Recently our good friends at Broad Street Hockey made the case for why Steven Stamkos will eventually sign in the proud city of Philadelphia to play for the proud team that are the Flyers. While extremely well written and thoughtful, I could not help but laugh at the absurdity of the very prospect. Anyone resident of the Midwest could tell you that Philadelphia is a dying city loudly waiting to be swallowed by the ocean in the days after Miami and New York become coral reef farms. Granted, I assume that Michael Nutter has some plan to wrap the city in a massive Amoroso roll in hopes of keeping the ocean out while also looking in the unique flavors of a city commonly referred to as "not New York or Chicago", but the one residents like to pretend Bruce Springsteen is from.
What I'm trying to say is that Nashville is a much better destination for the Lightning’s unsettled superstar. The reasons are numerous, and anyone who has lived in both cities will immediately understand why a multimillionaire star athlete would prefer Nashville over one of the most historic, culturally rich cities in the United States. Let's explore a few of these reasons, together, as a family, something that people from Philadelphia will never understand.
1. The Location:
Nashville is exactly one racist microaggression south and east of being a Midwestern city. Though Nashville is very much a city of the South, it's positioning protects residents from the thankless ocean that is slowly turning America’s coastal cities into somewhat stinker facsimiles of a Venetian plaza. Further, Nashville’s proximity to the Kentucky border providers the city the cloak of being mistaken as belonging to the first off proud flyover states. This unique status provides Stamkos the ability to hide from Steve Yzerman as the Lightning GM will be unable to locate Nashville out the window of his airplane on his way to some god forsaken city like St. Louis or anywhere in Canada outside of Newfoundland.
2. The Food:
Do you like chicken that tastes like if the Sun had a hangover? I bet Stamkos will. If that isn't his thing, then Steven will surely take advantage of some of the fine dining options the city offers from elevated classic Southern fusion cuisine to classic meat and three spots to classic elevated Southern fusion cuisine. What hockey player wouldn't be excited by the prospect of eating any of his favorite foods laid across a bed of grits and served with something everyone knows isn't an aioli? I have no answer for this question because I know much Stamkos is already eager to miss morning skates due the intestinal nightmare that Nashville food with wrought upon him. Also, try the fried pickles.
3. The Music:
Nashville is music. Nashville is Music City USA. Music is ingrained in the Predators culture. From legendary country music artists who everyone thought were dead to upcoming country music artists whose careers are already dead, the Predators will find a way to shove them down your throats. Sure the are incredibly talents in Nashville exploring both familiar styles of music and inventing new genres, but those aren't country acts and therefore belong to the part of Nashville that have only waited in line at the Pancake Pantry because their parents just wouldn't let it go. Does Steven Stamkos even like country music? He does now. David Poile will even tack on an extra million dollar bonus if Stamkos makes some appearances at the Grand Ole Opry.
4. The Cap Space:
The Predators actually have the cap space to sign Stamkos without jettisoning any chance of actually competing for the Stanley Cup. 91 is going to be extremely expensive and by letting some bad contracts expire, Poile could probably get Stamkos on board while finally fulfilling the promise of Nashville becoming a cap spending team.
5. The Neighborhoods:
Nashville is an bottomless pit of neighborhoods. If Stamkos wants a new neighborhood, Nashville will create a new neighborhood. Mayor Megan Barry will level entire blocks, hand Stamkos a shovel, and let him go crazy little an over caffeinated eight-year old playing Minecraft. Alternatively we could just give him a neighborhood since we're basically just making them up at this point. Anticipate my change.org petition to declare Steven Stamkos Lord of Pie Town.
6. The Transit:
Who needs to travel? No one, that's who. Is public transportation important to him? Doubtful. Stamkos will just walk to the arena for each game, or arrive by chariot from his throne room at the back of City Winery.
7. The Suisse:
Swiss players are becoming all the rage in the NHL, and which Swiss player is a bigger deal than Roman Josi? Literally no one. Someday maybe Kevin Fiala will garner that status, but for now Roman has to be the most exciting thing in Nashville and certainly more exciting than a ghostly ursine. Josi and Stamkos would become terrors of league both on the power play and at even strength. The world would finally see what would become of a powerful alliance between Switzerland and Her Majesty's favorite tundra-based territory.
8. The Fashion:
Buy one pair of boots, get your second TWO pairs for free. Stamkos would never have to purchase footwear again during his tenure in Nashville. What a deal.
9. No Income Tax:
Poile could sign Stamkos to less money because the take home would be bigger for the center as Tennessee doesn't have an income tax. Not only is this cap friendly for the Predators, but it also eases the burden of filing taxes. Stamkos is widely known for a passion for doing his own taxes.
10. Shea Weber:
With Stamkos on board, the Predators could trade their captain for a bounty. The return on the all-star defenseman would easily be able to fill in any gaps on a team suddenly built around a world class center and legendary golden Pokemon Roman Josi. The move would also open up a ton of cap space enabling Poile to sign any number of players that desperately want little more than to play in the same city as Steven Stamkos. Also, Philadelphia doesn't have a Shea Weber.
I imagine numerous other reasons could be chipped from the marble block that is Steven Stamkos/the concept of an elephant, and I'll leave you all to discover those on your own.