Ben's Sports Take: A Dark Day for Atlanta Sports


With the report surfacing late last night (or early this morning depending on your "stickler-for-detailness") that the sale of our once-beloved, often-neglected NHL franchise has been finalized, it's time for Atlantans to look themselves in the mirror and realize how pathetic they are.

For the second time in the last 31 years, the city of Atlanta stood by and watched as a group of syrup-breathed Canucks snuck across the border to steal an NHL team right from under our feet.

The aptly-named True North Sports & Entertainment Limited, a Canadian-based entertainment group that's been vulturing the Thrashers seemingly forever, finally made things official and will move the Thrashers to Winnipeg according to several reports.

But as much as I'd like to blame the loss of another Atlanta NHL franchise on league commissioner Gary Bettman's lack of action or the city's inability to step up financially a la the Glendale City Council, who put up $25 million to keep the Phoenix Coyotes in the desert, I simply cannot—this one's on us.

The Thrashers haven't ranked higher than 28th in home attendance since the 2007-08 season and besides their inaugural season in 1999-2000, when they averaged 17,206 fans, have never—NEVER—finished in the top-20 of average home attendance.

Although some of you voiced your opinion back in February that keeping the Thrashers in Atlanta was of paramount importance to you, the city's overall Thrasherapathy was too much to overcome.

As pathetic as the fan support has been over the past 12 years, we can't place 100 percent of the blame on the city's inability to keep the turnstiles rotating inside Philips Arena—the franchise didn't give us much reason to.

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Friday June 10, 2011 10:54 am EDT

I usually reserve these weekly columns for heavily opinionated sports banter that unintentionally infuriates most and enlightens few, but I wanted to pull a U-turn and shed some light on a story that everyone can enjoy.

Former University of Georgia baseball player Johnathan Taylor was paralyzed from the waist down after a collision with teammate Zach Cone fractured a bone in his neck in...

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Friday June 3, 2011 01:32 pm EDT

  • http://clatl.com/atlanta/ImageArchives?by=1223504
  • Thrash headed to his final resting place: Winnipeg

Handfuls of Thrashers fans gathered at Stats sports bar on Friday afternoon to mourn the loss of yet another NHL franchise here in Atlanta.

'790 the Zone' hosted a Wake Ceremony for the seldom relevant franchise complete with a hearse carrying the team mascot and a bagpiper pumping out...

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Friday May 27, 2011 12:01 pm EDT

The DUI and reckless driving charges levied against Braves starting pitcher Derek Lowe nearly a month ago were dropped on Thursday due to fame stature police error?

According to the story in yesterday's AJC, the arresting officer "jumped to a conclusion and made a lot of mistakes" during the April 28th arrest on Peachtree Road in Buckhead.

Lowe, who was driving his 2011 Porsche Panamera,...

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Friday May 13, 2011 12:00 pm EDT

  • Joeff Davis

As if digesting my own defecation wasn't degrading enough, I had to sit through yet another deflating end to yet another disappointing Atlanta Hawks season last night—making the whole poop-eating thing a little less depressing.

Despite snapping a 15-game losing streak in conference semifinal games and winning Game 1 of a second round playoff series for the first time since...

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Thursday April 21, 2011 12:17 pm EDT

In case you aren't one of the four people who frequent my weekly sports column, it would be the understatement of the decade to say that I'm not exactly the biggest Hawks fan.

With the absurdly indefensible re-signing of Joe Johnson, the countless player transaction errors and perhaps the worst ownership in the entire NBA, it's become increasingly difficult for me to continue rooting for a...

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