Tag Archives: hartford whalers

Top Five Defunct Sports Franchises

Nostalgia and sports sometimes seem to go together like walkoff homeruns and head rubbing. There’s nothing like thinking back to yesteryear, when things that don’t exist anymore existed. You might see a little more of this in my next post. But today, I was driving behind an SUV with a Houston Oilers license plate frame and it got me thinking about franchises I miss. Note that not all of these franchises are technically defunct – many of them simply moved. But as anyone who reads this blog knows, an Oklahoma City Thunder is nothing compared to a Seattle SuperSonic. Because where would we be without “I had the booze, she had the chronic, the Lakers beat the SuperSonics.” ?

5. Quebec Nordiques – Sure, they technically still exist as the Colorado Avalanche, but in their day, few teams could challenge the Nordiques for the least threatening logo and color scheme. Still, the old days of Joe Sakic and Jocelyn Thibault are something to remember.

4. Montreal Expos – Funny how two of the top 5 defunct franchises are based in Quebec, Canada – a place not often associated with sports. But many of baseball’s greats have come through the Expos’ system. Though mostly a breeding ground for major league prospects, the Expos finally seemed to be putting together a perennial contender, but the strike season of 94 cut short a campaign in which a stacked Montreal squad was forced to surrender a 74-40 start, which many believe led to the ultimate demise of the franchise.

3. Hatford Whalers – It’s odd that two of the top five teams here are hockey teams, but the Whalers make this list for one reason and one reason alone: Brass Bonanza. It still perseveres as one of the greatest sports anthems of all time. If anyone out there in the marketing world is looking for a new campaign, it should center around this classic tune. It’s been thirteen years since professional sports were played in Hartford, somebody needs to at least pick that song up.

2. Houston Oilers – I know the Titans are still the same franchise, and I know Houston has a football team of their own now, but it’s not the same. I can’t watch old highlights of Earl Campbell and Warren Moon without wishing those uniforms were still around. They might challenge the Nordiques for that least threatening logo title – it must be the baby blue and red – but why isn’t anybody suggesting that the Texans reclaim the Oilers’ name?

1. Seattle SuperSonics – I actually hated the Sonics for most of my childhood, mainly because they frequently dominated the Western Conference. But, as we’ve said over and over again here, it’s just not the same without pro basketball in the Emerald City. Seattle just has so much more character than Oklahoma City. They may have a nice thing going with Durant and Westbrook in Oklahoma, but they’ll never touch the duo of Kemp and Payton. Besides, every league should have a team donning the green and gold. NO team should be rocking sky blue and orange. That’s just ridiculous.


Doin Work Mailbag

Welcome to the first installment of the Doin Work Mailbag. Some of these go pretty far back, since we haven’t published any e-mail feedback to this point. You’ll be surprised at some of the letters we got….

Dear Doin Work,

I don’t caer for yor coments about me. I never listen to crittics. Oviusly you didn’t wach any of owr games. I’m the onley one out there playin good. You try throwin ta guys named Chaz, Louis, and Jonnie Lee. Shoot, I can’t even see past my center’s hair. Plus, the ofensiv line is teribel. As soon as I can get out of Oakland, you’ll see. I’ll be wining. A lot. You probbably see me holding a mvp trophey one day.

-Jamarcus Russell

First off, allow me to apologize. We didn’t want to make it look like you didn’t bring value to the team. You give fans something to cheer for – like, when you get hurt or yanked out of the game. You also keep things interesting. We love going into a game against a team like the Chiefs or Browns knowing that we could very well get shut out. We also love the fact that you could be replaced by a backup QB and we could beat any team in the league.

Dear Doin Work,

I really don’t appreciate your use of my likeness as the Joker in your Doin Lines feature. Was this supposed to be a subtle reference to my overdose? I don’t remember doing any cocaine that night, if that’s what you’re getting at. I’ll let you off the hook for now, but I swear, mate, if you put up a picture of Jake Gyllenhal and I the next time a pro athlete comes out of the closet, that’ll be the 10th thing I hate about you. You don’t wanna see that!

