Bill Simmons "The Sports Guy" with his take on the NHL lockout
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11-20-2012, 02:27 AM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: San Jose
Originally Posted by
I am pretty pro owner and I don't know that I agree here. There are certain poison in the well elements at play. For instance and Simmons eludes to it a little with Goodell's current relationship with the Union. That will be a big hurdle if and when the NFL sits down again. If the Union distrust and doesn't like the guy they sit in front of it hurts negotiations. This is something I think should spell the end of Bettman's tenure.
I actually think that Bettman has done the job he has been asked to by his bosses. But at this point he is a problem to accomplishing things. I don't think it is because he is a bad guy or hates hockey like a lot of people think.
I just think that he is in a position where it is next to impossible to remain popular. As this became more of a business and very public it hurts this notion that commissoners should be these lifetime servants. They shouldn't be and when their relationship becomes a problem in areas like this you pat them on the back and thank them for doing their turn. It is like how we limit terms on Presidents.
I think that is how we need to look at these guys. If the first bargaining time goes great fine. But I don't think you should be around for more than two of these. I hope that is how it happens in the future.
There is a counterpoint to the issue and I really like the way you have characterized the history where I tend to agree with you. When you replace figureheads, they tend to lose power. I think the poisoning on both sides has gone on a long time. Removing Bettman may very well take some of the chains off some big uglies on the ownership side and they will be less restrained. Jacobs wasn't selected as head of the BOG for his longevity; it was because of popularity and a belief that he reflected the consensus of the group. Imagine the whole group with that background selecting another commissioner. Do you really the think the group is prepared to select a commissioner that is more warm and fuzzy? I am more in the camp that the next guy at this point is likely to be one big cold prickly.
It is especially popular in hockey to see truculence as a positive characteristic and to an extent that goes on with both sides. It is not conducive to a cooperative relationship; it is counterproductive. This is especially true in negotiating because compromise with a minimization of ill feeling is usually the best road to a productive future for both sides.
Finally, for the other side, you have Fehr. He is characterized by the truculent attitude as well. This leads to falling into the now social norm of sales pitch over reality. The agents of the players consistently use pitch over reality to secure clients and in negotiations with clubs. The players need to learn how to differentiate pitch over reality as is abundantly evident from their tweets.
I liked the call for a fleshed out proposal from the PA by the league. It is moving off the spin towards the reality.
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