Wow. The Rainmen have never gotten the kind of media coverage that leaving the league gave them over the last 36 hours.
I woke up this morning and read the Herald with breakfast. I was shocked to not find the Rainmen’s departure in the sports section… so I checked the rest of the paper and it was on the front page. Chad Lucas’ blog on the Herald website also recieved 400+ hit on the post about the Rainmen leaving – most of his Rainmen posts get 100-200 hits. This blog has gotten almost 1000 hits since the story broke, I usually get about 250 during the course of a given 36 hour period, even if there was a home game the night before.
The Metro ran it as the lead story on their website.
CBC ran the story on the radio and on their website. The Canadian Press also put the story on the wire, but I don’t know if it got picked up outside of Halifax. I know that the web edition of the Globe and Mail picked it up, but I don’t know if the print edition did.
The message boards are obviously having a field day with it. Mysterious ABA hating poster A1Sports is always inflammatory but often right, and he says that a ABA owners received an e-mail from Newman in which the ABA CEO claimed that the Rainmen would not have been welcomed back into the league because they were supposed to pay for flights for every single team to play in Halifax, and they didn’t. Unreal.
News 95.7 ran an article on their website and it appears to be the only one in which Joe Newman was actually quote. He suggests that this is good because now it opens up the opportunity for Moncton to have an ABA team. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I would assume that having a Halifax 3 hours away to make for a built in rivalry, an easy travel distance, and an extra team for opponents to play on road trips would actually make Moncton a better candidate for a franchise?
By far the most scathing indictment of the ABA comes from Halifax sports curmudgeon, Alex J. Walling. He writes on the TSN website that he has “never seen such a sad, sickly, sordid, spectacle as this league called the A.B.A.” I have not always agreed with Walling, but on this he is definitely right. He also has a bit more reach than a lot of local reporters since his column appears on the website of Canada’s leading sports broadcaster.
This is probably the highest profile departure that the ABA has ever seen. If a terrible season wasn’t enough to kill the league then hopefully having national media attention (even if it’s just Canadian) might be enough to shut this thing down.