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    Default "MLSE Execs Feel The Pain Too, Fans"

    Great article by the ever-awesome Stephen Brunt - my candidate for best sports writer in Canada.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sport...rticle1742275/

    - Scott
    “Heroism breaks its heart, and idealism its back, on the intransigence of the credulous and the mediocre, manipulated by the cynical and the corrupt.” ~Christopher Hitchens

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    The headline doesn't even match the article.

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    Where's the pain? Who else gets to keep their jobs year after year for underperformance? Show me somebody in the management structure of MLSE or Teachers who has lost their job in the last 12 years (Erol U left on his own to start a fund.)

    Why does Brunt buy the premise that the Teachers overlords, or Peddie, "feel the pain too"?

    Just because they say so?

    Friday it was the ridiculous chart showing Peddie's favorite fairy tale, about how great MLSE are at creating value. It's pretty easy to prove that value creation at MLSE has been borderline pathetic since 1998, not that anyone can be bothered to raise this fairly simple point. Instead every writer just parrots the MLSE line on this - "we may not have winning teams, but we make gobs of money".

    Nobody will say the truth - MLSE don't have good teams or make nearly as much money as they could/should.

    MLSE owns these journalists. They're afraid to challenge anything MLSE execs say.

    (I agree that Brunt is pretty good generally. But even he's afraid to take these guys on, they're too powerful, MLSE could ruin your career as a journalist if they decided to cut you off.)
    Last edited by ensco; 10-04-2010 at 10:17 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by menefreghista View Post
    The headline doesn't even match the article.
    The article isn't quite as sunny as the title implies - I think it was meant a bit sardonically, particularly after reading the end of the article - but I think it's a mostly appropriate title.

    - Scott
    “Heroism breaks its heart, and idealism its back, on the intransigence of the credulous and the mediocre, manipulated by the cynical and the corrupt.” ~Christopher Hitchens

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    To be fair to Brunt, writers usually don't write their own headlines. Someone else at the paper does that.

    Brunt's article didn't really try to defend the MLSE execs the way the headline tries to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ensco View Post
    Where's the pain? Show me somebody in the management structure of MLSE or Teachers who has lost their job in the last 12 years (Erol U left on his own to start a fund.)

    Why does Brunt buy the premise that the Teachers overlords, or Peddie, "feel the pain too"?

    Just because they say so?

    Who else gets to keep their jobs year after year for underperformance?

    MLSE owns these journalists. They're afraid to challenge anything MLSE execs say. Friday it was the ridiculous chart showing Peddie's favorite fairy tale, about how great MLSE are at creating value.
    Saying MLSE "owns" a guy like Brunt, is patently unfair. Brunt has criticized MLSE many, many times. And I say that as an avid reader of his articles, and an avid watcher of Prime Time Sports (where he is often co-host).

    The Globe also has another, mostly positive article looking at MLSE and the future of their stewardship of their sports properties, co-written by Michael Grange - the sports writer who co-penned "Leafs Abomination". Do MLSE own him too?

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sport...1740583/page1/

    - Scott
    “Heroism breaks its heart, and idealism its back, on the intransigence of the credulous and the mediocre, manipulated by the cynical and the corrupt.” ~Christopher Hitchens

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    Quote Originally Posted by menefreghista View Post
    To be fair to Brunt, writers usually don't write their own headlines. Someone else at the paper does that.

    Brunt's article didn't really try to defend the MLSE execs the way the headline tries to.
    The headline isn't trying to defend MLSE - it's sardonic in spirit. The last couple of lines of the article directly reference it.

    - Scott
    “Heroism breaks its heart, and idealism its back, on the intransigence of the credulous and the mediocre, manipulated by the cynical and the corrupt.” ~Christopher Hitchens

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    Stephen Brunt is a very good writer but that's not much of an article. (they can't all be gems, right?)

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    I actually like Brunt a lot.

    But the line about the MLSE execs feeling our pain is a load of shit. Sardonic or not.

    And it actually ruins a perfectly good piece of writing up to that point.

    Ensco is right. When did an MLSE exec ever pay for running a crappy sports organization? The answer is never.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beach_Red View Post
    Stephen Brunt is a very good writer but that's not much of an article. (they can't all be gems, right?)
    Perhaps "editorial" would be a better description of it.

    - Scott
    “Heroism breaks its heart, and idealism its back, on the intransigence of the credulous and the mediocre, manipulated by the cynical and the corrupt.” ~Christopher Hitchens

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    Quote Originally Posted by menefreghista View Post
    But the line about the MLSE execs feeling our pain is a load of shit. Sardonic or not.
    I'm wondering if you know what "sardonic" means.

