It was a moment of irony Angus T. Jones might appreciate. The Glendale, Arizona, city council trying to decide if their home team, the Phoenix Coyotes, should continue in a league that has locked its doors for the foreseeable future.
The NHL lockout entered its Two and a Half Men phase Tuesday with the outgoing city council (over a considerable barrel supplied by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman) voting to approve a management agreement with potential new owner Greg Jamison that would pay him $ 320 million over 20 years to manage Jobing.com Arena.
Knowing the entire time that the new city council coming in mid-January would kill the same deal. Knowing that the local IKEA has better attendance than the Coyotes. Knowing that Jamison must still put his financing together by Jan. 31 of 2013. Knowing that the outgoing mayor wants nothing to do with this latest schmozzle.
And knowing that the NHL might not return to playing this year or next. No wonder a frustrated local last night proclaimed, "I'll keelhaul you freeloadin' varmints!" when they gave him the microphone. And another quacked like a duck.
"@ThomsonCam Amazing stuff. Glendale could've bought the team for less than they're funnelling to Jamison."
Where 18 months ago, a veritable Canadian village of journalists descended on Glendale's last comic opera to save the Coyotes, this time the proceedings were largely followed via online feeds and Twitter updates. (Thank you @smunshi )
Frankly, Glendale, we don't give a damn anymore. It's all just one Charlie Sheen monologue right now. We're onto mediation.
For the record, the city of Glendale (pop. 250,000) has no money and a mall that's losing money, too. This makes them kissing cousins with the NHL which is currently hemorrhaging about $100-million a week in its third stab at controlling labour costs.
Its a fine life in the new country. Just ask Angus T. Jones.
"@dowbboy While Marvin Miller reformed MLB, Alan Eagleson gave NHL 25-year mulligan that they're paying for now. Wish Marvin could've schooled Jeremy Jacobs"
Marvin Miller, who died Monday at age 95, was the most unsparing, non-sentimental hard ass you'd ever encounter. It's what made him great in his job as the executive director of the MLBPA from 1966 to 1984. He scorched MLB and he scorned anyone who wanted to go soft on commissioners like Bowie Kuhn "for the good of the game".
By exposing the Lords of Baseball as shills and charlatans, Miller forever changed how sports are covered. He made players rich and he made his adversaries in management richer, too. For all that, he got zero love from MLB, which prefers Eaglesons to real advocates for the players.
The guys at HNIC Radio got the final interview with the 95-year-old Miller two weeks ago, and he's still a pistol:
"@TimSullivan714 A Hall of Fame that includes Bowie Kuhn but not Marvin Miller is like one with Jerry Quarry and without Muhammad Ali."
Miller is famously not in the MLB Hall of Fame despite being a huge figure in the growth of the game. This puts him in the same category with Pete Rose and Joe Jackson, who bet on baseball, and the drug cheats of the '90s. Enough said about baseball's perspective.
Hockey is no better. Nine of the 10 defencemen from 1957-80 with at least three All Star spots and three Stanley Cups are in Hockey Hall of Fame. The tenth? Carl Brewer, the man who led the players in recovering pension monies and exposing Eagleson. You have to make nice to make it in the Hockey Hall of Popularity.
GAME OF ATTRITION
Sometimes the media becomes fixated on certain statistics because they just sound right. Often they're shown to be false. For this NHL lockout, one stat being handed around is that 215 players lost their NHL jobs after the 2004-'05 lockout. This is meant to buttress the "players need to get back to work pronto" notion.
Props to Bruce McCurdy in the Edmonton Journal for crunching the numbers to show that, yes, 215 players disappeared in 2005. But that represents two seasons worth of players leaving the game, not one. In fact, the attrition rate over the last lockout period was historically consistent with the past levels of attrition.
STEADY AS SHE GOES
A follow up on the TV ratings for Sunday's Grey Cup, which produced a record for English TV with an average audience of 5.5 million. We wondered how the audience tracked after the Justin Bieber halftime appearance. The average audience for the first half on TSN was 5,543,600. The halftime show drew 5,505,300. And the second half was 5,420,600.
Relatively even. But you have to wonder what might have been had the second half been remotely close. With a Toronto team and a thrilling finish like 2009 this might have hit 6 million in primetime.
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