It’s not every day that you see a hockey blog reference another sport, such as basketball. But it comes at a time like this, unfortunately.
Spoiler alert for those of you who didn’t watch the NBA finals, for for those who didn’t give a flying anything about it: The Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Golden State Warriors for the city’s first title since 1964. While that’s a nice headline for casual basketball fans, let me give you a little heads up on Ohio teams and championships – sorry, Cavaliers fans. You missed out on the fun by eight days.
If you’re not a fan of the American Hockey League, then you missed out on a team winning its first Calder Cup in franchise history. 19,665 people packed the Quicken Loans Arena just to watch a minor league hockey team sweep another to sweep the finals. Lake Erie beat the Hershey Bears in front of a packed and pretty much sold-out arena.
What I don’t get is this: Why does the media not do their research? NBA people from ESPN, for example, could have found time during halftime to look up “professional sports titles in Cleveland” and find that an AHL team won before anyone in basketball got their dirty hands on their own trophy. It makes me sick that people are just too naïve to figure this out. If this is what the AHL gets, then it needs better.
I don’t care if you think that the AHL is a minor league or not. It’s just as credible as the NHL or any other professional sports league in America. Players grow and become the next star one level higher. While the NBA has their developmental league, what good is that? Exactly how many times do you hear about call-ups in basketball? Few and far between.
The AHL isn’t like that. Call-ups and sent-downs are common. Players hone their skill in order to stay in the NHL. Franchises may relocate (often), but the goal is still the same.
I don’t know if you’ve heard, folks… But if anyone deserves credit for being the first professional sports team to win a championship in Cleveland since the 60s, it’s the Lake Erie Monsters. Forget you, NBA. You’re nothing but egotists.