Saturday, August 16, 2008

Naturally, Ted Leonsis Would Be Pissed if You Contracted His Team

On Wednesday, Ross McKeon of Yahoo! (exclamation point required by law) filed his copy of Wyshynski's "5 Ways I'd Change the NHL Series."

Not pulling any punches from the start, McKeon jumped all over the Southeast Division. Hey, it's the cool thing to do. All the kids are doing it.

1. Less is more: We're talking contraction here, fewer teams means better quality of play and so much more. Ding six franchises to get the league down to 24 teams (12 per conference, six in each of four divisions). Who goes? Atlanta Thrashers, Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals and Nashville Predators. Hey, look at that, no more Southeast Division.

Was it said jokingly? Well, doesn't seem like it to me. Decide for yourself on that front. Ross' five bullet points were all pretty serious, so I figure this one was too. As you can see, Ross isn't too fond of the Southeast Division and more or less decided 'fuck it, we don't need that trash.'

In a completely understandable reaction to McKeon's thoughts, Ted Leonsis, Washington Captials owner, was a bit peeved. Yeah, he was pissed that someone wanted to contract his team. Imagine that, right?

From time to time, you have heard me rail against media pundits for their lack of criticality; original thinking; creativity; and basic non-understanding of what they are writing about.

Well here is another rant. This time against Ross McKeon and his blog post mentioning contraction of six NHL teams including the Washington Capitals. Read it here.

First, the throw away notion of shuttering six major league teams is just mean-spirited. Those six teams employ thousands and thousands of people and support tens of thousands of families. I guess Ross wants us to lay off all those people in the toughest economy ever. And those teams generate dollars for their cities in taxes and they generate dollars to hundreds and hundreds of small businesses as vendor/ suppliers. All of that would go away and the benefit and glow of a major sports team franchise would leave those cities marked as second rate for a long, long time.



But yeah, how dare you want to destroy the lives of thousands Ross McKeon! You are so un-American you might as well be named Osama Bin Ross! Jerk.

Ted, while his points are fair, is a little overboard. The Caps aren't going anywhere and after the season they had we all know how rabid their fans are. Let's just calm down with all the Ross McKeon likes to destroy famillies and impoversh little children hyperbole. We all know that's not what he wants. Or maybe he does. Sick fuck.

To play Devil's Advocate, for a sec, if Team X is losing money, isn't it a burden to begin with? I'm a cynic and not ready to believe that all 30 teams are ridiculously profitable. Hell, maybe they are. But what do I know I'm a mediot (media + idiot). But if you're losing money hand over fist, for example, I can't see how you're exactly helping the children and their families.

So here we go with potentially the most predictable blog war in the history of the world. It's like Phelps winning a gold medal. You probably saw it coming from 10 light years away. But hey, gotta love a good fight! I still want blood.

h/t Illegal Curve


  1. everyone loves contraction until their team is discussed.

    jeez, people are reacting like you'd think this was actually going to happen.

  2. Even if a team is losing money, if it's in the market, it's still employing people and feeding their families, just not as many, depending on how much money they spend.

    Personally, I don't think hockey in southern climate is the problem. They need better marketing.

  3. How does Ted Leonsis think that this is the toughest economy ever? Worse than the Great Depression, really?

  4. 1) This isn't even the worst economy in the last 15 years! Geez we shudder to think what would happen if/when we actually had a bad economy!

  5. Personally, I don't think hockey in southern climate is the problem. They need better marketing.

    I think Tampa, (who's been 2nd, 3rd and 9th in attendance the last few years), Dallas (who have drawn better than 18,000 on average over the last few years), Washington (who have outdrawn Boston seven of the last eleven years) and Anaheim (who played to over 100% capacity this season) would agree with that.

    Of course there are teams like Florida and Atlanta but those teams are run like crap. As Boston, Chicago and Long Island show, if you don't put a quality product on the ice, people won't show up, no matter what market you're in.