Atlanta Hawks: Fans on Fans

He's really not but Woody appreciates the effort.

He's really not but Woody appreciates the effort. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

My story and blog post on visitors feeling the love at Philips sparked a lot of feedback both in the blogosphere and in my inbox. (I’m not trying to take credit for being the first person to raise these issues, just saying these are the reactions to that story.) Since these Atlanta fans know Atlanta fans better than the new guy, here are some highlights:

More than one emailer advanced the transplanted ATLiens theory:

The other day your article in the AJC Sports section, indicated that Atlanta’s professional sports teams bemoan the fact that some players from opposing teams received loud cheers, rather than “boos!”

What these Atlanta players need to realize is: simple demographics. Atlanta, and much of the Southeast and Southwest benefited from demographic changes in the country, basically, receiving transplants from the Northern states, and even California. Three decades ago, there were about one million residents of the Atlanta metro Area. Now, there are over five million! This did not occur through “native propagation!” They came here from L.A.., Philly, Chicago, N.Y., etc. While they are becoming Atlanta fans, is it surprising that they still hold some allegiance to their former “home” team, or specific players? I think not!

Another emailer, who contrasted his childhood love for his hometown teams in Detroit with his transplanted fandom for Atlanta teams, blamed poor marketing by the Hawks and also unmarketable stars in Atlanta:

I think that the owners of the teams should do a better job marketing their teams to the local fans. Please get these players out into the community more and help fans get familiar with these guys. (the Falcons do a good job but the Hawks are a mystery) Put up more billboards around the city showcasing these guys. As a kid I remember my dad driving us downtown and from the Interstate we could see the entire side of a building covered with Barry Sanders’ image sponsored by Nike (now Cleveland does it with Lebron James). People want to identify with their sports teams. Right now, who are the “marquee” names for any of these teams??? Most people outside of Atlanta have no idea. I’m sorry, but Matt Ryan and Joe Johnson make me yawn. Both of them are good players, but not marquee names yet. Since the tragic Michael Vick incident – this city has not had an identity in the eyes of most sports fans. When you say the name of most other sports towns, a player’s name immediately pops into your head. Who is that guy for Atlanta right now? Maybe Matty Ice, or Joe-J, or J-Smoove?? I’m not really sure.

Kris Willis at Soaring Down South backed Woody’s sentiments but offered a sure solution:

(T)o coach Woodson I say good job for going public and sticking up for his team because the certainly deserve it but will offer my advice to him and the team. If you want these guys to stop cheering the other team then the best way to fix that is to win. It worked in the series against Boston. True the Hawks didn’t win the series but by the end of it a lot of the people that went to Phillips to catch a glimpse of the Celtics came away full blown Hawks fans once again. If you want them to stop cheering for LeBron and Kobe, then give them a reason and how about starting tonight?

Coco the “slightly irrational Hawks fan” offers a completely lucid take by noting that of course people come out for the Lakers because they are the Lakers and Kobe is Kobe. She also cites the Hawks charging more for “premium” games (this

It costs more to get into Philips Arena when the Lakers are in town. You can go see teams like the Pistons or Raptors for as little as $10, but the cheapest ticket to get inside when the Lakers are in town is about $35. If you’re a Hawks fan, you are probably thinking you shouldn’t have to pay more to see your favorite team just because Kobe is in town? I don’t blame you if you pass on the opportunity. That means there are more tickets for the people who aren’t really Hawks fans and the organization knows they are willing to pay more. Hell, they may not even know they’re paying more since they only come out when the Lakers are town. If the Hawks are your favorite team, you come to Philips Arena even when they’re playing the worst teams in the NBA, so you don’t really care about missing the Lakers game. You can watch it on tv and save yourself some money in the process.

Over at TrueHoop, Kevin Arnovitz, who says he “practically grew at the Omni,” does a great job breaking down the possible factors contributing to the relative apathy of Atlanta fans. I thought his closing passage put things in the proper perspective:

Does a city need to apologize for its collective apathy toward its sports teams? These franchises aren’t institutions like the school board or law enforcement agencies, or even non-profits like museums or the opera — entities that require civic support to survive. The Atlanta Hawks are an entertainment product whose profits go into the pockets of some very wealthy individuals. Would I like to see my hometown embrace the Hawks the way residents of Salt Lake City and Portland support their teams? Sure. But nowhere else on the commercial landscape do employees bitch about customers not supporting the goods they produce and/or sell. If the foot traffic isn’t coming in off the street, then it’s up to management to figure out smarter ways to entice those potential customers. The Minnesota Timberwolves are figuring that out. So are the Charlotte Bobcats.