    - Scott
    “Heroism breaks its heart, and idealism its back, on the intransigence of the credulous and the mediocre, manipulated by the cynical and the corrupt.” ~Christopher Hitchens

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shakes McQueen View Post
    I'm wondering if you know what "sardonic" means.

    - Scott
    I know what it means, but when I read the article it doesn't come across that way to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shakes McQueen View Post
    Saying MLSE "owns" a guy like Brunt, is patently unfair. Brunt has criticized MLSE many, many times. And I say that as an avid reader of his articles, and an avid watcher of Prime Time Sports (where he is often co-host).

    The Globe also has another, mostly positive article looking at MLSE and the future of their stewardship of their sports properties, co-written by Michael Grange - the sports writer who co-penned "Leafs Abomination". Do MLSE own him too?

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sport...1740583/page1/

    - Scott
    OK this is a valid point. Poor choice of words on my part. What I mean is: journalists may write critical opinion pieces, but they won't ask the follow up challenging question that would embarass MLSE execs directly. Even when the exec makes a statement that is ridiculous/absurd/false. They just won't. It's just part of the code of how "the game" is played between the media and ownership. Brunt included.

    Grange: given his background, I am amazed at how tame that series was. It's mindboggling. Everyone's got a family I guess (myself included)
    Last edited by ensco; 10-04-2010 at 10:26 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ensco View Post
    Grange: given his background, I am amazed at how tame this series was. It's mindboggling.
    Ya. The 3 part series was rather tame. And the 3rd part was an absolute joke.

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    Quote Originally Posted by menefreghista View Post
    I know what it means, but when I read the article it doesn't come across that way to me.
    Even in light of the end of the article where he references the title by asking if MLSE "feeling our pain" makes us feel better then says "No? Okay."

    Like I said - I think the title makes fine sense.

    - Scott
    “Heroism breaks its heart, and idealism its back, on the intransigence of the credulous and the mediocre, manipulated by the cynical and the corrupt.” ~Christopher Hitchens

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    Quote Originally Posted by ensco View Post
    Where's the pain? Who else gets to keep their jobs year after year for underperformance? Show me somebody in the management structure of MLSE or Teachers who has lost their job in the last 12 years (Erol U left on his own to start a fund).

    .)
    This really seems to be they key. Players get cut, coaches and GMs get fired but the execs roll on, claiming they feel bad about it.

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    regardless of that one line, the column is correct.

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    Climaxica

    10:28 PM on October 4, 2010

    And all they have to make themselves feel better is millions of dollars and immunity from being punished for their incompetence, so you see Leaf fans, they're no different from you...
    yuuuuuuuup.

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    Quote Originally Posted by menefreghista View Post
    Ya. The 3 part series was rather tame. And the 3rd part was an absolute joke.
    I'm wondering where specifically you think the miscarriage of journalism occurs in the 3rd article. They had a former MLSE exec speak frankly about the inner workings of the company - including speaking honestly about the kinds of criticisms Grange had in his book (the board needing to approve trades, etc.), then they talked to another sports team owner (AEG) about the perception of MLSE within the sports ownership community.

    They even lampoon the company for the dysfunctional joke it was during the tenures of JFJ and Babcock.

    I'd love to see an adversarial interview with Anselmi and Beirne about the state of TFC specifically, but the image this article paints of the company as a whole roughly falls in line with how I see them. They were a giant, inept behemoth that is starting to get a bit better.

    The article also makes an interesting point about the value of winning, when they note that a championship can create all kinds of new value by generating new generations of lifelong Leafs fans. This is an interesting perspective, considering how often we read or hear from other fans that MLSE has nothing to financially gain from winning.

    - Scott
    “Heroism breaks its heart, and idealism its back, on the intransigence of the credulous and the mediocre, manipulated by the cynical and the corrupt.” ~Christopher Hitchens

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beach_Red View Post
    This really seems to be they key. Players get cut, coaches and GMs get fired but the execs roll on, claiming they feel bad about it.
    Should the MLSE execs be fired for the failure of the teams on the field of play? Do owners ever fire themselves?

    The MLSE execs imperative is to manage the fiduciary health of the company. They hire other executives to manage the success of the sports properties, in terms of wins and losses - just like any private owner does. If MLSE ever starts stagnating or failing financially, guys like Peddie will get fired. When their sports properties are losing on the field of play, it's the coaches and GM's that bear the responsibility.

    The real problem came when guys like Peddie were inserting themselves into the chain of command on SPORTS-RELATED decisions, meaning they did bear some direct responsibility for on-field failure. Now they appear to have learned from this (at least in the case of the Raptors and Leafs), and have given proper GM's full control (and hence, full responsibility).

