Oklahoma City. A place where the wind sweeps down the plains, where the wavin’ wheat smells sweet, and the wind always comes right behind (and before and during) the rain. A town that I’ve called home for the better part of half of my life, and where my family has grown. A destination that’s gone from cow town to oil town to new energy to professional sports market to a new business promoter and beyond. A spot on the map where, despite these changes, it’s the people that have gone unchanged since statehood in 1907. A spirited outpost that is more than a wild west gong show of old. A locale that isn’t the first place one points to and says, “I want to live there!”, but when they leave those same people say, “I want to go back there!” And truthfully there’s no better time to be in Oklahoma than now.
Lost in the sea of NBA playoffs, Sooners quarterback controversy, Cowboys recruiting news, and other various sports meanderings are the Oklahoma City Barons. The newest sports franchise in OKC that in three years has made the playoffs, and had some pretty memorable moments along the way. So today, we few who follow, love, cherish, and promote the Barons better than any other single entity in the metro area, look forward to a quick five game quarterfinal series against the Charlotte Checkers. With the Calder Cup being the final destination, I boldly declare this the year of the Western Conference! No more Eastern Conference domination, it’s time for a non-traditional hockey market to punch the league in the jaw, win the whole thing, and ease my fears that the AHL is becoming a New England-y league. And I think our Barons have a real shot to make that happen. But first, the race flags.