I remember being in the Winnipeg arena. It felt like going to a funeral. It was the final game of the lockout shortened 1995 season.
The Kings were in town. It was the last time I saw Gretzky play live.
It wasn’t official and wouldn’t happen for another year, but many people in the arena were convinced the Jets were going to leave town.
At the time Minnesota seemed like the logical choice. They couldn’t get there act together so the club wound up in Phoenix.
When the American national anthem came on, 19 years ago, everyone in the crowd started booing.
Well not everyone.
A week later there was a letter printed in one of the local papers. It was from an American fan who had been at the game with his son.
He couldn’t explain why everyone had booed the Star Spangled Banner.
In his letter he said he looked forward to cheering for the Minnesota Jets.
Almost twenty years later, the Phoenix Coyotes came to town.
It was a battle of the old Jets vs the new Jets.
This time the American national anthem was not booed. Nor was Shane Doan. He was treated like any other player.
Well I did try to boo Shane Doan but I don’t know how effective it was. I still haven’t forgiven him for his comments about not wanting to move back to Winnipeg.
Maybe I shouldn’t be angry at him for this?
After the last winter we just had I bet at least a few Jets fans have considered moving some place warmer. Maybe some place like Phoenix.
Like it or not the Phoenix Coyotes are here to stay. (Well next year they will be changing their name to the Arizona Coyotes.)
For at least another few seasons hockey will exist in the desert.
For this version of the Jets, they’ve become just another opponent.
If there is a rival between the two it needs to get jump-started.
To this fan it looked like any other game.
Now that we have our team back I don’t think we need to hate the Coyotes any more. I think the same can be said for Gary Betman.
It’s better to cheer than to boo anyway.
Become an MVP with Winnipeg Whiteout and never miss a thing.