    Should Daryl Katz have fired himself as owner based on the Oilers' dismal season last year? Or should he have done what he did, and held the hockey people in charge of on-ice results responsible?

    - Scott
    “Heroism breaks its heart, and idealism its back, on the intransigence of the credulous and the mediocre, manipulated by the cynical and the corrupt.” ~Christopher Hitchens

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shakes McQueen View Post
    Great article by the ever-awesome Stephen Brunt - my candidate for best writer in Canada.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sport...rticle1742275/

    - Scott
    Fixed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shakes McQueen View Post
    I'm wondering where specifically you think the miscarriage of journalism occurs in the 3rd article.
    I think miscarriage is too strong a word.

    I just thought it was fluffy. That's all.

    The opening bit was almost vomit inducing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shakes McQueen View Post
    Should the MLSE execs be fired for the failure of the teams on the field of play? Do owners ever fire themselves?

    The MLSE execs imperative is to manage the fiduciary health of the company. They hire other executives to manage the success of the sports properties, in terms of wins and losses - just like any private owner does. If MLSE ever starts stagnating or failing financially, guys like Peddie will get fired. When their sports properties are losing on the field of play, it's the coaches and GM's that bear the responsibility.

    - Scott
    I can't speak to the financial stagnation (though Ensco makes a good case for it) but execs aren't owners, they didn't invest in the teams (like Katz did) they just got hired. They CAN get fired, they just don't here.

    I know Billy doesn't like the comparison, but it is like the TV business and for some reason in Canada execs don't get fired like they they do in the US. Sure, the Canadian networks are profitable, but not as profitable as they could be - the same as MLSE.

    Maybe we really are in the early days of a new era and we'll see terrific results soon. I hope so.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whoopee View Post
    Fixed.
    He's certainly up there for me, as one of the best in Canada, yes. I was really happy to see him back from NFLD and co-hosting with McCown again this week. The banter between those two guys is often hilarious.

    - Scott
    “Heroism breaks its heart, and idealism its back, on the intransigence of the credulous and the mediocre, manipulated by the cynical and the corrupt.” ~Christopher Hitchens

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beach_Red View Post
    I can't speak to the financial stagnation (though Ensco makes a good case for it) but execs aren't owners, they didn't invest in the teams (like Katz did) they just got hired. They CAN get fired, they just don't here.

    I know Billy doesn't like the comparison, but it is like the TV business and for some reason in Canada execs don't get fired like they they do in the US. Sure, the Canadian networks are profitable, but not as profitable as they could be - the same as MLSE.

    Maybe we really are in the early days of a new era and we'll see terrific results soon. I hope so.
    For all intents and purposes, the MLSE BoD ARE the owners though, as they are the representatives of ownership. They represent the stakeholders in MLSE the company. They fulfill the role that an owner would fill.

    And like I said, the true problem with MLSE came when guys like Peddie were inserting themselves into sports-related decisions, instead of behaving like hands-off owners. The revelations of GM's needing to approve trades with the BoD was particularly troubling.

    It appears they may have learned from those years, though. And I agree - I hope better days are ahead for Raps and Leafs fans. The article certainly seems to lean that way.

    - Scott
    “Heroism breaks its heart, and idealism its back, on the intransigence of the credulous and the mediocre, manipulated by the cynical and the corrupt.” ~Christopher Hitchens

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shakes McQueen View Post
    Perhaps "editorial" would be a better description of it.

    - Scott
    Yep it comes across more as an editorial for sure. My problem with it is that I did not really learn anything from it but that is probably due to reading about the MLSE so much on this website. It says a lot about how badly the sports teams are doing when your average fan is so aware of the supposed faceless corporation that is behind the team.

    It angers me when I read in the article that the explanation for ticket price increases etc can be pardoned just by MLSE exects 'trying to find their maximum profit level'. This of course is good business acumen but boy we must be total mugs to pay some of the prices we do at TFC, talk about playing into their hands. What disappointments me with Toronto FC fans is that we have brought a lot of this on ourselves. We have seen how the previous MLSE franchises have went and many people thought this would not happen with TFC. We stood back and watching the FO sell fans Marlies tickets with football tickets and instead of fans going crazy we stood back and accepted this insane business practice of cross selling sports. We let them get away with including meaningless friendlies in the ticket package and we let them charge an arm and a leg to see a team like Bolton. We let them charge more than premiership prices in some parts of the stadium to see a product that is pitiful at times. We let them do a 100% price increase in some sections in only a five year period, I think everyone knows where the rest of my points are going...

