Entertainment and Sports

My (Hockey) Life in Hamilton

It's inevitable Hamilton will get an NHL team. The day I walk to their first home game, my life will be complete.

By Kevin Somers
Published October 23, 2009

I've lived in Hamilton as long as anywhere else and our two little hammers were born and raised here, so it's home. This is a great city and I can't imagine living elsewhere.

In two minutes, we can walk to the beautiful Bruce Trail that cuts through the wondrous Niagara Escarpment. There is a big park with an awesome toboggan hill just up the street. We can, easily, walk to the Chedoke golf course; one of the best municipal courses in Canada. There are public rinks, parks, and pools everywhere in Hamilton.

Obviously, Ticats rule; Argos suck!

Hamilton is safe and inexpensive. Dimwits and timid souls often refer to Hamilton as "scary," which is fine; it keeps them in suburbia, splurging, safely, on McMansions and commuter vehicles. (I wouldn't want those people in my community, anyway.)

Twisters, typhoons, tsunamis, and terrifying tremors are scarce in the Hammer and winters aren't too bad, either.

At a recent Fred Eaglesmith show, he was on stage talking about all the great music rocking out of Hamilton. There is an active, vibrant arts community here and anyone who reads Raise the Hammer regularly knows there are plenty of sharp cookies advocating for the city. Theatre Aquarius is a beautiful facility.

There are a few wankers polluting the streets and air, but compared to most places, Hamilton is a pretension free zone. I lament the Starbucks on Locke St. and put a curse on it.

Of course, the manufacturing sector in Hamilton is dying. At one point, this city built and bankrolled the whole country, but it's almost bust. I'm hopeful Hamilton will bounce back, to some degree. It has to. It's great to see Innovation Park get going.

The only thing missing from my meaningless, little, Hamilton life is an NHL team. I'd love to see a squad in Copps Coliseum and was really, really, really pulling for Jim Balsille.

Goodness doesn't always prevail in the short term, unfortunately, and the diminutive, duplicitous, disingenuous, devilish Gary Bettman, his bellicose, belligerent, blustering bully, Billy Daly, and the inept, infirmed, infantile, inert Toronto Maple Leafs conspired to keep Jim from putting a team where it belongs.

According to Jonathon Swift, a genius can be recognized when a confederacy of dunces conspires against him.

I had always been a Leaf's fan, but can no longer stomach the franchise. Their current GM, Brian Burke, is a loud-mouthed, American egomaniac. Their coach, Ron Wilson, is an insufferably arrogant, incompetent American egomaniac. Burke and Wilson are, obviously, trying to build Team USA in Toronto because most of their highest-paid players are useless Americans.

The colossally inept Leaf brass allowed it to happen, naturally. Forsaking Canadian players is not new to the Toronto Maple Leafs. For decades, they've drafted unwatchable, soft Euros instead of local lads. Just as the team in Quebec should be rechristened as the Montreal Sovereignty Associates, the Toronto franchise no longer has the right to put a maple leaf on their jersey.

Seeing the Leafs lose every year was tough, but when the franchise stuck it to Hamilton by using their greasy veto to prevent a team from coming here, it was too much to take, so I'm done with them.

My new oath: I solemnly swear that The Toronto Maple Leafs is the worst franchise in sports' history and I pray that they lose every game, forever and ever. Amen.

It's inevitable Hamilton will get an NHL team. The day I walk to their first home game, my life will be complete. Undoubtedly, I'll be sporting the franchise hat, sweater, and jacket. I might, even, wear face (war) paint.

The outcome? Certainly: Hamilton 10 - Toronto 0.

Kevin Somers is a Hamilton writer.


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By Really? (registered) | Posted October 23, 2009 at 15:06:37

Quick Suggestion: Go to some Bulldogs games!! I've gone to a couple this season already, including an awesome home-opener, and have had a great time!


Next Couple Home Games: Friday, Oct 30, 730pm -- Abbotsford Heat @ Hamilton Sunday, Nov 1, 4pm –- Peoria Rivermen @ Hamilton Saturday, Nov 14, 7pm -- Syracuse Crunch @ Hamilton Tuesday, Nov 24, 7pm –- Rochester Americans @ Hamilton

More Info Here: http://www.hamiltonbulldogs.com/

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By The sound of inevitibility (anonymous) | Posted October 23, 2009 at 22:02:05

It is true that the recent NHL bid fiasco has been a dissapointment.

I do agree however that there will indeed be an NHL team here in Hamilton in the not too distant future. It is inevitable indeed.

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By Henry and Joe (anonymous) | Posted October 24, 2009 at 11:21:30

True - people who say Hamilton is a scary place are mostly cultural philistines and suburban automotons who can't hear the good news over the sound of their lawnmowers.

I saw Brian Burke on OTR with Michael GinoReda Landsberg. He comes across as pretty arrogant. His pro-fighting views are pretty tired and dated (if you missed it, just substitute pretty much any Don Cherry rant). There may be people who like this, but their are probably more who don't like it. The fact is that the anemic US NHL audience is continuing to wane. Even the greedy MLSE is showing a crack in the armor, with the secondary ticket market evaporating as ticket prices climb into the stratosphere. Perhaps this decline is partly due to negative publicity during the Coyotes bankryuptcy proceedings, and not just their continued on-ice futility. And yes, some sports are meant to be rough and competitive, but last time I checked, there is no fighting in the NFL. How's their bottom line lately?

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By schmadrian (registered) | Posted October 27, 2009 at 12:13:56

I don't think it's 'inevitable' at all. As a matter of fact, I'll bet a kajillion bucks against it ever happening. (For the record, I'm a Hamiltonian from birth.)

I believe what you're more likely to see is a) a Southwest Ontario team and b) another Toronto area team.

The first makes moot the whole 'territorial rights' issue with both Toronto and Buffalo and the second...just makes sense.

Once the Bettman Era is over, then you'll see the shifts that will bring about these possibilities. (As well as the return of the NHL to both Winnipeg and Quebec.)

None of this makes me a 'Hamilton Hater', just a pragmatist.

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By Really? (registered) | Posted October 28, 2009 at 17:05:47

^^ I agree, sadly.

It's clearly obvious that the NHL wants NOTHING to do with Hamilton. Again, Bill Daly (Bettman's Ass): "Daly said the league message to Hamilton hockey fans is a simple one: "We admire and respect their passion for the sport and maybe at some point in the future they will have their own franchise." " http://thespec.com/News/Local/article/64...

Who would say no to: -An undeniably lucrative market; -An Internationally-Known Billionaire Owner (also a single owner, as opposed to the issues that could arise from a Onership Group); -Concessions Concessions Concessions (this guy was willing to bend over for a LOT)?

There are a lot of backroom dealings in this situation that will never come out, and we may never know the 'true' reason why Hamilton is on the NHL's Black List of Cities.

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By Really? (registered) | Posted October 29, 2009 at 17:05:27

So who's going to be at Copps tomorrow night (Fri, Oct 30th @ 7:30pm)???

Adult Tix = $26 Students = $21 Children(<12)= $16

Even Grassroots would find those prices a bargain!!!

GO DOGS GO ! ! !

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