Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Sports From the Past –The Winnipeg Jets move to Phoenix Approved

For a long time, I’ve wanted to include a feature on Sportmentary.com about a sports event that occurred on a particular day. More specifically an event that has occurred in my sports viewing history and something I could relate to as it pertains to my readers.

I don’t want to be like other “On this day” websites. I want my feature to be unique and I want to provide this new column every day (Except weekends).

I also didn’t want my feature to be a list. I want to provide some additional info to the event that I cover.

In my quest to find resources for my new project, I was wondering to myself, where would I find such a resource. In my research journey, I came across Ken Polson’s This Day In History. What a great and exciting site.

I urge you to visit it every day. He has some exciting events from this day in history and provides links to past days. I think you will find his site a great read. It’s definitely a great place for sports fans.

So what happened today in the past?

January 19th, 1996 - Move of Winnipeg Jets to Phoenix is Approved by the NHL

Like many sports fans, there have been days that have been upsetting and crushing. Some of us have experienced devastating losses by our teams’ but no other single event in my sports viewing life can compare to the heartbreak of the announcement that my Winnipeg Jets were moving to Phoenix.

It was a crushing blow to this hockey fan. I had grown up following my team. Sure they sucked but they were my team. They were Winnipeg’s team. The city had been caught up in one of the worst recessions in Canadian history. The Canadian dollar was continuing its’s dramatic decline. This wasn’t the time for a small city (700K) to be able to finance a new arena and even if they could find a way to do so, they would have had a difficult time affording to compensate players in US dollars.

Not only was the fact that my team was moving but the notion that my team could move to the desert was mind boggling to me. I knew back then that Phoenix was no place for the NHL and so far I’ve been proven right.

It took me a decade and a half to get over the loss. That’s when it was announced that the City of Winnipeg would be getting an NHL franchise.

I can tell you that I’ve cried three times in my sporting life:
1) Announcement of Jets move to Phoenix
2) Team Canada winning the 2002 Olympic Gold medal in men’s hockey
3) Announcement that Winnipeg was back in the NHL

I sure hope that I don’t have to witness this type of event again. I live in the Minneapolis metro area and at this time, my teams are on solid ground. Even if they’re not winning championships.

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