Jets flying home to Winnipeg?

winnipeg jets logoIt’s true – the Winnipeg Jets are being wished back into existence, remarkably after being exported to Arizona as a potential “cash cow” (or, er, coyote).

So much for that idea. How much was the Phoenix Coyotes’ bankruptcy price, $140 million? And according to The Toronto Star, the club is now a further $20 million in the hole after this season. We give you Gary Bettman ladies and gentlemen – a man with a dream.

Incredibly, the idea that Canuck teams are too small time to make good money, is now being shunned by pundits because Canadian locales are surely better off than struggling post-GFC American cities, as Randy Turner explained in The National Post this week.

And there’s the moral of the story. How can anyone, in any pro sport, seriously contemplate relocating a popular team again for the sake of a few bucks? It’s nuts. It doesn’t matter which way you slice it – fancy new TV deal, the promise of more bobble head sales, or potentially robust attendance figures – loyal fans always deserve to keep their team, and in the end, will stand by them.

When the chips are down, do the ambitious movers and shakers of business really believe fans in the desert, on the beach or cruising the bayou will really be enamored with hockey – on ice? These people have football, basketball and baseball. They prefer ice in their lemonade to ice in their arenas. It’s just common sense.

Hey, nobody’s disrespecting the fans that do support the Phoenix Coyotes, or the Nashville Predators for that matter. In fact, we tip our inflatable hockey hats to you. But the way in which the Winnipeg-Phoenix saga has played out needs to be a lesson for all: tradition and passion count for more than the bottom line (at least in Any Town, North America). As long as us – the fans – are happy, who cares about the league’s desire for expanding markets?

Following a sports team isn’t a game for us, as it is for many owners. It’s an emotional relationship, in which nobody wants their heart broken – especially not for a few dudes wanting a better lining in their pockets.

Hopefully the potential re-relocation of the Jets reinforces this message. And while we’re at it, maybe there’ll be some recognition that you don’t mess with a classic sports brand. The Jets logo, after all,  was – and maybe is – one of the best to ever grace a rink.

Giro d’Italia on your iPhone

giro d'italiaLike your cycling? Akamai Technologies has set up live video streaming for the iPhone of the Il Giro d’Italia this month. The event, in its 93rd year, is said to be the second toughest stage race behind the Tour de France and has already attracted 120,000 app downloads. The Giro is being broadcast live from eight o’clock each morning (EST) and is available via the GazzettadelloSport app.

Flyers need song, stamp and more to win

Kate Smith stamp

The Philadelphia Flyers are working with the US Postal Service to unveil a stamp of legendary singer Kate Smith at the Spectrum this month. As The Inquirer recalled yesterday, Smith performed “God Bless America” before the Flyers played the Boston Bruins in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals in 1974. And she’s been a good luck charm ever since because the Flyers won that game and the series. If only the Philly players could take the tune on the road, maybe play with their iPods on or something. They’ll need it against the Bruins in Boston, where they haven’t won a playoff game since 1976.

Retro cool LED watch

LIP watch Diode LED This Diode LED watch by LIP stood out to us while reading nymag.com today. It’s just so old school 70s cool. And $250 seems a fair price. Seriously, this is the type of watch Batman must wear, right? Watchismo has more pics.

Rojo Johnson takes the mound


Will Ferrell – we mean Rojo Johnson – took the mound for the Houston Astros Triple-A affiliate in Round Rock last night, delighting fans but probably not so much the opposition. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you No.99, Roooooojooooo Joooooohnson.

Rome’s gladitorial arena

Rome Foro ItalicoAustralian tennis great Paul McNamee gives a poetic account of what it’s like to play in Rome’s Foro Italico, in a recent online article.  McNamee, who was the world’s best doubles player back in 1981, describes the Roman experience as if he were a gladiator entering the Coliseum: “Firstly, you depart from the locker room into a long, winding and lonely tunnel, in which you can’t help but think of the ancient Christians! You emerge into a sudden burst of light and sunshine, and if you’re playing an Italian, quite possibly into a nightmare. ” Great stuff.