Back in 1998, I went to Hartford, Connecticut for the opening rounds of the NCAA tournament. UNC was the number one seed in the East that year. And one afternoon, I found myself sitting with some friends in the coliseum attached to the mall that the town strangely built, watching Antawn Jamison and Vince Carter show off in the open practice for the team. One of the locals in the row behind us struck up a conversation; it was polite at first, but once he found out we were from North Carolina he kept asking us about what we did for fun. He had a definite preconception about the state, and kept pushing it on us: "You don't really having anything going, do you?" and "But there's really nothing interesting in North Carolina is there?" Keep in mind, this was Hartford Connecticut during a huge downturn in the insurance business, and the place was a ghost town for much of the time we were there. Finally annoyed by the implications, I turned to the guy, and with an expression of faux earnestness replied, "Well, we have a hockey team now."
The guy didn't speak to us the rest of the practice.
I tell this story as a preamble to an announcement. SB Nation has brought aboard a Carolina Hurricanes blog, Canes Country. The Hurricanes never really grabbed me. I saw a game amongst the empty bleachers of Greensboro Coliseum in the first season, and had the misfortune of dating a Red Wings fan during their first trip to the Stanley Cup that pushed me towards the team, but otherwise I let it pass me by. I'm sure there's some crossover between UNC fans and Hurricane fans, though, so here's the blog.
SB Nation doesn't have a blog for the minor league and now defunct Connecticut hockey team, the Beast of New Haven, or as I always remember them, the Greensboro Monarchs. Suck it, Hartford.