Lake Erie > NBA

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.

2 thoughts on “Lake Erie > NBA

  1. Publicity for the Lake Erie Monsters by ESPN would not make the NHL happy, Amanda especially if it is reported that they play in front of sold-out arenas. The attempt in the 1970s by the WHA-NHL to place big league hockey in Cleveland was the worst disaster for attendance in NHL history. The average attendance in a modern arena back then was under 6000 in an 18500 seat facility. The team lasted 2 seasons before being merged with the Minnesota North Stars, the only NHL contraction since the days of the “Original Six”. One night Cleveland Baron defenseman Len Frig actually took off his jersey and flung it on the ice in frustration at the entire situation. That is why Cleveland (and Indianapolis and Cincinnati) are never mentioned when it comes to NHL expansion. All are failed NHL-WHA cities. For some reason despite being close to the Canadian border, hockey is mostly despised and ignored in Ohio-Indiana. Wayne Gretzky started his career in Indianapolis and that still was not enough to save the WHA franchise. If ESPN wants to please the NHL, they won’t talk about Cleveland.

    • I think it would be good, but it’s not for publicity. All I wanted was for ESPN to get their facts straight and mention that minor league hockey is still professional hockey. When someone refuses to do their research, it upsets me.

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