I don’t mean to criticize Mike Woodson or any other Hawk who’d prefer that Josh Smith get more applause at Philips Arena tonight than Kobe Bryant. That’s a reasonable wish, but it doesn’t change the fact that, for a bevy of reasons, the organization is up against some tough conditions. Business is business — particularly in an exploding market where there are more ways than ever to spend your money.

– Off topic but very cool . . . Hawksdawgs already had expressed his love for Zaza. I’m pretty sure this is going to only enhance those feelings. My interactions with Zaza lead me to believe he really is a guy who appreciates how lucky he is to make a very nice living playing ball.

MC

66 comments Add your comment

Cannon

April 1st, 2010
7:24 pm

UGA

April 1st, 2010
7:27 pm

I wish when teams like this came to town that every one cheered for the Hawks, but everyone is allowed to cheer for who they want. Same thing happens in college though.

The veterans are coming on. Mo and Zaza did not back down which I love. Bibby is coming on. People forget that this team did not take off until he came here.

I have a question: Do we keep Mo next year of go after another SF to back up what some may say a struggling Marvin?

AND

Aside from Shaq and Wallace, who guards Dwight Howard the best in the NBA?

Gilley

April 1st, 2010
7:32 pm

All that, All that

Last night proved people can make it to the arena on time just not Hawks fans.

Rod from College Park

April 1st, 2010
7:36 pm

cp

“northcyde I’ve seen people who criticize Marvin give him credit when he actually performs. The problem is he hasn’t performed well consistently this year. I’ve seen rod from cp give him credit plenty of times but he makes it known that he doesn’t get excited about good games from Marvin because he tends to disappear again which is true.. I think if Marvin performed around the level he did last year it wouldn’t be so much criticism. Even the biggest Marvin supporters have to admit he hasn’t been good this year. A lot of us root for him but it gets to a point where one gets tired of lackluster performances and the excuses made for him. This isn’t his first or second or even third year. I’m sure if he was playing better the critics wouldn’t be as strong as they are.”

CHUUUURCH!!!!!!! It’s amazing that people see what they want to see. If I was giving credit to Marvin, I would have done it maybe 5 games this year. Is that what they want? Good job Marvin for playing like a professional basketball player for 5 games this season. Maybe that will shut them up. LOL

Mike Jay

April 1st, 2010
8:04 pm

Good stuff here.

speaking of Zsa Zsa….When he has a good game the hawks win. Every time. Not sure what that means but there you have it. Great to see him get a double a double last night, we will need him come playoff time.

MannyT

April 1st, 2010
8:11 pm

Loved that Zaza energy. When he and Mario get rolling, they can whip the crowd into a frenzy w/o scoring a point!

Last night was the classic sellout situation for the Hawks. A team with a big rep and a big named player roll into town. You get people coming out of the woodwork to see and be seen. I’ve been a season ticket holder for 5 years. It was easier to sell this game ticket than it was for me to get someone to sell me food at a restaurant. You can watch about 36 games for free if you are willing to sell Lakers, Cavs, & Celtics.

Your coworker J Schultz brought up the fan issues awhile back. I’ll be faux brief by linking to my thoughts which have not changed.

Looking forward to the Cavs game to see if we can sustain the momentum on the road.

BWAF

Seattle Hawks Fan

April 1st, 2010
8:38 pm

Not to take away from this year……. But A- we have to keep JJ and B- What if we upgrade Mo like we did with Crawford for Flip Murry

Delbert D.

April 1st, 2010
8:59 pm

Guam will capsize and sink before I root against the Hawks.

Ree Roe

April 1st, 2010
9:10 pm

MC, what was the crowd split last night for Hawks/Lakers fans inside Philips? 50/50? 60/40? 70/30?

