Thursday, June 22, 2006

Tom Sorensen, you idiot

Wow. I just got really distracted. I’m sorry that I’m posting twice in one afternoon but this one may be too good to pass up.

I just finished reading the back-and-forth banter of the Charlotte Observer’s Tom Sorensen and his loyal fanbase. For the uninformed, Sorensen wrote an article on the day after the Hurricanes’ Cup victory that ranked the game as the 299th sporting event in NC history, behind every Panthers’ game, the ACC tournament, the Hornets, the Sting and Ric Flair. Meant to show that he wasn’t about to “jump on the bandwagon,” Sorensen elicited tons of emails from disgusted readers. As a result, Sorensen published a counter-article this morning that essentially said that he isn’t sorry for bashing a sport that is aired on OLN. While I disagree wholeheartedly (I didn’t appreciate the dig on the Tour de France), I am more interested in the interplay surrounding NC regional rivalries.

With the Panthers and Hurricanes having the all-inclusive modifier of Carolina, these organizations are obviously meant to be regional teams in an area without super-city hubs. Professional teams in the south cannot be supported by single cities alone and their relative ability to be regionally followed is a good determiner of success. However, in this new fan enviroment of team ownership (see Fans), fans have become more and more jealous over who actually gets to celebrate. Does this championship belong to Raleigh or NC? What about SC? Does NC even deserve a hockey championship (many Canes players were singing the Canadian national anthem before Game 7)?

Looking over many comments that have been posted online, there is a lot of anger between the cities of Raleigh and Charlotte. When a man like Tom Sorensen becomes the face on a large community, it is difficult to sort out the heated emotions. "Well they can have their Panthers and stupid Bobcats, we have real champions up here." Unfortunately, for the emotions, it doesn't work that way. My sister in Prague will be celebrating when the Heels win the College World Series. Fandom can never be taken away from someone, although Tom Sorensen might try to quantify it. In the end, all it takes is a good team and good people to high five after the W. Raleigh will never be able to withold it, and neither will Charlotte. Maybe that's what makes it special.

No comments: