Talk about charlatans, how about the group that calls itself the Hartford Whalers Booster Club.
First of all, they say they’re trying to bring the NHL back to Hartford. Didn’t the NHL commish Gary Bettman make it abundantly clear that such a prospect was about as probable as ice forming on the Connecticut River in August?
Given the condition of the Hartford Civic (nee XL) Center, the NHL certainly wouldn’t occupy such an obsolete facility, so a Whalers rebirth would require a new building. Why would anybody put funds into something like that when the Hartford Wolf Pack can’t even attract a quorum in the deadest downtown since Dry Gulch, Nevada?
But the real audacity comes when you consider that the Whalers Booster Club, I’m told, shuns the Wolf Pack because they’re not in the NHL. In essence, they’re minor league. And where do they come to peddle their empty dreams? New Britain Stadium, where the dreaded idea of minor league sports attracted over 8,000 people on Saturday night.
They actually parked in the Rock Cats’ radio booth and said the state needs the Whalers to return to “put Connecticut on the map.” I guess what’s happened in Storrs since Tate George made “The Shot” doesn’t qualify with their mapmakers? The Whalers can come back and win five Stanley Cup titles and won’t have the impact of what Jim Calhoun and Geno Auriemma have brought here.
I think most intelligent sports fans recognize that Hartford is not Boston and it is not New York City. Connecticut’s proximity to those metropolitan areas may elicit some envy, but the Whalers Booster Club and their like perhaps will someday understand that the state is simply not a major league venue. We have our Huskies, and we have a perfectly wonderful and well-received minor league baseball situation with the Rock Cats.
From a professional sports standpoint, Connecticut is minor league, and thousands of Rock Cats fans attest that most are damned proud of it.