-fREE Roe!!

drmaryb

April 1st, 2010
9:20 pm

Seattle

Do you know the Hawks W-L record when Month starts?

drmaryb

April 1st, 2010
9:22 pm

When MO Starts?

drmaryb

April 1st, 2010
9:24 pm

Seattle

Do you know the Hawks record when Maurice Starts?

O'Brien

April 1st, 2010
9:50 pm

Good read MC.

I think Kevin Arnovitz raised a good point. We don’t see companies who are selling a product complain that customers are not buying. They need to come up with product improvements and marketing campaigns to get people to come to the game.

And it doesn’t help when one of our owners was saying something along the lines of “fans need to be careful not to get Kobe riled up”.

But if the Hawks win consistently at home (like they have been doing the last 2 years), they will win these fans over slowly but surely.

Orlando is looking tough in Dallas tonight. Although it helps when you’re knocking down the 3 like they have.

northcyde

April 1st, 2010
9:53 pm

MC . . . part of the problem is that the actual Atlanta natives that don’t regularly go to games, want to place blame on everything else . . BUT THEMSELVES!!

Until some of these fans make the Hawks an ENTERTAINMENT PRIORITY, like the season ticket holders have, then you’ll always see this problem in Atlanta.

I mean . . . when does one’s “transplant status” end? How long do you have to be living in Metro Atlanta, until you actually adopt the area as your own?

2 years? 5 years? 10 years? 25 years?

I mean, seriously?

If a person doesn’t have any prior allegiance to a former team, and they’ve gone to Hawks games recently, shouldn’t the Hawks be the team you adopt? If so, MAKE THE COMMITMENT.

Fans talk about “winning”? Well the Hawks are 62 – 17 the past 2 years at home. That’s the 3rd best 2 year home record EVER in Atlanta. The record is 65 – 17, from 1986 – 88. So if the Hawks win their final 3 home games, they would’ve tied the franchise record for # of home wins in a 2 year span.

But I guess the fans are waiting for the Hawks to be playing for a ring, before they get the proper support.

The ASG could defintely do more in the form of marketing this team. I remember back in the 90s ( ironically while at Freaknik ), that there was a giant billboard along the side of a building . . a Nike ad . . featuring Mookie Blaylock. The subtitle . . . “Master of the Take and Give” . . which summed up Mookie’s game perfectly. The “take” referred to his ability to steal the ball. The “give” referred to his assists.

At least the singer Monica did it right. A friend of mine who “follows” Monica, hipped me to a Twitpic of her and Kobe, taken right before the game. Under the pic, the message was something along the lines of . .

“I like Kobe, but it’s all about the Hawks tonight.”

TRUE LOYALTY FOLKS.

None of that fake fan crap.

You can be a fan of Kobe. I like watching Kobe play. But when he comes to ATL, it should be all about the Hakws . . . PERIOD!

Michael Cunningham

April 1st, 2010
10:08 pm

@UGA: the choice to come back is Mo’s–he has a player option for $2.5 million. if he invokes that option then he could be included in a trade and would be fairly valuable as a low-cost player who can fill a role. but that’s his value for the Hawks, too, so at this point i think they’d like him back. re: Dwight . . . can’t really say beyond those two. sometimes it seems like his teammates hold him back more than any defender.

@ Mike Jay: i know what you mean. it does seem that way, doesn’t it?

@ Ree Roe: obviously i’m guessing here, but probably 30-40 pct Lakers fans. but they were quite vocal until the Hawks started rolling.

@ northcyde: “I mean . . . when does one’s “transplant status” end? How long do you have to be living in Metro Atlanta, until you actually adopt the area as your own?” i know what you mean but emotional ties run deep. as a fan of my Louisville Cardinals i might live somewhere a while and have a vague sense that i want to see the local team do well but when it comes right down to it the Cards are my squad. a little different for colleges, i know, but you know what i’m saying.

northcyde

April 1st, 2010
10:28 pm

I don’t wanna misquote Monica, so I’ll just post the actual twitpic link:

http://www.twitpic.com/1catic

Remarkable

April 1st, 2010
10:53 pm

I was at the game and I have never seen oposing fans become so quiet as the laker Fans did last night. It was a great game from start to finish but before the game? Let me just say, when are singers going to understand (Keri Hilson) that the National Anthem is NOT about them?
Thanks Hawks for a memory my son and I will cherish for a long time.

