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Dose of Reality #39

April 6, 2007

My thoughts on The Dispatch article by Aaron Portzline on April 5, 2006.

“This has been Doug’s franchise.”

No shit, Mr. McConnell. It certainly hasn’t been your franchise, has it? I mean, if Doug worked at Worthington Industries, he would have been terminated two or three years ago, right?

“In six seasons, the Blue Jackets haven’t come close to making the Stanley Cup playoffs. In fact, they have the worst record in the NHL over the past six seasons — 171-257-33-29 — and they’ve never come within 19 points of making the playoffs.”

You’re kidding! Has it really been six season of futility? That’s right, we started the same year as the Minnesota Wild and they have only made the playoffs a few times, so we must be right on plan. Six seasons is just a warm-up.

“We’re a pretty good team, even though our won-loss record doesn’t show it,” said John H. McConnell.
Yeah, but Mr. McConnell, fans would rather have a team with a good won-loss record than a “pretty good” team. Did you know they take the teams with good records and put them in the playoffs? The playoffs are exciting and the games really matter. As an owner, you would have the added benefit of charging your fans more for those playoff games, receiving extra broadcast revenue, selling more licensed merchandise, and really increasing your fan base while making a lot of money at the same time. That sounds a lot better than having just a “pretty good team” to me, but what do I know?

“Last spring, he signed a three-year extension believed to be worth a base salary of $800,000. With incentives, his annual pay hits $1 million.” One million dollars can go far in town like Columbus, but it obviously won’t buy a playoff berth nor does it enable you to run from your record. That kind of money really grabs attention in PEI, too. You could invest heavily in potato futures and retire.

“The contract includes a rollover contingency known as an “evergreen” clause. If ownership doesn’t act by Feb. 1, 2008, MacLean’s contract automatically extends two more years.” I talked to my manager about this “evergreen” clause and he explained the process of unemployment to me. He also told me about the seasonal demand for potato field laborers in PEI.

“If he’s fired before that “trigger” date, the Blue Jackets likely would owe MacLean a hefty buyout sum, a source has said.” Maybe the team could pay MacLean in PSL Futures.

“Yesterday, reached after practice, MacLean didn’t seem worried about his future with the Blue Jackets.”

“Is anybody ever secure?” he said. “I feel fine.”

I’d feel fine too if I had a job with an “evergreen” clause and a “trigger” date in it. I mean, those are the kinds of business practices that Wall Street looks for. Doug, you get paid if they lose and you get paid if they win. You get paid to work here and you get paid to leave here. I’m going to call Mr. McConnell up on Monday and ask him about putting one of those “evergreen” clauses in my PSL agreement so that I too, can benefit. After all, I’m a pretty good fan. And if I become unhappy with my PSL agreement, I want to “trigger” a buyout so that I can take that money and invest in something else, like a passbook savings account.

-Truth Serum

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One comment

  1. Wow…that sounds like one of my columns….when I have time to write them.

    I appreciate the vitriol Truth. I wouldnt be able to, in good conscience, renew my season tickets with this type of unacceptable performance.

    You are right…the man has been freakin’ ruthless to gain his fortune and, yet, is a teddy bear to deal with in this situation…

    He should have been fired after year 2….but that’s just me…



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