Did Brian Burke Go Behind Anyone’s Back?


The Toronto Sun it appears wants to hang on to the Don Cherry / Brian Burke story for dear life. Burke must love it. Instead of talking about his tanking hockey club they are talking about him and Abe Simpson.

Is it just me or in order for someone to be accused of going behind someone’s back doesn’t that person otherwise have a duty to be up front and honest about the issue they went behind the back about first? Where does the duty to tell someone you are going to do something start and end?

I ask because several members of the MSM have said something similar to this about Burke going to the CBC to complain about Abe and Flanders:

“When Burke went behind Cherry’s back and made it clear to his NHL brethren that he no longer wanted Cherry on the large Hockey Night stage he found he had surprising support for the concept. He wasn’t alone in wanting the outspoken Cherry silenced. There is a sense within the NHL that Hockey Night, and in particular host Ron MacLean and Cherry, are too combative, too critical, too agenda driven for the NHL’s liking.”

That from Steve Simmons

The question I have for you is, if you say Burke went behind their backs, what was the appropriate action? Is he supposed to call them up and say, um hey guys, I am pissed at how you treat my team and I am going to tell your bosses that I am asking that you be fired?

I mean does anyone think that’s reasonable?

If you want to say Burke went to far, I get it. If you want to say he is too thin skinned, I get it. Accusing him of going behind their backs? Sorry, don’t buy it.

I am not sure why anyone is stil talking about this story, but so be it.

The radio ratings came out today. I will try to get an update for you.

Yes, I know Damien Cox writes about the Toronto Maple Leafs. I know he writes about Tennis, but he’s down at spring training covering the Blue Jays. I know he’s written about them before, but wow he’s really becoming the sports generalist isn’t he. Good stuff. I am a fan of Damien’s work and his article today on Kyle Drabek was good reading.

A bunch of you have asked what happened to the readers poll for MSM of the year. Problem is not enough people actually gave a top 10 response. I got a name here and there. If you want to do it properly we need to do another post.

Reading the Star is hit or miss for me on a given day as depending on the way the wind blows, Rosie could be writing a sports story, and yes I trying not to read her any more regardless of the topic (unless she falls off the bus again, that I’ll read) but is there a more disappointing scribe these days than Cathal Kelly? I am not sure what is going on but the quality of his work in my opinion has dropped like the leafs performance this season.

Greg Brady has gone on the record in the past as saying that if Brian Burke didn’t make the playoffs this season he should be fired. I wonder if he will ask Burke that the next time he interviews him.

It’s taken a while but I think James Mirtle’s finally got it:

“There’s a silver lining beyond that, too.

Because of the NHL’s draft lottery system, the Leafs would have an 8.1-per-cent chance of picking first overall if they finish with the league’s fifth-worst record. That rises to a 10.7-per-cent chance if they finish with the fourth-worst record.

Which is right about how high their playoff chances are these days.”

The hell with chicken little, lets aim for as many ping pong balls as we absolutely can get. Close only counts in horseshoes and grenades. If your out, may as well be at the bottom.

More importantly, the late drive Maple Leafs of yester-year gave a false impression of how good they actually were. Truth is they are no fewer than 6 good players away from being an upper level team. Yes, I know one awesome one changes that but…….

The team wasn’t as good as they looked early and they aren’t this bad either. Truth is they just aren’t very good and until the talent is upgraded they won’t be either. Whether Burke admits it or not, it is a long process to rebuild this sucker. I have no problem with being patient as long as their is evidence of improvement.

Ahhh being back in the USA, as I strolled around my office today laptop screens has NCAA basketball on them. Canadians just don’t appreciate the level of support and interest in the tournament, or should I say gambling on it.

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March 9, 2012 6:51 am

On Cathal Kelly: Howard Berger recently wrote that hiring him was the best thing the Star’s done in years. Personally I think he’s ok, but that magic 8-ball NFL picks column every Sunday was the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen in sports MSM.

Dave Ball
Dave Ball
March 9, 2012 11:39 am

You might consider hiring an editor to convert this blog into readable English. Or learn the language. It really helps when trying to communicate coherently.