Remarkable

April 1st, 2010
10:57 pm

Michael, I have new found respect for you. i spent five years in the Louisvile area and became a Cards fan too and learned to hate the Cats. Some of the most obnoxious fans on the planet.

northcyde

April 1st, 2010
11:07 pm

No doubt MC. I can understand “transplant loyalty” to a sports team. Those are probably the vocal fans that are at these games cheering for the other team. I don’t blame them for cheering for their favorite team.

The problem though, are the excuse making fans that halfway support the Hawks ( and the ones who don’t have a team ), but want management to get this team to “championship caliber” level, before they start to support the team like they should. They’re the ones that you see making excuse after excuse for not going to games.

While thr ASG hasn’t been perfect, they did

- acquire Bibby
- re-sign Smoove long term
- acquire Crawford.

The bottom line is that the Hawk fans who don’t go to games, need to decide if they want to make the Hawks an entertainment priority. If not, then you really can’t blame the ASG for not going all out to put a championship product on the floor.

Fans have to learn their monetary role when supporting their favorite team. Simply cheering for the Hawks, while sitting in their living rooms, just isn’t going to cut it. Go to the games, and keep the transplants out of the arena.

northcyde

April 1st, 2010
11:15 pm

Haha . . . well damn. Anybody reading this, needs to go to NBA.com RIGHT NOW . . and look at this feature they did on 2 Hawk fans.

( Video title: Real NBA: The Fans ) . . it’s currently one of the topics on the front page. Look for the kid in face paint on the side.

LOL . . now granted, people don’t have to get this fanatical, but at least those guys are committed to the Hawks. They were at the Orlando game. And they have a close-up of the Smoove rebound slam to win the game.

Damn . . that is cool as ish.

O'Brien

April 1st, 2010
11:17 pm

Dwight Howard played against the Mavericks, in Mavericks. And he had zero fouls. Wow. 17 pts, 20 rebs, 5 blocks, but no fouls.

I think he gets away with some rough play down low.

MC,

Maybe we can have a blog that focuses on some of the things that ASG can do better at the arena to make the fan experience more enjoyable.

Or some more marketing examples (like marketing our players better, billboards etc) as those above mentioned.

Clyde

April 1st, 2010
11:19 pm

Grandad

April 1st, 2010
11:27 pm

MC:

I’m with you on the transplant thing.
Either you with us or agin us. Pick.
Another cultural by-product is that Ga. is a football state.
Plus, not just a fb state but a college fb state.
Conversely, Indiana is a basketball state.
Myself, I like football, but I ‘Love’ basketball.
Even @ the HS level you can see it in the coverage of athletics:
fb v. b-ball. In this very paper [AJC]. Understanding this is a blog.
I wish it were different. Listen to talk radio:
focus – fb,(UGA, Falcons, Tech) Braves, golf, everything else.
Anyway, when the Hawks 1st came, Atl. they probably missed an opportunity to win over this town with ‘Pistol’, they already had good players,had they built that team [not let Joe Caldwell get out of town] and won a championship? Who knows?
Atl., also, [exception Turner] has never had a big time owner @ the
right time when the stars were aligned. {Hawks]
Imagine if we/NBA had not screwed/got screwed & Doc [J] had stayed
with the Hawks & not been stolen away.
Pistol throwing those passes & Dr.J on the receiving end, would have been “showtime” before the Lakers coined the moniker.
Then we lost David Thompson…shall I keep going.
Sorry for the long winded history lesson.

MannyT

April 1st, 2010
11:30 pm

northcyde,

The Real Fans video was entertaining & linked here?! Those guys are superfans. I used to work with guys that did that for Thrashers games. The Hawks could use a few more committed seat fillers that are willing to do a basic let’s go hawks.

Looks like those guys also pony up for really good seats.

BWAF

Grandad

April 1st, 2010
11:53 pm

To MsDee & Daniel:

Thank you ever so much for recognizing my (what I thought was) obvious
’sarcasm’!
I would never encourage our fans to boo the home team.
I have been an habitual supporter of Marv throughout his maturation.

O’B – You should have realized.

