Change at the top should have no impact on the court
Or is there?
News yesterday that Tom Anselmi becomes the new president and chief operating officer of the monolithic sports-bar-condo-broadcast empire was hardly earthshaking and, frankly, had been expected for months.
I guess the most interesting part – and since it has to do with hierarchy of a business it is marginally interesting to most of us at best – is that they left the chief executive officer title vacant; perhaps it’s to see how this arrangement works but that’s for taller foreheads than I to figure out.
Down on the ground level, which is what you care about most, the impact on the Raptors will be minimal.
As we’ve said, Anselmi’s been in the job with an interim tag for months and things have proceeded without much ado; business went on, the HOTH did what the HOTH had to do and there was no interference from above. Why should that be any different going into this basketball season?
Look, it doesn’t really matter what Anselmi thinks of Bryan Colangelo and it’s folly to think just because the new guy got the titles full time that some kind of sweeping change is afoot. The season is upon us; it’s not time for any kind of change and none is coming.
As far as I know – and this comes from a few months around the building and a couple of calls and e-mails yesterday – their working relationship is just fine; the guy at the top knows to leave Bryan and Ed Stefanski to do their jobs and there’s no reason to think that changes today.
And it doesn’t matter who is in that chair – Anselmi, me, you, Some Guy Named Joe – because Bryan has a contract with an option year left and he was always going to be judged on any improvement this year before he got a new deal or the final year of his deal picked up.
A new permanent title for Tom won’t matter at all, actually; if this season goes in the toilet there should be a change, if the season’s a success, a new deal might be coming.
Of far more interest should be what the owners – Rogers and Bell – are going to do now that they’re fully ensconced in the boardroom with their 37.5 per cent shares.
What they provide in the way of money, what they demand in the area of results will have a far greater impact than a guy officially getting a job he’s had for months.
Look, the fact is that Maple Leaf Sports has been far too much about making money for retired teachers than it has been about pure sports for years and years. It’s a business that branched out into condos and land development and bars and restaurants when the heart of the business has to be sports. It’s what drives the fans and I think the Teachers were more worried about return on investment – which they had to be since there was a percentage return mandated – than they were about the success of teams, no matter what lip service they paid to the pucks, the basketball and the soccer.
Now, maybe that changes. Fans can only hope so.
But to think there is a sea change around the building because a new/old president and COO is in place is silly; it’s business as usual.
Of course there’d be a night this season when the TOD gets hammered while it’s pouring outside and the roof won’t close and everyone’s cranky and the night’s a disaster.
At least no one got hurt.
And look at it this way: They got the lid closed before the swarm of locusts arrived.
Remember when they just played NFL football on Sunday and how that was pretty cool.
Now they’re opening the season on a Wednesday (I know it's for Obama's speech tomorrow but, still) there’s a game every Thursday, you know the Saturday games are coming late in the season, there are Sunday games at 1, 4 and 8 and Monday Night Football.
It’s too much, isn’t it?
I know they won’t kill the golden goose because there are an unlimited number of people who’ll watch the games whenever they’re on but still, doesn’t it seem too much?
Speaking of football …I’m not a big country music fan but I do like me some Faith Hill every now and then.
You know, sometimes I just don’t get sports fans.
And sometimes I honestly think cities don’t deserve the teams they have.
Was watching the Yankees-Rays last night (the game with the most impact on playoff races and I was glad I could see it) and the crowd was, in a word, despicable.
Here’s a home team still very much in the hunt for a division title if not a wild card spot playing a division rival just ahead of them in the standings on a September night as the pennant races heat up.
Up here, a team going nowhere with the MLB equivalent of a bunch of 10-day contract guys (kind of expected Ben Uzoh to pinch run) drew 13,556.
Tell me, again, how baseball survives in Tampa?
So here’s the deal.
We had our little NFL draft last night, it’s a basic pool where eight guys draft four teams each and it’s total wins in the season that determine the winners.
I drew the No. 1 position in the draft (of course I took Green Bay,, silly) and if you’ve got nothing to do this season, cheer for the Packers, Bills, Bengals and Browns.
And, no, I didn’t “take” Cleveland. Because I had the first pick, I also had the last and that was the team that was left.
Good luck to me.
Oh yeah. Want to get started on the mail?
May as well get your hellos in early.