History in the making
Sunday's about celebrating new Jets era in different ways
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 05/10/2011 (4195 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Sunday will be a lot of things: the biggest one-day sporting event in Winnipeg history, the rebirth of our NHL franchise, and a glorious gathering of this city’s hockey fans.
But it will not be a whiteout.
This game means too many things to too many people to try and contain it in one statement of fashion.
It is the emotional culmination of a city’s heart-wrenching journey through hockey’s wastelands, and there will be an outpouring of joy and the thankful dropping of so many carried torches.
As a community we will come together, thousands in the building and thousands outside it. As a country we will watch one town get something back that it’s been missing. Millions will gather together and watch a distinct moment of Canadiana unfold and to wish Winnipeg and its new Jets well.
This is a new day for us here in Winnipeg and while whiteouts capture the emotion of an important and treasured time in our hockey chronology, they are not an accurate representation of what will take place on Sunday.
This isn’t about celebrating yesterday. It’s about forging ahead and grabbing the future by its collar to drag it to whatever frontier we choose.
Sunday will be about choice and the celebration of this moment in thousands of different ways.
Some will want to wear their new Jets jerseys and some will want to wear their old sweaters.
There will be folks in tuxedos and, yes, there will be many dressed simply in white.
But the 15,000 in attendance will not come wearing white en masse.
That day, too, will come and when it does there will be an overwhelming sentiment, from both community and team, that it’s time to get our white on.
But that day is not Sunday.
There’s a bit of a groundswell on Twitter, on this paper’s website and on sports radio hotlines, but it’s not the steamrolling issue of the day among Winnipeggers.
All sentiment aside, there are practical issues that make a whiteout unlikely.
The Jets are wearing blue on Sunday and there’s mixed opinions on whether the fans should wear the same colour as their team on any given day.
The team hasn’t made a passioned plea to its fans to participate and that’s usually the catalyst that takes a fan initiative from an oddity to a success.
There’s also the notion that most of the season ticket holders for the new Jets are not the old Jets guard. The folks that snatched up more than half of the available season tickets were Moose ticket holders and that’s an entirely different crowd than the one that filled the old arena for Kitty and Kinger.
Whiteouts were not part of the Moose era and these fans won’t instinctively reach for the pasty coveralls.
It’s our day and our time and nothing, including our past, should tell us what to wear.
So if you want to wear white go ahead, but don’t expect your neighbour to come along.
Let us all worship in our own way. Pull out that tattered Hull jersey or slip into that brand new Ladd sweater.
Come as you like.
Well, maybe that’s not entirely true. Because there’s one tradition that has to end and that’s supporting the visiting team in our barn.
We’ve got our own history now, tattered as it may be. And we don’t need to borrow from anyone else. So leave those Habs jerseys at home.
Those days are over.
Jets Report C3