Sunday, January 20, 2013

I'm beginning to put together a better understanding of Lubbock sports. Of course I know that it's complicated, there's a whole history, etc., and that Texas Tech plays a pivotal role since so many people in the area went to it and remain loyal.

So, I have a number of questions. First, what happened to the Crickets? Presumably a town of 230,000 is big enough to support a minor league baseball team. Presumably it did support the team for a little while. Of course, the questions are: was the team any good? Did any famous players play on it? But, even more important, was the town unable to support the team when it fell on hard times? Did people just become less interested in baseball? Would a minor-league team have trouble if we got another one? What division did the Crickets play in, and was that the appropriate division?

Then we have the Lubbock Cotton Kings. Now I have always loved hockey, and would love it even more if we had it in Lubbock. There is no better game to watch than hockey, and it's really fun to play too though it might cost you some teeth. But I can understand why a place which experiences +100 summers, weeks at a time, might not take a natural liking to the sport. It's an interesting story how Dallas scored Minnesota's team, and it made it in Dallas, and that, I think, set off a wave of popularity of hockey in the sun belt; Phoenix has a team too, and maybe Houston, or some of these other towns. It does well in LA.

We're on the plains, and we actually have some cold weather, but the ice doesn't stick around long, on account of the sun, and the generally southern latitude. But I'm not sure it's weather so much as just culture. Hockey seems to have pricey entrance tickets so it likes a town like Dallas where a culture of wealthy spectators can come to a nice cool ice rink for a few hours.

So what happened to the Cotton Kings? Same questions. I'd like to know. They say that, for a while, people could skate in the arena, then the Cotton Kings would take it over and play a game. Presumably they had a zamboni and all that stuff. I like that stuff. I'd trade Tuberville and Kingsbury both for a good zamboni. But we'll see. I'm 58 and not likely to go into the zamboni business.

Then, they say that originally this was a women's basketball town. The time of Martha Sharp, etc., now they were winners, and they filled the arena, or they used as an arena at that time, before the United Spirit. Then the team fell into hard times, and they thought, by pumping up the men's team, and getting that new arena, they figured they'd bring women's basketball back.

I'd like to know more. What can you do? A sports crazy town like this needs pro soccer too, I figure, but I'd be wiliing to start small. I'd be willing to support sports in all its iterations, as I'm already over my head in basketball support, football support, etc. It's natural here. People like sports and they love Lubbock. I'm sure I've missed stuff: Tech football, Tech volleyball, Tech baseball. I'd just like to know what really gets people, and if that can change or does, over time.

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