I've been highly amused for weeks now in reading various Canadians offer their insights into Atlanta's true nature as a sports town despite clearly never having set foot south of Michigan. Until today, the nuttiest thing I'd seen proclaimed was that Atlanta is a college basketball town -- and, no, the deliverer of that revelation did not mean Catlanta. Now we have a new clubhouse leader, and I think this one will coast in for the victory:
Those of us who knew hockey knew [the Atlanta Thrashers] couldn't stay. There's no passion for the game, there's no knowledge of the game. It's just not a market that hockey can survive in. It's not a traditional sport there. Nobody's really into hockey in the south. It's a college baseball and college football town.
Granted, college baseball is relatively big in the Southeast. And SB Nation Atlanta currently has three college baseball StoryStreams on its front page, but that's because we have three college baseball teams in the College World Series. By this standard, we're also crazed college golf fans.
The cited expert is supposed to have lived in Atlanta, which maybe means Atlanta, Louisiana, as college baseball is actually pretty big in LSU country.
As a side note, those "no passion for the game" and "knowledge of the game" remarks further betray ignorance of Atlanta, a city composed largely of people from Canada, ESPN country and Big Ten states. Did our many, many transplants forget what hockey is during the flight down? We'll have to investigate that.
For anyone seeking actual insight on the matter, read what longtime hockey fan, Atlanta sports fan, and non-Thrashers fanatic friend of the program Braves & Birds wrote today.