Paul Hewitt's Agent

April 2nd, 2010
1:00 am

My client will fill Phillips arena and he can bring Favors and Lawal to replace Marvin.

Grandad

April 2nd, 2010
1:13 am

Truth Serum:

Ahh, the irony is you, (of all people) the way you ridicule and deride
others yet a tiny bit of sarcasm goes whistling underneath your nose, then you fail to see the satirical whimsy of an old man. You present any miniscule folly of Al Horford lampooning him for public scorn,
all the while championing yourself as a true fan at heart.
You sir are the offspring of satire after she married her second cousin
sarcasm, producing a bouncing baby who ironically answers to truth but is only serum for a manchild (perhaps)? One of whom’s many alias’ is Sybil. Touche, my good man, as we should hail both Marv and Al being true Hawks fans and therefore believers in championship destiny.

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

April 2nd, 2010
1:27 am

Great post MC and great job offering different fan perspectives.

Hawks Fan In New Orleans

April 2nd, 2010
1:35 am

Grandad. I am watching Pistol Pete highlights right now on youtube – he was scoring and tricky pass machine. Wow

JeJe

April 2nd, 2010
2:38 am

Najeh Davenpoop

April 2nd, 2010
3:06 am

Kevin Arnovitz makes some good points, particularly about why the Northeast cities have more loyal fans (because those populations and teams have been established for generations) but he loses me with that final paragraph. First of all, the opera and museums, even if they are non-profits, are still forms of entertainment. From the point of view of a consumer, it makes no difference whether you pay a bunch of billionaires to see a Hawks game or you pay a non-profit organization to see an opera. And it’s not like the Hawks would survive without fan support either.

Comparing Woody complaining about fan support to employees at companies elsewhere in the commercial landscape doesn’t fly either. The entertainment business is fundamentally different from other commercial enterprises because there is a strong emotional connection between the consumer and the entertainer. T.I. and Denzel Washington are always going to be shown love wherever they go, because people identify with and appreciate their work; the CEOs of Honda or Frigidaire are not going to receive the same treatment, no matter how reliable their cars or refrigerators are. And on the flip side, employees at your typical company are not emotionally uplifted by thousands of cheering fans when they staple their TPS reports correctly. Fan support plays a key role in how sports teams perform, which is why home field advantage is a key factor in every sport in the world. Comparing how things work in sports and entertainment to how things work in the real world is a way-too-common mistake.

Bottom line, no matter how much we nitpick, the Hawks are busting their asses and producing a quality product at a very reasonable price compared to other available forms of entertainment. Woody has every right to be disappointed that their efforts are not being rewarded with a corresponding level of fan support.

Atlanta’s spotty fan support hinges on a lot of factors, but tops among them is that most affluent ATLiens choose to live 50 miles away from the city and then whine about sitting in traffic for an hour as an excuse for not going into the city. Of course, these same people have no problem driving two hours to Athens to watch the Dawgs. I’ll let y’all speculate on the reasons behind this, but I can guarantee that moving the teams to the suburbs will only make the problem worse. No way people in Cobb or north Fulton drive to Gwinnett to watch games, and vice versa.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 2nd, 2010
3:23 am

Can’t agree with Coco either. First of all, charging “premium” rates for elite opponents is nothing new, and teams have done this in other sports too. Secondly, I’d rather see Josh Smith dunk over Dwight Howard, not Roy Hibbert. I’d rather see Joe Johnson murk Ron Artest and the Lakers, not Omri Casspi and the Kings. I don’t think it’s abnormal to prefer seeing your favorite team play against better opponents, especially with a team like the Hawks that tends to play to the level of their opponent.

o.O-Mac-Town -Macon, Georgia- Westsider-O.o

April 2nd, 2010
5:59 am

lol@ATL-Based “Usher” was just on Sportscenter talking about how much of Cavs fan he is.

o.O-Mac-Town -Macon, Georgia- Westsider-O.o

April 2nd, 2010
6:04 am

I wonder was he a fan of the Cavs when they won 17 games the year before Lebron got there and Ricky Davis was their main offensive threat.

happy fan

April 2nd, 2010
6:30 am

Kevin Arnovitz doesn’t know the first thing about the business of sports. Profits? Hardly. It’s public record from the Belkin trial that the owners have lost 170 million dollars on the Hawks and Thrashers since 2004. There are no profits. Bobcats? they are doing so poorly that Bob Johnson just took a $125 million haircut to dump them. If the fans don’t support the teams, the owners have every right to try to move them somewhere that will.