Take this paragraph for instance:
“The hell with chicken little, lets aim for as many ping pong balls as we absolutely can get. Close only counts in horseshoes and grenades. If your out, may as well be at the bottom.”

Chicken Little is a name so capitalize it.
“lets” is a contraction for let us: use let’s
The commonly used phrase refers to horseshoes and hand grenades to make use of alliteration. Give it a hand.
“if your out” should be “if you’re out”

And that is just one paragraph of many with basic fifth grader errors.

March 9, 2012 12:18 pm

Abe Simpson and Ned Flanders. I love it.

I agree with your take on Burke and the CBC. His actions were just fine.

I’m getting the impression that Cherry and McLean have not only jumped the shark, but they are out of control. They suspect that the next year or two will be their last, so they’re just going for it. They know that unless the CBC catches them doing something really out-of-line, they will never be fired They believe they can do what they want. They’re right.

I don’t get Cathal Kelly, either. Cox, I get. Brunt, I miss.

As for the Leafs, at the risk of sounding like Cherry and his, “I TOLD yas!!”, at the beginning of the season before the first game, I put on my Facebook page that they would do the following:
1) Fire Wilson before season ends.
2) Finish 13th in the East.
3) Trade or release Connolly.

That being said, I was convinced that I was dead wrong about a month ago. I was sure they would finish 7th. However, Wilson is gone, looks like they actually will finish around 13th and poor Connolly. If it wasn’t for the injury to Lupul, he’d be on the 4th line or a healthy scratch.

There is always next year.

Dave in Bolton
Dave in Bolton
March 9, 2012 3:35 pm

I wonder if this power trip Burke is on is a direct related to Bell & Rogers has given him and he feels he won’t get fired so he goes after anyone who dares talk il about the Leafs I do think Bell/Rogers will get the national package with CTV ending up with Saturday night games.

March 9, 2012 3:55 pm

I guess it depends on what really happened between Burke and CBC brass (not that we would ever truly know).
Burke has the right to say ‘hey, some of these things are out of line’ but unless they were libel there isn’t much he could do. He has no right to dicate what content or message a broadcaster takes on the team/league etc.
He also shouldnt be able to threaten CBC’s opportunity to get the national broadcast based on the coverage he’s received. Bettman know’s better than anyone what the CBC thinks about him and the way he has executed some league matters.
Burke must have a tonne of time available to be sweating the media coverage.
As a side note – I can’t believe Burke acknowledged Wilson’s dismissal was in-part to the fans chanting ‘Fire Wilson’. Isn’t that a dangerous precedent to set?

March 9, 2012 4:30 pm

I am reminded of the oft quoted Macbeth
“… a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”

I guess it may be over quoted but I think it applies to all the players in this little melodrama. Burke’s rants on the press have reached the same point for me that Cherry’s have, tedious and tiresome. Doug MacLean had the best advice for Burke which is to stop the war on the press because it is one he just can’t win and serves no purpose.

Ami Angelwings
March 10, 2012 11:42 pm

How is one organization talking to another organization they have a business deal with about their product, going behind somebody’s back? Whether Cherry likes it or not, he creates product for the CBC, and if you have issues with a product, the one you go to is the company behind it.

If I had an issue with the new iPad, I’d take my complaints to Apple, not whatever engineers designed the iPad. They would take the issue to those engineers for future designs if they felt it was necessary.

Also, it’s pretty unfair of Don Cherry to do the “if you have a problem, talk to me privately” thing. It’d be like if somebody with a big platform (like a blog) was bashing people and then told those people to talk to them privately. Sure, that’s easy for them to want, the complaint is hidden out of public view and you can say whatever you want “hey man, I’m really sorry, I apologize” and then continue on in public as if you never apologized. Cherry has the big public media platform, asking for people to not confront him on that platform for things he said using it (or to talk to the people behind giving him that platform, i.e. CBC) is unfair.

Warren Z
Warren Z
March 12, 2012 12:56 pm

Thing with Cathal Kelly is that he reads too much of the Guardian and tries too hard to emulate them. The problem is that it sounds natural coming from the Brits, but not so much him.

Though it is better that he’s “emulating” them in tone instead of story ideas. It used to be that whatever the lead is that day on the Guardian soccer page, Cathal would write about the same topic in the same POV the next.

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