Unions, Migrations and the Spread of Hockey to the American South
March 2, 2013 8:25 AM   Subscribe

That was a good article. Thanks for posting.
posted by arcticseal at 9:24 AM on March 2, 2013

I think this thread is so quiet because this article is actually too interesting to comment on.

No, seriously, there's no hook for getting into cheap arguments. It's just a really well-told story about something that's been going on for the last 20 years in a particular pocket of the south. Neat.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 10:11 AM on March 2, 2013

Yeah. Just about the most debatable thing is the relevance of the Battle of Franklin. But the anecdote about Hood kept me reading!

Also, I hope the UAW manages to organize that Nissan plant.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:30 AM on March 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

Such a great article, especially the focus on youth hockey, which is a building block for a sustainable franchise. In recent years, Nashville has been a strong franchise in a nontraditional market, but I guess I chocked it up to not having a basketball team, or good management or something. I never knew about the role of the auto plant in the importing of Michiganders to Nashville.

Of course, that means that other Southern markets like, say, Kansas City don't have this hidden advantage.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 12:05 PM on March 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

It blew my mind when the Minnesota North Stars moved to Dallas. I moved to Dallas myself (from St. Louis) a few years after they won the Cup and was puzzled that professional hockey would be played somewhere where ice didn't occur naturally. But then again, I was just pissed the Brett Hull won a Cup for them instead of my Blues (I blame the end of the Cold War -- Blues would have won a Cup in the 90s if it wasn't for the Russian fueled Red Wings -- fuck you Boris Yeltsin).

As a teacher in Texas for a number of years, I was able to discover that the Dallas area isn't completely barren when it comes to youth hockey. Many of the kids who played (and I taught) had parents who were Tech industry transplants from the north. As far as I know, it is still incrementally growing.

I just think it's fascinating to see the spread of a culture to places where it's counter-intuitive.

I think this thread is so quiet because this article is actually too interesting to comment on.

Sigh... I'm doing it wrong.
posted by Groundhog Week at 2:01 PM on March 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

I was suspicious of Grantland when it first came out--the marriage of ESPN money and McSweeney's cultural capital seemed kind of arbitrary, and Bill Simmons gives off a sketchy frat boy at strip club vibe that I was worried would infect the whole thing. But I've been really impressed, and this article is an excellent example of what they do well.

One thing that didn't hit me until a couple of hours after I read the article. When a professional sports franchise moved to a new market, they sold season tickets to factory workers, guys on the line. That's what unions do--they make it so that people have enough to eat and can go take their kids to a game on the weekend. I sure as hell hope they unionize that Nissan plant.
posted by sy at 3:13 PM on March 2, 2013 [2 favorites]

I have a strong Original Six bias I'm going to have to get over, because the sport's spread at the grassroots is probably good.

Lots of sports are in growth and change mode geographically and demographically - lacrosse, rowing, etc.

One of the things I used to love about hockey was its arcane and well entrenched culture - the Patrick, Norris , Adams, and Smyth divisions, Prince of Wales and Campbell conferences, the Lady Byng award, the Cup itself..... some of that has had to bland out in the process of growing.
posted by C.A.S. at 1:52 AM on March 4, 2013

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