Some People's Kids: This Guy is King??

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

This Guy is King??

Today at work I was reading what the critically acclaimed Neubiedamus wrote, and I had to respond to one statement. I figured it didn't belong in the comments section. Here is what he wrote.

All I know is that, right now, in the Land of the Major Sports
Commissioners, Gary Bettman is king.

Ok, so I agree with the fact that Bettman's league hasn't had anyone raise dogs to fight, had any referees investigated by the FBI for fixing games, or has his league's sacred records under a "cloud" of steroid use, but in the so called land of the major sports
commissioners he's far from king. Bettman has shown an absolute ineptitude in running the NHL. He began as NHL commissioner in 1993, and in his time the game of hockey has failed to generate the following that it deserves.

Gary Bettman has overseen his sport through three work stoppages, one of which
caused the entire 2004-2005 season to be canceled. Four franchises have had to declare bankruptcy. He has pulled teams from markets like Winnipeg and expanded teams in to markets like Nashville where the sun shines but nobody cares about hockey. After watching these teams in non-traditional markets see little success, he has blocked teams moving to markets like Hamilton, Ontario, where they have the funding for stadiums and fans that would enthusiastically back them. There is even speculation that when the NHL came looking to the NBA for their new commissioner, before Bettman was hired, David
Stern looked around his office and found the dumbest man working for him and said here ya go.

I know that his position in the presently, relative to the other 3 commissioners, may seem better, but I must insist that the job he has done as the NHL commissioner is horrible. He faces the reality that the other can't even imagine; no one is watching. He has them on a fringe cable channel, which people (who must be the laziest people alive) complain that they can't find. He has the NHL in a deal with NBC, who hasn't had to pay a cent, and where they pick the games and then drop them for horse races that won't even occur for a matter of hours.

There are a few bright spots in the league. There is some great young talent coming into this league, in response the NHL needs to do what they can to sell these kids to the fans. The fans they do have are very loyal, and will go out of their way to view the games. Although I hate them as much as the next guy there have been rumors of the World Wide Leader expressing interest in buying Versus out of their contract with the NHL. This would be great; it would mean more games, highlights, and exposure.

In this world of the Major Sports Commissioner, Selig has it pretty bad, all of which is his fault. Also, he hasn't handled this Bonds situation very well. Stern, who will never lose his job, has a pretty big task ahead of him. He has the opportunity to make his league much more transparent to the public, which will slowly bring fans back. This Goodell character has it fairly good. Dog fighting is really bad in the public opinion, which makes Michael Vick bad, so there is not much flexibility with what his decisions should be. Also, the NFL is a Teflon league, nothing seems to hurt it.

If any of these Commissioners needs to go its still Bettman first, Selig 2nd in my book, the other two have great job security. As a true fan of the NHL, I say Fire Bettman.

Ballhype: hype it up!

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