    The only way that the MLSE will ever change is when either people stop playing into their hands and stop paying over inflated prices for a product that simply does not warrant it. Until people stop doing that, until people stop buying marlies tickets, until people stop paying $130 for a football jersey that retails for half that price in the uk, then we will continue to be taken for a ride by MLSE. If you are contributing to the money making machine then in reality you are part of the problem and you cannot really complain. I am definitely not renewing this year, MLSE can go f*ck themselves, that is my contribution to fixing this situation.

    An article that the writer could write in the future could be about how the devoted yet placid Toronto sports fan helps the MLSE exploit them to their full capabilities despite being continuously shafted good and hard on a regular occurrence, perhaps a title of 'trick me once shame on you, trick me twice shame on me' would be a good headline.
    Last edited by torontocelt; 10-05-2010 at 06:23 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shakes McQueen View Post
    I'm wondering where specifically you think the miscarriage of journalism occurs in the 3rd article. They had a former MLSE exec speak frankly about the inner workings of the company - including speaking honestly about the kinds of criticisms Grange had in his book (the board needing to approve trades, etc.), then they talked to another sports team owner (AEG) about the perception of MLSE within the sports ownership community.

    - Scott
    OK this is a fine example of the problem with business journalism in general (this problem is way bigger than Grange or Brunt or MLSE or sports reporting). The people who write the stories do not understand the subject.

    Erol Uzomeri is a deeply biased source spewing a highly predictable line. By definition. Not that the Globe even remotely understands this.

    When you raise a new fund, you are relying almost entirely on your "track record", which means (i) you need to make everything you were involved in previously look great, and (ii) you have to stay in the good graces of your former colleagues/employers, who will get calls about you from potential new investors as part of their decision to invest.

    Ex employees raising funds always do what Erol did in talking about previous gigs, you shower complements on everybody you worked with - everyone in the business kind of rolls their eyes at this stuff..... "I'm great, you're great, it's the love train".

    Same goes for the Leiweke/AEG bit. What did the Globe expect an MLSE partner to say to their puffball questions?

    In this story, The Globe was getting used by absolutely everyone involved and didn't even know it.
    Last edited by ensco; 10-05-2010 at 06:48 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shakes McQueen View Post
    Should the MLSE execs be fired for the failure of the teams on the field of play? Do owners ever fire themselves?

    The MLSE execs imperative is to manage the fiduciary health of the company. They hire other executives to manage the success of the sports properties, in terms of wins and losses - just like any private owner does. If MLSE ever starts stagnating or failing financially, guys like Peddie will get fired. When their sports properties are losing on the field of play, it's the coaches and GM's that bear the responsibility.

    The real problem came when guys like Peddie were inserting themselves into the chain of command on SPORTS-RELATED decisions, meaning they did bear some direct responsibility for on-field failure. Now they appear to have learned from this (at least in the case of the Raptors and Leafs), and have given proper GM's full control (and hence, full responsibility).

    Should Daryl Katz have fired himself as owner based on the Oilers' dismal season last year? Or should he have done what he did, and held the hockey people in charge of on-ice results responsible?

    - Scott
    Owners firing themselves?

    Well the Teachers own something like 2/3 of the team.

    Peddie is a Board Member, not an owner. Board Members can be removed as can Presidents simply by agreement of the majority of the Board.

    Anselmi is an employee, hired presumably by Peddie since he reports to him. He's fair game without the Board politics.

    I agree with you. Both have inserted themselves into the sports team decision making process and as a result are fair game IMO to be accountable for the decisions made for each team.

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    unfortunately the only way the MLSE execs can cure thier pains is by rubbing all of our money all over thier wounds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pookie View Post
    Owners firing themselves?

    Well the Teachers own something like 2/3 of the team.

    Peddie is a Board Member, not an owner. Board Members can be removed as can Presidents simply by agreement of the majority of the Board.

    Anselmi is an employee, hired presumably by Peddie since he reports to him. He's fair game without the Board politics.

    I agree with you. Both have inserted themselves into the sports team decision making process and as a result are fair game IMO to be accountable for the decisions made for each team.
    I'm aware that Peddie and Anselmi aren't actually owners of the team, and I said as much. What I said, is that they are the representation of "ownership" to their teams. They speak for the stakeholders, and manage the company for the stakeholders. They fulfill the practical role of "owner" - they just aren't actually the owners of the company.

    And I agree with you that Peddie should be held accountable for his past meddling on the sports side of their business. The things that man did to the Leafs, are unforgivable.

    - Scott
    “Heroism breaks its heart, and idealism its back, on the intransigence of the credulous and the mediocre, manipulated by the cynical and the corrupt.” ~Christopher Hitchens

 

 

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