade. Any more would be excess and border on “hickyfied”. That our ridiculing the original plans no doubt caused the reconsideration goes without saying … but we will say it any way.
Kudos also to “the great unwashed” of the area; who, as far as we can tell, did NOT torch any Hondas or use the confusion to loot and pillage local businesses. OK, there may be lots of babies born nine months to the day from June 19 but that’s quite all right. Is the “looting, pillaging, and torching” being held in abience until Idiot Nifong admits “I may have jumped the gun jest a tad …” Alas, that may be the case but that’s Derm’s problem so let’s get back to talking about RALEIGH’S STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS!
We did hear that one of our favorite punching bags … Derm tub-thumper Reyn Bowman claims the ‘Canes are really Derm’s team because well, he has no reason, he’s just claiming it. He does that a lot.
Speaking of “claiming” … the rabidest of the Wuff-bats, kept locked in the dank basement of Reynolds Coliseum, sent out a press release claiming “the Wolfpack” “should share the Cup because Jimmy V wanted a new arena”. These same human hairballs are arguing with “the Russians”, AlGore, and the Univ of Florida over who actually invented “fire”, the Internet, and Gatorade respectively so don’t pay them any mind.
The best way to allay fears of whether “A New World Order” has indeed been established in the area and HOCKEY IS NOW KING is to look at Raleigh’s traditional ruling class …
Those delightfully wacky Snoots …
The “Inside The Beltline” Boys and Girls.
Changes occur “with the swiftness of a glacier carrying a piano on its back” for these socio-cultural dinosaurs. They still refer to “those IBMers” as “those IBMers” and they’ve been here for 50 years. North Hills Mall, recently demolished for Mr. Kane’s Raleigh Rodeo Drive, is still referred to as “that new shopping center up north by the Virginia line” and Crabtree Valley is “Kidd Brewer’s development on the way to Derm”. If you think these folks are tearing down their driveway basketball goals and flooding their backyards for an ice rink … you are kidding yourself. Cam Ward will be a grandfather before this crowd admits “Rawlee ain’t OUR town any more”.
These Wooly Mammoths of Marlowe Road notwithstanding … Raleigh AIN’T “their town” any more. Not that any of them have been out to Cary since Guy Mendenhall was hitting jumpers for the White Imps … or have been waaaay out to Wake Forest since Peahead Walker and the Deacons up and moved to Winston-Salem but Lord Stanley doesn’t much care about Yaz hitting homers at Devereaux Meadow or Isabel Cannon “the little ol’ lady mayor in tennis shoes”.
While those Wooly Mammoths of Marlowe Road (can you tell, I’m quite proud of that line!) were harrumphing over their pimento cheese sandwiches at Five Points Pharmacy … Ye Olde Triangle has exploded with humanity as far as one can see from high atop that glorious Time & Light Tower on Capitol Blvd.
Team Swagger moved here 18 years ago and Mizzus began pleading with local real estate developers to STOP … Shut the Damn Door, Take up the Welcome Mat … but alas, the inward migration has continued, yeah verily increased exponentially. Cary passed “the village” of Chapel Hill in population a decade ago to actually be the third point of “the Triangle”. Chapel Hill still leads in “lunatics per capita” unless you count “The We Hate The South & Everything About It” Club in Cary’s LevittTown (aka Prestonwood). “Yankees” and Franklin Street Fruitcakes … a pox on all of them and their demon seed too.
But all “dem new folks” with their trite “Mayberry jokes” and arrogant nouveau riche ways brought $$$ with them and they do spend those $$$. AND, maybe worst of all … nary a one of’em really gives a flip about how wonderful Carolina or State might be, or might be perceived to be by dem what don’t know nuthin’ else.
Looking for local sports action, these “newbees” kinda have gotten into ACC Sports but only superficially. Show’em a tape of David returning to Reynolds with his head wrapped up after “the fall” and they say “so?” … Talk to’em about “8 down with 17 seconds to play” and they counter with “the Red Sox being down 0-3 to the Yankees in ‘04”.
Try this experiment … go out to Wakefield and brag that Kenan Stadium is soooo beautiful because of “all those lovely pine trees” and try to find a pine tree anywhere in Wakefield. North Carolina’s stoopid “lollipop trees” are loathed by “those people”.
Unless you are an “inside the beltline ostrich”, the Triangle circa 2006 – post Hurricane Stanley is “what it is” … not what “it used to be”. I confess that I like both versions; but then again I am, among other things, an “enlightened Southerner”.
