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Rick's List — Bring Back Our Sports Franchises Edition

The region is losing athletic franchises at an alarming rate!

First, the New England Black Wolves, a professional team of lacrossers headquartered at the Mohegan Sun, have moved to Albany, where they will be rebranded as the Albany Albino Wolves to differentiate from Black Wolves. It should be pointed out that most wildlife biologists who specialize in the study of wolves — "Wolfists," I believe they're called — would refer to a white wolf as a "polar wolf" or an "Arctic wolf" rather than an "albino wolf," although reference to a "Johnny and Edgar Winter Wolf" is grudgingly acceptable in the zoological community.

A spokesman for the new Albany franchise said they really liked the idea of calling the team the Albany Johnny and Edgar Winter Wolves, but it doesn't fit on T-shirts.

The other vanished franchise is the Norwich Tigers AA minor league team in the Detroit organization. They popularly played in Dodd Stadium, attractively located in a sprawling industrial park that is accessible only by a layout of roads that reminds one of getting lost in a Halloween corn maze.

The Connecticut Tigers' demise seems to be part of Major League Baseball's visionary plan to drastically shrink the farm system and deprive millions of fans across the country the chance to see hometown professional baseball. This makes sense since America's Pastime, as baseball was once called, is now called "Something Americans Do When They Want to See Sports and There is No Bowling or Pub Darts On TV and the Local Lacrossers Have Moved to Another State."

I am also sad about losing the Tigers because they'd recently changed their name to the Norwich Sea Unicorns. (One of the Wolfists I consulted for this column admits she almost went into marine biology to study Sea Unicorns but, as none of them are albino, she went into Wolfery instead.)

And so all we have left, sports franchise-wise, is the Connecticut Sun of the WNBA. Go, Sun! But I DO have a few ideas on how we can fill the void left by the loss of the Black Wolves and Sea Unicorns.

1. Michael Jordan, co-owner of the Charlotte Hornets, is known as an enthusiastic high stakes gambler. Offer him unlimited credit and his own high-roller suite at Mohegan Sun to transfer the Hornets up here. Maybe call 'em the Connecticut Three-Team Parlays or the Mohegan (Loan) Sharks...

2. The San Diego Chargers already realize what idiots they were to relocate last season to LA and share a stadium with the Rams. I say, "Head East, Chargers!" We'll build a stadium in the old Fort Trumbull neighborhood amidst the luxury condos, shops, and resort hotels that materialized after the Eminent Domain thing! 

3. Re-establish the defunct Hartford Whalers hockey team — now the Carolina Hurricanes — back in Hartford. Then, when they remember why they left Hartford to begin with — it's, ah, Hartford — rather than pay moving costs BACK to Carolina, relocate to Norwich and the newly renovated Dodd Memorial Ice Rink. They can be the Norwich Frozen Sea Unicorns. Or the Norwich Arctic Wolfs.

4. Do not even SUGGEST a franchise in the very real women's professional football league where they wear only lingerie during games. And for damned sure don't call them the Connecticut Ruth Bader Ginsbergs.

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