It's been a rough week for Phoenix Coyotes fans. Scratch that. It's been a rough two years since team filed for bankruptcy in May 2009 and has since dragged its poor, loyal fans on a roller coaster of twists and turns and cupcakes and yes, even flesh-eating fish.
If you don't think this has had an impact on even the most ardent supporters of the Desert Dogs, read this rant from Travis Hair of Coyote's blog, Five for Howling:
Coyotes Release Statement on Ongoing Ownership Mess - I Rage
Sure. We all love Shane Doan, but at some point you stop showing up on line for your daily kick in the nuts. And then you stop going to games because while the hockey is fun all anyone wants to talk about is the ownership bullshit.
Then you just get pissed off at hockey in general to the point where it's no longer a fun diversion but just a ritual beating that you stop taking at some point. By the time this thing gets settled the fanbase that was already small is going to be minuscule. And I don't blame fans one bit for bolting. Sport is supposed to be fun, a hobby, not some massive headache.
Travis kind of makes a good point, huh.
Poor attendance for a playoff team (despite filling the building to 71 percent capacity) was used by the Winnipeg vultures when they were circling. We've since seen an even more storied franchise suffer huge drops in attendance thanks to their own ownership disaster which just this week culminated in the Dodgers filing for bankruptcy.
Attendance at Chavez Ravine is down 375,000 already this season as Los Angeles fans express their displeasure with the Dodgers' Frank McCourt situation by staying home...or going to the beach, movies, mall, woods, fishing, car shopping, getting Botox injections, boob job hunting, strip clubbing, star watching, or going to L.A. Sparks games (just kidding with that last one).
The lesson here -- as if it really needed to be spelled out -- is that fans are not going to support a team who's ownership situation is worse than an episode of Real Housewives of Orange County.
Travis puts the blame squarely on the city of Glendale for pushing Matthew Hulsizer away from the table. He's a bit subtle in his critique but you should be able to get the drift from this quote which may be NSFW:
Really where my anger is directed is at those really fucking stupid people over at the City of Glendale. Sure. I applaud them for doing "everything" to keep the team. Like paying 25 million and putting themselves on the hook for 25 more and then driving two potential (If not more) ownership groups out because they couldn't come to terms on the final deal. We all know where this is going. Or at least seems to.
As the city negotiates with "other buyers" aka Jerry Reinsdorf again and his pal Ed Beasley as City Manager. That's great. Super. We'll have ownership, maybe, kinda, someday. I guess my question is, if it's him WHY THE FUCK DIDN'T THIS HAPPEN TWO GODDAMN YEARS AGO?!
Do you agree?
Doesn't the Goldwater Institute own this problem for inserting their cupcake-serving noses into something that didn't concern them? Or did the effectiveness of their threats of a law suit that scared off potential bond investors just prove them right all along? Chances are fairly good, that's what they believe.
Hockey fans around
North America Canada hate NHL commissioner Gary Bettman but there's not much else the league could have done to keep the team in Phoenix. They beat back attempts from Mr. Blackberry to move the Yotes to something called "Hamilton" and have stood behind the idea that hockey can work in Arizona ever since.
There's nothing more the team itself could have possibly done to help themselves. In the two years of this mess, general manager Don Maloney and head coach Dave Tippett have managed to put the league-owned team in the playoffs which is far more than the previous regime can claim.
Regardless of blame, one thing is certain, Coyotes fans and more importantly casual sports fans, won't put up with this mess much longer. They had better find a solution, and fast. If Glendale overplayed their hand and chased Hulsizer from the table, the empty building will be on them.