-Heath Ledger

Don’t worry, Heath. I’m sure that wasn’t the reason Chappy put your picture up. I think it had something to do with New Year’s, and how the Joker gassed up the Gotham City NYE celebration. Yeah, I’m sure that’s it.

Dear Doin Work,

Thanks for posting Brass Bonanza on Christmas Eve! It’s still the greatest sports song of all time. We may not have the Whalers anymore, but there’ll always be NHL 94 on Sega!

-Greg R. Hartford, CT

Greg, you don’t have to tell us twice! Brass Bonanza will live on for eternity with such classics as NBA on NBC and Rock and Roll Part 2.

Dear Doin Work,

Don’t blame me for “spoiling” USC basketball. I didn’t do anything wrong. Money was on the table, I took it. No one would do anything different – ask Stephen Jackson. Whatever, SC got what they deserved. I don’t care if they have to forfeit wins or postseason appearances. I was never a Trojan. I just wanted to play my one year of college ball in LA and move on.

-OJ Mayo

You’re right, and let’s face it, anything to keep eyes off the football team is a good thing.

Dear Doin Work,

What’s up with all the Tyreke Evans hype? Everybody knows Brandon Jennings will be the rookie of the year. He scored 55 points in a game! What’s Tyreke’s season high? It definitely wasn’t 55. He also has a lot more help on his team with great players like Sean May and Andres Nocioni. Brandon Jennings has no one, yet he scored 55 points in a game! It’s called the rookie of the year award, not rookie on the most surprising team of the year. Did I mention Jennings scored 55 in a game?!

-Jake R. Waukesha, WI

Perhaps we’re biased living on the West Coast, but Tyreke Evans has been having a more consistent, more impressive year. If Evans fails to notch a 55 point game, though, the award is all Jennings’.

Dear Doin Work,

I heard you wrote about me “having fun in Charlotte.” I tried to read the article, but when I picked up my laptop, I fumbled it off my foot and it went out of bounds.

-Stephen Jackson

Understandable. If you get it back though, just shoot it. I hope you don’t take that the wrong way.

Dear Doin Work,

Please take down the video of me blocking Kobe’s dunk attempt. True, it was a most beautiful block, but Kobe is the best player in the game. By posting this video, you are devaluing the game of basketball. I hope you will reconsider this practice in the future. Until then, go Lakers Warriors!

-Ronny Turiaf

First off, let me just say I thoroughly enjoyed the first installment of ‘Movie Time with Ronny’ on Warriors Weekly. Your analysis of The Hangover was fantastic. If I hadn’t seen it already, I surely would’ve rushed to Blockbuster to pick it up. I never would’ve guessed it was “very funny.” As for the video we posted, some of us are Warriors fans. We know you’re still a Laker at heart, but I’ve spent the last few years cheering against you, first at Gonzaga, then in Los Angeles. You wear a Warriors jersey and you blocked Kobe Bryant. We’re going to show that no matter what.

Dear MCeezy,

I’m sorry to hear about your frustration with Xbox. I can’t say that I’m sorry, because I really have nothing to do with that. However, you may be happy to know you can still play great games on your PC. It looks like you are running Windows 7, a fine choice. If you have any other questions, feel free to respond to this email via Microsoft Word, the best word processor available. How come there are no posts about the Seattle Sonics on your page?

-Bill Gates

Don’t worry about it Bill. I crafted a beautiful chart of my experience with Xbox on Microsoft Excel, then exported it to Microsoft Access for review. I’m just putting some finishing touches on it in Microsoft Publisher and I’ll show it to you once I set up my Microsoft Outlook. As for Sonics news, just search Kevin Durant and you’ll find plenty of mention of the Sonics.

Dear Doin Work,

Hey Brah, I really hope you weren’t making fun of us with the cross country snowboarding vid. Skootching a serious sport man.

-Tyler F. Kings Beach, CA

Not at all….. Not at all.

Brass Bonanza!!!

Presenting the greatest hockey song EVER. Brass Bonanza, the theme song of the former Hartford Whalers, as made famous in NHL 94 on Sega Genesis. Even though the Whalers are dead, the Bonanza lives on!!!