Andy

April 2nd, 2010
7:54 am

Tonight you will see the real atlanta hawks. the team that doesn’t have a clutch star and the team that wins one and then loses one. they will get creamed by the cavs. that is the typical atl hawks.

heartofdarkness

April 2nd, 2010
7:56 am

Imagine, if you will, that you are the proprietor of a hot dog shop, selling hot dogs made in your shop to patrons who loved your brand, your seasoning and your presentation of the hot dog. Imagine further, that competing hot dog purveyors traveled to your shop, bringing their wares to a little exhibition that widens and deepens your patron’s appreciation of the nuances possible in the delectable hot dog. Travel to the limits of your imaginative powers, and suppose a purveyor of a universally famous hot dog is due to appear in your shop and you know you can count on, say, five times the number of patrons you normally draw to sample the hot dogs. Would this seem a vexing problem to you, or would this appear to be an opportunity? Would you take the opportunity to observe the workings of the attractions between the patrons and the most noteworthy hot dog in the land? Might you consider some best practices in the art of luring and cultivating hot dog loyalties?

To northcyde’s inquiry over what amount of time must pass before the transplant (outsider) must dwell in this locality before they become a part of this community, we old, old Atlantans consider the Alleghany Orogeny, which formed during the last collision between the North American tectonic plate and the North African plate to be transplanted material, and not truly native to the area.

J dubb

April 2nd, 2010
8:17 am

Last?
I am wayy late on this blog, but oh well, i’ll do it anyway.

I was at the game from start to finish against LA and it was truly sickening to have to be in a crowd that had so many Lakers supporters. I was hoping the Hawks didnt feel ‘disrespected’ and that would cause them to lose concentration slightly and therefore, start off flat. But boy was I wrong! They came out firing and playing tough D and we only had to put up with those obnoxious “Lakers fans” for about 1-1/2 qtrs.
There cannot truly be that many Lakers fans here in ATL. Its a Kobe thing. I am fully confident that a good portion of those wearing their Lakers sh!t went out that week and blew a paycheck on brand new Lakers gear so they could go to the game and show out. Pathetic!
I was just happy the Hawks shut them up. And they dominated – IF THEY CAN PLAY CONSITENTLY LIKE THAT THEY WILL MAKE THE FINALS! The whole team was on.
Go Hawks!

Seminole Warrior

April 2nd, 2010
8:59 am

And WE sir consider you native Atlantans to be trespassing.

JeJe

April 2nd, 2010
9:15 am

We will be down 40-28 in the 2nd qtr tonight, Woodson will put the starters in with 9 minutes left in the 2nd, abandoning the bench.

98-79 Cleveland

atlsouthside

April 2nd, 2010
9:25 am

I had the pleasure of visiting Philips Arena for “College Media Day” in 2009. Everyone who was invited had the opportunity to eat breakfast with the press before the game… I was lucky enough to grab a seat at a table with Dominique Wilkins, Jermone Jurenovich & the crew from SportsSouth….

Dominique was talking about how today’s NBA player is completely different from when he played… His assessment was that these current-day players (Joe Johnson, Josh Smith), make so much money, they dont feel obligated to to show their face in the community….they feel like all they have to do is show up to the arena. His words exactly “this is a new breed of players, back when I played community service was a part of the game”

atlsouthside

April 2nd, 2010
9:34 am

Andy,

Let me guess, you’re a Cavs’ fan? (Sure takes alot of wits/guts to pick the #1 team in the NBA to win).

Hawks showed up against the defending Champs. Why would tonight be any different. Wednesday’s game was a statement game, and Hawks rose to the occasion. A win tonight, would speak volume…..beat LBJ, in Cleveland, it’s possible….