A quick Mizzus Swagger story … her avowed disinterest in sports is legendary (except for Football Tailgating). She is in no danger of gaining Caniac status but actually figured out what “take away the goalie’s eyes” meant. She was really “into it” during the final three games whooping and shouting at “power plays” and biting her nails when we “were a man down”. When Williams hit that open net goal that “clinched it” she yelled so loud that the cat darted under the sofa, not emerging until the next morning. … Her key question to me … and it IS a key question …
“Are the ‘Canes players good guys or just a bunch of dumb bums like the rest of pro and “big time” college athletes?” …
Indeed … that’s a three column series in itself.
As noted herein before … BLS has had the opportunity to be around many of the players and team officials off/on for 5-6 years. Other than Jesse Boulerice who is gone, EVERY one I’ve met in the Canes organization has been “Exceptional”. Chuck Kaiton, Mr Rutherford, young Karmanos, Glen Wesley, et al. I have not met Coach Laviolette but everything I’ve heard/read screams “GREAT GUY”.
There was that fatal DWI accident some years ago but that happens to doctors, lawyers and computer nerds every day. Beyond that “they” (these hockey guys) so far DO NOT
- beat up their girlfriends,
- get busted for drugs,
- rob vending machines,
- mug pizza delivery boys,
- make “diamond signs” when they score,
- claim to be their teammates when pulled over or
- get into fistfights “in a local club”.
Call me old-fashion … I find that quite refreshing and worthy of my support.
Charlotte may lead us in “pro sports felons and fatalities” and scummy little owners named Shinn, but WE HAVE A STANLEY CUP! Woo Hoo!
Football, basketball, baseball, soccer, hockey … all can be exciting in the closing minutes of “big games” with a jam-packed stadium/arena in screaming bedlam … but day in/day out will it come down to comparing the quality of the people involved and the overall quality and perceived value of the entertainment experience? Yes, it will.
But BOBLEE … “We don’t know anything about hockey.” … Yeah, so … go to any UNC/State fan board. Those numbnutz “don’t know anything about football or basketball” but it still dominates their “life”.
In marketing reality, “this area” is big enough and diverse enough now that normal market forces will dictate who wins/shares the minds, hearts and pocketbooks of Triangle sports fans. The ‘Canes won’t win the Cup every year any more than Ol’ Roy or Rosemary’s Other Baby cuts down the nets every March. The respective seasons of the various sports will afford each their share of “limelight”.
NOTE: Lots of long time loyal ACC fans are shamelessly admitting “we like hockey too” … Quick … CD Chesley, grab the TV rights!
A former Raleigh Mayor from the 60s, the infamous Travis Tomlinson, once remarked to the question of his supporting the local symphony … “I’m not sure Raleigh really needs another band!” … wonder if Travis would be a Caniac?
What hockey great was known as
“The Golden Jet”?
HEELS WIN !! HEELS WIN !!
Advance to CWS Championship!
And somewhere, a quite mad Wuffie is claiming
“Jimmy V invented baseball”
Ralph Garr was “the Roadrunner”. Did Biff Pocaroba have a nickname?
The SSays subscriber list is as closely guarded as the members directory of the TriLateral Commission but we will say that we are welcoming yet another ACC Sports Legend to Mr. Swagger’s little website. Suffice to say that longtime BobLee Buddy, #23 from Garden City, has a new running mate in BobLee’s backfield.
Coach K SPEAKS !!! … The long awaited pronouncement from El Diablo hisownself has come. Mike says “the first responsibility of a college is to take care of its kids” … right on Mike, right on! But ya gotta know that rankles the Duke faculty squirrels who so quickly rushed to throw “their kids” under the bus and do all they could to destroy them and their families. … Speaking of those loathsome jackasses … we haven’t heard much (ANYTHING) from them since the tsunami of FACTS gushed out … duh! They have been as quiet as Ol’ Meezie holding a candle in front of the UNC Library trying to decide what to call Mad Mohammed The Not-A-Terrorist. … Remember these faculty loons’ dispicable behavior in all this. Don’t worry we’ll make sure you don’t forget.
Our “Boys of Post 9” column drew as much attention “as a Sullivan’s waitress leaning over to scrape away crumbs”. That column moves into SSAYS TOP FIVE ALLTIME and dares BLS to try and top it.
Want to e-mail BobLee?