WJC 2011: Emerson Etem And Buffalo's Inferiority Complex

LAKE PLACID NY - AUGUST 04: (L-R) Beau Bennett and Emerson Etem of Team USA pose for photographs at the USA Hockey National Evaluation Camp on August 4 2010 in Lake Placid New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)


Screen shot via Puck Daddy

That was the tweet that caused a firestorm among the Buffalo media and its citizens. An American hockey player bashing the city for something that Buffalo repeatedly gets bashed for besides the weather. Some people questioned why the media made such a big deal out of it and whether criticizing an eighteen year old is worth it.  

Buffaloians know that their city isn't the greatest and that it has flaws. Abandoned grain elevators, bad weather, and a waterfront that never gets developed are among the issues that plague this city. All cities have flaws though and no one appreciates it when someone else points those out. Its like someone telling you that your father is cheap. You may know its true, but it doesn't mean that someone else can say it.

The reaction from the media in this situation is the same as the reaction in all of the other cases that this happens. They have practice at it because it happens so often. Besides being known for the bad weather, the quip that there is nothing to do in the city is something that gets said often. While there are things to do in this city, it doesn't compare to larger cities like New York or Chicago and the weather isn't as nice as places like Los Angeles or Miami. 

Jess Rubenstein had a fair point in her post over at The Prospect Park about this situation:

Even sadder is the Buffalo media making this into a major news story when maybe they should be asking where the American fans were for Team USA's opening game? If not for the estimated 10-15 thousand Canadians making the trip then the stands just might have been empty and Etem's ghost town remark just might have been closer to the truth than people realize.

She is right on the fact that mostly Canadians have made up the WJC crowds on any given night during the tournament. To that I say, Canadians are largest followers of the tournament so they are going to buy the most tickets. For many around the area, this tournament is a mere curiosity and while the interest is there, it is not at the level as the Canadian interest is at. Buffalo doesn't have a junior team anywhere near it besides the Erie Otters in Pennsylvania and the Niagara Ice Dogs in Ontario. The only rooting interest for a Sabres fan might be to see how prospects Zack Kassian and Marcus Foligno play for Team Canada. 

Americans have shown up for this tournament, but when the majority of all session passes are bought by Canadians, its hard to out number them. 

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