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Some Amusement


Mach_9
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Taken from an ESPN.com article on Marian Hossa:

""It wasn't too long ago when Marian Hossa of the Atlanta Thrashers had one of those "Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore" moments.

Hossa and his girlfriend caught a bite at a Chinese restaurant in Atlanta when the waiter was intrigued by Hossa's Slovakian accent, one that's not often heard in the Deep South.

When the waiter asked Hossa what he does for a living, Hossa replied, "I play for the Atlanta Thrashers."

There was a moment of silence, then the waiter said, "Who are the Thrashers?"

Hossa replied: "They're the hockey team, the Atlanta Thrashers hockey team."

The waiter smiled and said in a serious tone, "Oh … what's hockey?"

That's when Hossa knew he wasn't in Ottawa anymore. ""

For the rest.. http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/columns/stor...&id=2664997

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I read this before. I can't believe she didn't know what hockey was (it's not liek it's totally new there, the Flames were there for a decent amount of time). It must have been a suprise from going to hockey crazed Canada to the uninterested South

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I remember going to one of the first games for the Thrashers in their expansion season and it was actually kind of annoying. After every call on the ice, the PA announcer would say "And icing is when..." it was really irritating. I can understand why they were doing it but that is ridiculous. When I went again in the second half of the season they changed it to where you could rent a set of headphones that would explain the calls if you needed it, that was much better.

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I remember going to one of the first games for the Thrashers in their expansion season and it was actually kind of annoying. After every call on the ice, the PA announcer would say "And icing is when..." it was really irritating. I can understand why they were doing it but that is ridiculous. When I went again in the second half of the season they changed it to where you could rent a set of headphones that would explain the calls if you needed it, that was much better.

Wow that's horrible.

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Eh, expansion is good when it succeeds. I just can't ever cheer for teams in strange markets like Carolina or Nashville. Still, I can't believe people don't know what hockey is. There's also the fact that Atlanta had a team... I don't know. Hopefully the waiter was Asian and that contributed to not knowing hockey. It was a Chinese restaurant - so maybe it was an Asian in the deep south. Strange combo.

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You have to understand also that many ethnic restaurants have workers (usually friends and family of the owners) fresh off the boat. They'd be VERY unlikely to even know about the Atlanta Flames.

Being a Japanese-American myself who was born in the U.S. to Japanese immigrants, I can tell you that it was a tough thing for my parents to come to a new country, try to make a living, and keep up with just the basics of survival like how to drive, where to get groceries, how to deal with utility companies, financing, etc. Keeping up with local sports was very intimidating, because you have to admit, when talking to sports fans, it can get very intense. You can't keep up with conversation unless you can talk about stats, players, and last night's game. If you're new to the country and struggling to learn the language enough to tell the guy at the gas station that you want $20 on pump 5, sports talk isn't a priority ;)

Our downstairs neighbor was a coworker of my dad, so he'd take me to Bruins, Red Sox, and Celtics games. That was my chance to get familiar with the local sports, and having been born and raised in the U.S., English was naturally my language of choice, so I could act as a bit of a translator for the non-standard English like sports stats, player movements, and what-not.

(now that my mom's been in the U.S. for well over 30 years, she's much more fluent in local sports, English, and the basics of living, but it's been a long journey compared to when she first came to the U.S.)

Plus, hockey is just not a concern in China and many other Asian countries so unlike baseball or basketball, it's not even in the public consciousness. For a Japanese person who comes to the U.S. today, it'd be easier to talk about baseball with Americans than hockey -- in fact, it's a pretty safe ice-breaker.

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I definitly understood and took into account the assumption that cultural boundaries had something to do with it (though they don't specify if the waiter was actually Asian - it makes sense to have an Asian waiter in an Asian restaurant, but I've never had Chinese food in the south and I can't picture it...). One question, even if you couldn't talk about and follow local sports, and even though hockey is so small and barely noticed in Japan and other Asian countries, does the general populice know it exists and essentially what it is? Even if it's something that never comes to mind during an average year, if someone said "hey - you. one million dollar question: what's hockey?" could they answer, or would the average Japanese or Asian person in Asia draw a blank? I'm just surprised that they didn't have any concept at all of what the sport actually was. Not at all that they didn't know about their team. I'm convinced half of the white folks who were at RBC in Carolina for the playoffs didn't know they had a team until the second round...

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I can understand where the cultural boundaries can come into play in this case.

With that being said, my question comes from the total fanbase (anyone) down there and whether or not they can support the team in the long run. Is this gonna be another situation like with the Flames? Are they gonna hit a rough spot and be forced to move the team? Or is it going to become a strong market down there and they stay for the next 50 years? What's the thinking behind pulling a team from a strong market with a bad arena and putting one in a market where you may only get 4,000 fans a game (Carolina at first?) but have a nice shiny new arena. Money obviously, but what else?

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I'm not really sure. It's expansion. They figure fans in the old market will still like hockey when the team leaves. Fans in the new market are new fans = new money. The fans in the old market pick a new team, buy new jerseys, go to other games. Fans in the new market become additional revenue. I think the Thrashers are going well though and they look strong this year so I think the franchise is safe at least for about 5 years without question.

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Well I don't know about Asians in Atlanta but I have a feeling some of the city is going to start recognizing Hossa soon. 8 points in two games. Four goals, four assists... a hat trick and a helper tonight. Wowzer.

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I definitly understood and took into account the assumption that cultural boundaries had something to do with it (though they don't specify if the waiter was actually Asian - it makes sense to have an Asian waiter in an Asian restaurant, but I've never had Chinese food in the south and I can't picture it...). One question, even if you couldn't talk about and follow local sports, and even though hockey is so small and barely noticed in Japan and other Asian countries, does the general populice know it exists and essentially what it is? Even if it's something that never comes to mind during an average year, if someone said "hey - you. one million dollar question: what's hockey?" could they answer, or would the average Japanese or Asian person in Asia draw a blank? I'm just surprised that they didn't have any concept at all of what the sport actually was. Not at all that they didn't know about their team. I'm convinced half of the white folks who were at RBC in Carolina for the playoffs didn't know they had a team until the second round...

Questionable. In Japan, I'd guess that most people know what it is, if they're city folks, even if they couldn't explain the basic rules. People in remote areas can be surprisingly out of touch with the modern world outside of their locale, and China has more remote areas than Japan (simply by measure of square area). It's entirely possible that they really don't know what hockey is, or didn't understand the pronunciation (in Japanglish, "hockey" is pronounced "Aisu-ho'keh" or "ice hockey", and I have no idea how Chinese people "hear" English, so if Hossa said "hockey" in a way that the waiter was not familiar with, that could be an explanation).

Also, in terms of pure statistical averages, I've only been to one Chinese restaurant that employed non-Chinese people.

But I could be wrong about Chinese restaurants in Atlanta -- I'm never ashamed of admitting that :)

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