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Wilderness Walk: Fanning Fanbase Flames Edition

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Mike Bossy writes, Seattle arena news, and what are the Calgary Flames up to?

Ciara, Kat Graham, Lilly Singh, The Band Perry, Paula Abdul, George Takei, Marlee Matlin And More Come Together At WE Day Seattle To Celebrate The Power Young People Have To Change The World Photo by Mat Hayward/Getty Images for We Day

Good morning, Wilderness. I’ve been volunteering as a coach to my son’s 3rd/4th grade baseball team. It’s really the first time these kids really learn the game. So many details to learn, so many skills to improve, and so many things to try and teach...in so little time. It’s been fun, for the most part, but when you need to be in multiple places at once, things get tough. I need to be the third base coach, the bench coach, the first base coach, and try and teach these kids situational defense from the bench.

Not easy.

The other day at practice, as I was demonstrating proper base running techniques in different situations, one of the kids says out-right to my face, “I’m boooooored.”

Talk about disheartening. No real big deal as they got out running right after that.

I was also trying to demonstrate a good batting stance and a good level swing. I brought up Twins slugger Miguel Sano to use as an example. Back in my day, we tried to mimic the swing of Ken Griffey Jr, play infield like Cal Ripken Jr, and pitch like Greg Maddox. Hell, when I played baseball into junior high and high school, I tried to learn from the TV broadcasts and mimic what the pros did in terms on technique and mechanics.

The kids didn’t know who Sano was.

Do kids watch sports anymore? I know baseball has been dealing with dwindling participation at the youth levels, and I know that baseball comes off as boring. But when you learn the game and that everyone has a job on every play, things become more fun.

With hockey, there’s debate like crazy over the TV ratings between the NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Final with the NBA crazily out-drawing the NHL. Yet, most people, including NBA great Charles Barkley loving the competitiveness and the overall product on display in the Stanley Cup Playoffs over what has transpired in the NBA playoffs.

Yet, yet, you don’t hear about the NBA having fans that ostracize other fanbases as being new or fake. But you see that with people getting upset at Nashville Predators fans. I don’t know, the franchise has been in the league since 1998. Kids still watched sports back then. Now they’ve grown up. I think it’s time fans stop acting like gatekeepers of the sport and invite everyone in. Let everyone watch and be a part of it. Stop complaining about how the NBA draws more eyes in the ratings and turn around and hate on other fanbases as being bandwagon fans.

Anyways. I got way too long winded.

Today’s Walk includes a great story by Islanders legend Mike Bossy, and some Seattle-area rumblings.

In honor of Seattle, I bring today’s Walk music

Wild News

Ain’t no thang!

Off The Trail

Letter to My Younger Self | The Players' Tribune
Great story of life written by Mike Bossy

Report: Leiweke group picked to lead KeyArena renovation project | ProHockeyTalk
An official announcement confirming this news is expected later today. Seattle might just be making a bid for an expansion franchise soon, or try and woo a team to relocate.

Report: Jerry Bruckheimer part of Seattle’s latest NHL, arena push | ProHockeyTalk
"Armageddon" an NHL franchise, said Bruckheimer. Clearly, he wants to "Pirate" a team from Calgary. As long as he makes the Seattle goal song the Axle Foley theme, I'm OK with it.

Brian Burke says Flames will 'just leave' without new arena
Fins it odd that 1.) this comes out the same day Lieweke group says they'll renovate Key Arena in Seattle, and 2.) why the prez of hockey ops is saying this when the ownership group should be the only group that says anything regarding their home.

That said, Calgary isn't hurting for attendance. There is really zero reason to leave Alberta except that the US Dollar is stronger than the Loony at the moment.

NHL News

Los Angeles Kings sign Tyler Toffoli to 3-year, $13.8 million extension
Toffoli re-ups