New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson struts on the home sideline of Saints games, doing some sort of magical pixie dance while waving his walking stick/cane in the air. Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones seems to pride himself on running a dysfunctional organisation, happy in their chaotic ways, so long as they remain front and centre in the national spotlight. So happy is he in the spotlight that when the team’s unofficial motto morphed from America’s Team to Latin America’s Team thanks to repeated drug scandals he paid it no heed, and things continued unabated. Former Cleveland Cavaliers owner Ted Stepien made racist remarks that I need not repeat. Let’s just say they weren’t advisable, given that he was the owner of a sports franchise that employs many African American players. Fortunately for the three aforementioned owners, as far as I know, they had never advised their fan base to blow themselves up for daring to critique the team’s success level, so step right up Eugene Melnyk, and congratulations, as you are the new holder of the mantle of biggest d-bag owner of a professional sports franchise.
Let’s pause and let that blast of applause die down.
For those unfamiliar with the story, and really if you are, where have you been, Eugene Melnyk, owner of the sad-sack Ottawa Senators, recently told the fans of his team that if they think the Senators should be blown up (a euphemism for re-built), they should go blow themselves up (a euphemism for, uh, death, I guess.)
(I note, and not with the least bit of irony, that given the locker room problems the Sens have been having the past few years, the owner of the Senators might want to refrain from using the word BLOW anywhere in the vicinity of discussions surrounding his team.)
As a former Sens fan, having lived in Ottawa for a few years, and having had made the trek to the arena in the middle of nowhere (Kanata) more than a few times, I can say honestly, that I regret lining the pockets of Mr. Melnyk. Never before has the ownership of a team, done more to poison the well of good-will between franchise and fan base than has Mr. Melnyk with his insensitive, inappropriate, and in-conceivable comments of last week. Does Mr. Melnyk truly think that there will be no residual damage from his comments? Lord knows that if I was still in the Ottawa area I would think twice about shelling out 50 plus dollars to see this team of slacking, underachieving players and their loser owner. I like to think I am not alone.
Oh, and the best part to this whole sordid, sad, saga? Since Mr. Melnyk made his comments, the Sens have fired their head coach, and are likely to blow up their entire team in the offseason. They should start in the owner’s box.
For Illegal Curve, I am Drew Mindell.
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