>Canon did dominate many sporting events because Canon viewed >heavily discounting their equipment to these organizations as >a marketing cost. ... >Canon also had slightly better low light performance and had >IS super telephotos until the recent Nikon lens upgrades.
More than "slightly." Until the D3/D300, Canon kicked Nikon's butt in the high-ISO department. Sports shooters were mostly using Canon's 1.3-crop-factor bodies because they could crank the ISO up and get usable results under the lights in a stadium whereas they just could not do that with D2H and other Nikon 1.5-crop-factor bodies. Add, as you say, Canon's aggressiveness in updating their long tele designs. The dominance of white lenses on the sidelines is not just -- or even primarily -- due to marketing.
All of that is history, though.
>Frankly, NONE of my friends that shoot Nikon are thinking for >switching to Canon, but several of my friends that shoot Canon >( and Minolta and Pentax) are thinking for switching to Nikon.
Same here, except I don't actually know anyone shooting Minolta.