Hearing the news that the NBA has reached a tentative agreement has irritated me this morning. Not because of the game itself, but because of the relationship between the local media and sports in Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma City Thunder is very good for Oklahoma City, don’t get me wrong — but the Oklahoma sports media has basically ignored the local AHL hockey team, the Oklahoma City Barons. When the Thunder are playing, you might as well just forget that there is a first-class AHL hockey team here in Oklahoma. Forget that they made the playoffs last season and forget that they are doing extraordinarily well this season. Just when there was a very minor smidgen of media coverage for the Oklahoma City Barons — due to the fact that there was no NBA news to report, and those NBA reporters were hanging on to their jobs by reporting *gasp* HOCKEY! — the NBA returns with news that they have reached a tentative agreement.
Between NBA Thunder coverage and university football coverage, Oklahoma sports journalists and the media find it very convenient to ignore the fact that hockey exists downtown. Now that the NBA looks like it will return, the OKC Barons team will lose what very little headway was made during the NBA lockout. The independent Oilers and Barons bloggers will continue their reporting as usual, but it is regretful that the local media outlets will not pick up one of the bloggers as a knowledgeable hockey reporter. Numerous newspapers today increase their sports coverage with associated blogs devoted to specific sports and teams. Oklahoma media and NewsOK.com, it is time for an OKC Barons Hockey blog!