Junior Hockey Controversy, Sun Scribe Embarrasses OHL
The big what for? at my local arena this week had nothing to do with the five new faces that had strolled into town over the past week. Forwards Anthony Peluso, Andrew Merrett, Matthew Kang as well as over-age defenceman Josh Day and U.S. national team keeper Thomas McCollum.
The chatter didn’t even concern the young men who had be discharged prior to commencement of the second half of the OHL season. Goalie Brandon Foote (Guelph) Forward Josh Shalla (Guelph) and Forward Kyle DeCoste (Sault Ste. Marie)
The hot button issue this Sunday at the Bunker in Brampton was an article written by Toronto Sun sports columnist Steve Simmons following the Troops 6-2 victory over the visiting Sudbury Wolves on Thursday night.
The article, which I found to be an entirely too honest look at the state of Junior hockey in Canada appeared in the Friday morning addition of the Toronto Sun. Initially I wasn’t upset by the article, instead I viewed the Simmons article Apathy greets juniors as a rally cry and quality reason for me to buy tickets to Sunday afternoons game against the Barrie Colts.
Personally I never miss a Battalion game
and I happen to agree with a lot of the things that Mr. Simmons had to say in his piece.
Although the Simmons article wasn’t completely accurate, the two thousand or so that showed up at just $5.00 a piece to welcome back the teams captain and freshly branded gold medalist Cody Hodgson was pathetic. To put this into perspective more people, around 600, turned out for the Battalions game against the Mississauga St. Mike’s Majors on New Years eve thanks in part to a minimum 50/50 pay out of $1600.
The buzz around the arena on Sunday afternoon left this reporter in a very quite minority.
Although I saw the Simmons article as a rally cry, a call to action and more specifically an honest account of just how vast the gulf is between club and country my fellow Battalion Boosters just didn’t see it the same way. The Simmons article was seen as brash, uninformed and a insult to the 1500 regular who never miss a Battalion home game.
No they don’t sell the joint out
and their voices are hardly heard in places like Sudbury and Plymouth but the Battalion fan base, like any other OHL fan base is alive and well. Honestly if Mr. Simmons has forgotten about the die-hard junior hockey fan, tracking cross province at his own expense to support some of Canada’s finest amateur athletes then maybe he should give up the cushy paper job and show us how it’s done.
I don’t know maybe that’s too harsh
but it was the consensus on Sunday afternoon in Brampton as a season high two-thousand six-hundred packed their way into the Powerade Centre in an effort to dispel rumour created by the Sun’s Steve Simmons earlier in the week.
Although I would never admit to my Booster Brigade buddies just how I felt about the now infamous article the proof as they say is in the pudding or in this case the gate receipt (2618) a season high. Maybe the folk’s in the Battalion front office should give Mr. Simmons a ring a ding and thank him for the five-hundred or so who turned out on Sunday just to make him look bad. On second though nix that idea and instead let’s consider banning this clown from attending games in the future.