Marcus

April 2nd, 2010
9:57 am

@ Bro. MC,
this thing is not new and not exclusive to the Hawks, as so many have alluded to. With ATL being late to the pro sports game (in the comparative sense to Northern cities) coupled with the influx of transplants from all over, it makes sense (albeit still maddening). One wonders, however ……… if the 90’s Braves (arguably the most-recently successful franchise) , who won 14 straight division championships and 4-5 World Series appearances (’91 Twins, ‘92 Blue Jays, ‘95 Indians, ‘96 and ‘99 Yankees) have sellout issues for playoff games during that stretch ……… we have a good amount of fair-weather fans here.

I wonder does your experience in Miami parallel to what you have seen here? I visited once and I know that the ‘canes are iffy (full sellout wise), every year the Marlins are either having a fire-sale or looking to sell the franchise due to mediocre fans support. From what I hear from my FL based friends/schoolmates, Miami fans have the same fickle rep as the general ATL fans.

The biggest factor, and I saw this growing up in Decatur, is that the losing early history of all the ATL franchises may have undercut the fan base, which coupled with transplants, put a on the young kids who grew up as fans. As a kid in the 80s, so many guys were fans of other teams because the Falcons/Braves were “sorry” and for a while, all the Hawks had was ‘Nique until we started making playoffs in the late 80s. Even then, BOS put us in our place every frickin’ time :( . A winner will build a following and for too long in the comparatively brief, collective histories of ATL pro teams, we were never winners.

Being an ATL homer who has now moved around a lot, I catch much heat for my ATL sports team luv I show in the office while up here in the Philly area. Same thing for my alma mater (FAMU!!!), but I can’t change alliances just based on my current geographic location. Same goes for other transplants.

AG

April 2nd, 2010
10:02 am

A little late but great game. I keep telling everyone, when Marvin shoots 9 or more shots, the Hawks win. I will tip my cap to Woodson because Marvin was not active in the offense and he let Mo stay in the game – and he contributed. The SF position has to be productive for the Hawks to advance to take the pressure off of Joe

Tim from EP

April 2nd, 2010
10:11 am

The Laker’s game was awesome. That was the best team ball I’ve seen the Hawks play the whole season. I have to give Mike Woodson credit for giving ZaZa, Mo, and even Teague the minutes he gave them.

JeJe

April 2nd, 2010
10:25 am

FIRE MIKE KNAPP

Dikembe

April 2nd, 2010
10:27 am

ASG is garbage. THEY DID NOT do anything with the players. That’s Rick Sund’s job and I think he’s made the right moves getting Bibby, resigning Smoove and acquiring Jam Craw.

On the note of other team fan support, the reason they are getting support is because those teams, Lake show, C’s, etc. is because they have superstars that the average fan wants to see. An average at best fan is not going to come watch Andrew Bogut bang with Zaza. The fans that come to see those superstars bought their respective team jerseys to look like they are basketball fans.

Shout out to Steve Holman and Bob Rathbun for you true fans.

Here’s a thought ASG: get some better bandwidth than 790 the zone puts out for Hawks coverage. I live ITP and barely get signal.

Rod from College Park

April 2nd, 2010
10:44 am

o.O-Mac-Town -Macon, Georgia- Westsider-O.o,

“lol@ATL-Based “Usher” was just on Sportscenter talking about how much of Cavs fan he is.”

“I wonder was he a fan of the Cavs when they won 17 games the year before Lebron got there and Ricky Davis was their main offensive threat.”

He actually is a minority owner of the Cavs. He got on board when all the music entertainers were trying to get small percentages of NBA teams. He actually was a part of the organization right after they drafted Lebron. I think Nelly is a minority owner of the Bobcats, Usher is with Cleveland, I think the Williams sisters are minority owners of the Dolphins, and there are some more entertainers that I just can’t think of now. The Hawks were trying to get minority oeners also, but no one bit.

Dikembe

April 2nd, 2010
10:54 am

If ASG would team up with local rappers like T.I., Luda, JD, etc. it would be incredible. I mean what NBA player wouldn’t want to come play for the Hawks if that happened.

o.O-Mac-Town -Macon, Georgia- Westsider-O.o

April 2nd, 2010
11:14 am

Yeah@Rod, when I first posted, I caught the end of the lil segment with him. I watched the replay of Sportscenter and heard about him being a minority owner. smh@the disinterest in the Hawks.