Fourteen years. It has been fourteen long years since the NHL callously broke the hearts of an entire community when they ripped the beloved Jets out of Winnipeg, transplanted the franchise to Phoenix and renamed them the Coyotes. And as the Coyotes franchise continues to deal with problematic ownership issues, there have been mutterings that a potential return of the NHL to the largest city in Manitoba, Canada is a possibility, albeit a long shot. And while talks have been mildly encouraging, none of these rumblings have taken away the sting and pain endured by the region’s betrayed residents, nor will Jets fans ever get over their collective heartbreak over losing the team.
Well, for one individual, the frustration finally boiled over. This particular soul, a 32-year-old resident of nearby Lundar, Manitoba, reached the point of no return and realized he was mad as hell and he wasn’t going to take it anymore. As any sane person would do when facing a similar issue, he called 911 to air his grievances regarding the Jets leaving town in 1996 and demanded that RCMP officers do anything in their power to get the Jets to move back to Winnipeg. He has been charged with “public mischief, false messages, harassing phone calls and obstructing justice.”
Interestingly, this incident occurred over a year ago and it wasn’t until the intrepid reporters at the Winnipeg Free Press recently uncovered court documents depicting the sordid tale of betrayal, a twisted sense of provincial vigilantism and the dream of righting the wrongs done upon a humble Canadian community.
“He began the conversation by saying he wanted the Jets back. He was quite upset about it,” a justice source told the Free Press on Wednesday.
The emergency dispatcher politely told the angry caller there was nothing she could do to help him and reminded him that he was tying up a valuable resource before hanging up. But the man continued to phone back, claiming he had a lot on his mind.
“He had apparently been drinking and told police he hadn’t slept in days. He started talking about world conglomerates, things like that. He was hallucinating, obviously,” said the source.
I imagine 911 operators routinely have to deal with the fringe elements of society who do not understand that 911 should only be called for, you know, real emergencies, but it wasn’t until the caller became verbally abusive that the boys in blue (or whatever color cops wear in Canada) were called in for assistance.
The final straw came when the man began insulting the 911 operator, eventually calling her a crude name. She warned him that his number had been traced and police were being sent out to arrest him.
“If you’re coming to get me, can you bring me some smokes,” was his reply.
Ha. Can you bring me some smokes. Classic. You have to at the very least give the guy credit for his passion, dedication and, let’s be honest, his grandiose display of bats**t craziness. I don’t know why, but I get the feeling that I would like to have a couple of beers with him and wax nostalgic about classic games between his Winnipeg Jets and my Minnesota North Stars from back in the day. Just as long as he was in a padded room with myself safely on the other side of the door, of course.
Lundar resident faces charges over 911 calls [Winnipeg Free-Press]