All Quiet On Bettman’s Front

Things rarely are good when they are the quietest. Lately there is nothing more than crickets coming out of the desert where the Coyotes saga has lasted about as long as the Maple Leafs playoff-less springs. If a deal were percolating, or bonds were being sold, I have to believe we would be hearing it.

I once opened a fortune cookie finding no fortune. The waiter who had served my table laughed and said, “no news is good news”.

I don’t think that’s the case here, do you?

There are those in the know who have suggested that the reason it is so quiet is that the deal has already died. The league, as you may recall owns the club and would stand to lose (more) money if whatever fans in Phoenix knew the end was now a certainty. Who in the area would spend 2 cents to go to a game for a team that is definitely leaving in a few weeks?

Now, when I was younger I watched a lot of American political television. Besides Nightline, I loved watching David Brinkley too. For some reason I took a liking to George F. Will back then, I think in a large degree that he was such a huge baseball fan. While I may not agree with his politics, I knew he was smart and loved that a guy that smart loved baseball.

Tonight, thanks to a tweet by David Naylor, I read a great article on the Coyotes situation by Will. To be honest, I find it humorous that a guy like Will has taken to writing a story about the business side of hockey.

“Fortunately, this folly may be illegal. The Arizona Constitution’s “gift clause” may block Glendale’s booster socialism — the ruinous pursuit of derivative grandeur from sports. The clause was written to prevent crony capitalism — to provide a wall of separation between corporations and government by forbidding government to give corporations gifts, loans, grants or subsidies.”

Ouch, the truth hurts.

“But the institute’s job — actually, it is every Arizonan’s job — is to protect the public interest. A virtuoso of indignation, McCain is scandalized that the institute, “a non-elected organization,” is going to cause the loss of “a thousand jobs.” McCain’s jobs number is preposterous, as is his intimation — he has been in elective office for 28 years — that non-elected people should not intervene in civic life.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman agrees with McCain that the world is out of joint when people can second-guess the political class: “It fascinates me that whoever is running the Goldwater Institute can substitute their judgment for that of the Glendale City Council.” He will learn not to provoke Olsen, who says, “It happens to fascinate me greatly that the commissioner thinks a handful of politicians can substitute their judgment for the rule of law.”

Warren Meyer of calculates that Glendale’s new plan would bring the city’s spending to almost $400 million on a team valued at $134 million — a team that has lost money in each of its 15 years here. Glendale’s rejoinder to the Goldwater Institute is an attempt at intimidation by lawsuit, which speaks volumes.”

Fascinating take by a hockey outsider. Certainly means we should keep an eye on things, or at the very least a sharp ear.

Things by the way aren’t apparently any better in Atlanta. Word is the folks looking at the Trashers aren’t doing much more than that- looking. Those really investigating are more interested in the Hawks and the building. Sounds like it could be a lot uglier in Atlanta than anyone is really admitting.

Could Bettman be not only the only league commissioner to lose an entire season due to labour strife and to have 2 of his handpicked markets fail? Quite the legacy.

I am told that Mike Hogan, whom so many of you tell me all the time that you miss, has posted on his Facebook page that he will be back on the radio. He has apparently posted that he will be on TSN Radio weekends from 11-3pm. Cue the Springstein music. A little odd that Hogan would publish that before the station does. Have to admit, not one person told me that Hogan was on the radar. Seems there may be some who aren’t aware that the Argos won’t be on 590 this year, rather they will be on TSN radio picking up the tv feed from TSN.

The more Bruce Dowbiggin writes about Mike Richards, the more I think he is the second coming of Andrew Krystal:

“Don’t expect a lot of inside baseball from Richards. The Stouffville, Ont., product doesn’t see himself as a sports journalist. What sets him apart is a blend of irreverence, juvenile humour and provocation that the opposition in the 25-54 range simply doesn’t have at the moment. “I’m being a fan in our listening audience who loves sports, spends a lot of time in his car for work or enjoys pushing the envelope for some laughs. We’ll have the experts like Bob McKenzie and Chris Schultz to do the journalism.”

Have to laugh at the Schultz reference. Anyways, seriously, isn’t that exactly the type of radio that Krystal brought? You didn’t want to hear him ask Brian Burke what book he was reading, but he did because he isn’t a “sports journalist”. Although maybe not in so many words, but wouldn’t you say that Krystal is ” a blend of irreverence, juvenile humour and provocation” too?

What I like about Richards is that he is setting his sights LARGE:

“My goal is not to beat the Fan 590 in the ratings,” he said in a phone interview. “My goal is to be No. 1 in the entire demographic.” Hello, John Derringer of Q107.”

The Fan is north of a 7.0 rating in the am. I don’t have Derringer’s numbers but I suspect that they are big. 1050 is currently less than a 1 in the key demographic. Trying to go form 0 to 7.0 isn’t going to be easy. Good luck to him for sure. If he is able to do it and sustain it all the better for those of us who listen to sports radio.

Meanwhile, 640 had Bill Watters call in to his show for an extended period of time. In short, not great radio.

On the flip side, Brady and Lang had Christine Brennan on this am to talk about women at Augusta National. I really, really wish that Mike Toth was the guy conducting the interview.

Who will ask Brian Burke the dumbest question during his postmortem tomorrow?

Lastly, am I the only one who has the fan website crash firefox on a mac? Every time I go to the website my browser crashes. Works fine on safari or chrome.



About the Author