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Old 05-16-2011, 08:52 AM   #1 (permalink)

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Default Hoop fans in hockeyland

Caught this on one of my google alerts this morning. I'm sure many of us can feel his pain.

Following professional basketball in Ottawa, or anywhere in Canada, is a lonely affair. Sure, there are hoops fans out there, but not many. Just try getting a sports bar to devote one of its many screens to an NBA game during the NHL playoffs.

Once, a buddy and I asked a bartender if we could watch a Toronto Raptors game and were put in a separate room by ourselves. The servers forgot about us. Next time I'll bring my own beer, a deep fryer and some frozen chicken wings, just in case.

Need more proof? Check the newspaper. Last Tuesday, Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls, the youngest MVP in NBA history, led his team to victory over the Atlanta Hawks to take a 3-2 lead in their second-round playoff series. The game was briefly recapped on the last page of the Citizen's sports section the next day.

The preceding pages in the sports section contained 10 articles, all about hockey. Five described playoff games in various leagues: NHL, CHL, AHL, OHL. (Hockey executives have mastered prefixing "HL" with a letter from the alphabet.) One was about the Ice Hockey World Championships, another about a hockey summit in Quebec.
Today, I still think professional basketball players are the most amazing athletes on Earth. These guys are giants, yet still nimble, still graceful. All professional athletes are incredible physical specimens, of course, but NBA stars are something more. They're genetic aberrations -mutants who like rap music, own 14 cars and jump three feet off the ground.

That's why I remain a fan. And though living in a hockey-mad town can be lonely for a hoops junkie, it has one major advantage. Sometimes I miss an NBA playoff game and watch it the following evening online, which means I have to avoid news about its outcome. In hockeyland, fortunately, avoiding basketball news is easier than an empty-net breakaway.
Hoop fans in hockeyland
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