10. Major-League City Status for Winnipeg:
The author shyly admits his departure from Winnipeg in 1996 was fueled by the feeling that Winnipeg was becoming like another small town in Michigan where General Motors had closed a big manufacturing plant (see movie from that zany Michael Moore)…as in tumbleweeds! I say Tumbleweeds be gone now!
9. An End to Manitoba Shame & Bad Government:
Related to above, average Winnipegers did everything they could do save the team back in 1996 (as in rally, give money to a proposed charitable fund for an arena, much more). But, in my opinion, the overly-fiscally-conservatively-focussed-thinking-we-must-first-and-formost-listen-to-the-angry-pensioners-government-of-tey-day-and-were-shortsighted-about-tax-base-of-NHL-team-and-economic-spinoffs said "No way, Jose" or perhaps "No way…..let’s visit Phoenix during the nasty winter". Thereby putting in zero government support to aid in building a badly-required new arena. Glad they are gone…and kudos to Greg Selinger for being in support and perhaps improving infrasture around the Jets. (hey did I set a record for longest hyphenated terminology above?)
8. Pride in a Re-Birth:
See above….opposite of 1996 reigns! And strangely, if you looked up a character or animal to symbolize a re-birth…you get a phoenix-bird rising from the ashes!
7. Pride in Other areas of Culture and Sport:
With the Jets return, my "peeps" in Winnipeg tell me the pride in the Blue Bombers of CFL fame, and interest in kids sports and activities like Olympic-style sports (gymnastics for example) and high school and university team sports has seen an uptick as well. Not to mention the pride in culture like Royal Winnipeg Ballet…etc. Can you also see Canadian Olympians and pro athletes from Winnipeg down the road? I can…
6. Something to Warm our Cockles (or Boobles) During the Cold Winter Nights:
Cheering for the Jets makes scraping the car windows or the wait & bus ride on Winnipeg Transit just a little more palatable for girls and boys and men & women when they know "the Jets are are on tonight".
5. Chance at a Professional Sports Championship Down the Road:
Winnipeg has been shut out of both CFL football Grey Cups and obviously no prof hockey championships since the Avco Cup days for the WHA Jets…so while it may be aways off…there is hope. Checking out current Jets, Andrew Ladd, Evander Kane, Alexander Burmistrov, Ondrej Pavelec, Blake Wheeler, Dustin Byfuglien, and others make for a fine base to build from. Not to mention the Bombers….
4. A Knowledge that Influential Canadians Care About Winnipeg:
With the richest family in Canada, specifically wealthy-son David Thomson, investing in Winnipeg by turning the old Eaton’s building (owned by a former Canadian family of privilege) in to a great arena and "playing by the old boys club rules" to get back the NHL, Winnipeggers can feel slightly better than Regina-ites about the future of their city. Like maybe Winnipeg will keep growing and be able to keep supporting the Jets in an expanded MTS Centre down the road!
3. Passion – Somebody and a Team to Follow:
Not talking Twitter here (not a fan). It’s just great to attach yourself to a NHL player or two when they really mean something to you as they represent your hometown (or adopted hometown). And of course, we can cherish and love the Jets the way we did back in the 1970s to 1996 and realize that putting our money where our mouths are pays off. Passion cannot be calculated or rationalized…it’s just that feeling you get when when tears well up when Teemu Selanne comes back to Winnipeg and is loved just like that sweet new baby you have at home!
2. Old Memories:
Seeing the Jets back lets us warm those cockles as we think back to great hockey memories in Winnipeg like those involving Teemu, Dale Hawerchuk, Ed Staniowski (why not?), Bobby Hull, Anders Hedberg, Avco Cups, impossible-to-win NHL playoff series vs Gretzky and might Flames teams…all back when VCRs were the highest in video technology.
1. New Memories:
Holy 9-8 crazy win versus Philadephia, Wow to Jets first win back in Winnipeg, Neato to the summer unveiling of the new uniforms (nice colors but not fantastic in my books), and so much more…tears coming…gotta run. I would love to hear your top 10 lists too!