A solid first step was admitting past mistakes
Well, it was an interesting hour, not horribly enlightening but interesting, that a group of us got to spend with Tim Leiweke and a few of his Henchpeople on Friday morning when he visited with our editorial board.
(Some of the on-the-record stuff is right here in this video if you’re so inclined).
The one thing that stood out to me, and I don’t think I’m talking too much out of turn here, is that he says he realizes now that he’s not the story, nor the focus and that, yes, he probably came off a bit brusque and a bit – I think was his word – bullish – in his first few weeks on the job.
And the one thing I was glad to hear was him suggest that he indeed didn’t treat Bryan Colangelo as well as he should have when that departure was happening.
I think Tim’s over-exuberance at making the change atop HOTH World got a bit in the way, his excitement to start something new with Masai made it look like he was gleeful at dumping Bryan and a couple of shots that were taken were actually regrettable.
I’m more than willing to accept that as an explanation and a bit of an apology too; I’ve always thought the treatment of Bryan at the end bordered on disrespect and it was good to hear Tim say, quite sincerely, that he realizes the mistake he made.
Look, it’s been a long time – maybe forever – since there’s been one face of the city’s sports franchises and that Leiweke came in all gangbusters took everyone by surprise because it was so out of the ordinary.
I honestly think there’s a Canadian Sensibility that has to be learned, there is a way we treat people and way we handle ourselves that might run counter to how things are done in the United States and there are nuances to running such a public trust as Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment that has to be learned.
It won’t come easy, I don’t think, but it seems that fact has hit home and will be worked on in the coming months or so.
The simple fact is this:
Tim will be ultimately judged not on how he handles himself in the public or how often his voice is heard and his face is seen. He will be judged on the success or failure of his sports teams, whether he can allow the right people to make the Raptors and Leaves good and whether he can possibly salvage the soccer, although I’m unsure if that’s salvageable. The business end of the business is going to go on unabated, it is a wildly successful financial empire and I don’t think anyone can screw that up.
It was good to hear him admit that he came on too strongly, it was hugely important to me to hear him be conciliatory toward Bryan, who did the very best he could in seven years and deserved better on the way out.
It was good to sit and chat and listen. A good first step. An important one. The big thing is where things go from here.
This works for me. How about you?
You can tell it’s a boy’s few days at Casa Doug when you wake up on a Monday morning and there’s an empty Five Guys bag on one table and the remnants of a McFlurry and a quarter pounder with cheese meal down in the TV room.
Now, right up there with the most ridiculous things I’ve heard of is this:
Saw on the tweeter last night all the breathless discussion about how many tickets were available to Buffalo Bills practice on Sunday night.
Tickets! For a night training camp practice! Tickets!
Now, I understand the allure of the NFL and the place the Bills hold in the minds of Western New Yorkers and even some people here.
But if they can draw enough people to a night practice that they need to offer tickets for it – and they were apparently gone in an instant and some were actually be sold over the interweb – I worry for the Western New York society.
That a training camp practice can draw anything more than, say, 100 people, has to be troubling, no?
That said, I found it very, very cool that when I showed up to be Argo Boy on Sunday there was a picnic of sorts going on next to the field, with the wives and tiny kids of more than a few players sitting there on a glorious day watching Daddy work.
Very cool, very relaxed, very CFL-ish, I think.
And since it’s been easy covering those guys this week because there’s been news – a new quarterback and this one on a new running back – the gig remains wildly entertaining and not too hard.
As long as I never have to write about Cover 2 defences or zone blitzes or gap blocking or anything too technical, a distinct lack of technical knowledge won’t be exposed and it should remain a fun gig.
Dead quiet, which is just how it should be at this time of year and I have a feeling the sounds of silence will emanate from there for quite some time.
Jinx? You’d think so given my history but it seems I could be correct this time.
No, I had no problem whatsoever with Mahan guy pulling out of the Canadian Open with the tournament lead so he could go be with his wife when she was in labour.
I think it was a good move by a smart man and even though he could very well have left a million dollars on the table here, it was the right thing to do, wasn’t it?
It does speak to the incredible amount of money that’s out there for the professional golfers that someone could think about giving up one of those paydays (“A million? I’ve got lots of those; maybe I’ll just get another million next week, I’ll let someone else go after this”) but I think it also speaks to Mahan’s priorities and I’m quite okay with that.
Here’s one you should pay attention to.
We’re off early this morning to see Nash and Triano and kick off the Canadian senior men’s season that culminates with the world championship qualifier that starts late this month in Venezuela.
(And, as an aside, this is the tournament Canada bid strongly but couldn’t afford to pay for at the same extent Venezuela did because, most of all, money talks with FIBA Americas. I wonder if there’s a Sugar Daddy out there now who regrets not going deeper into the pocket; wouldn’t it be nice for someone to be associated with hosting a tournament of this stature now given the talent on this team?)
Anyway, I guess the one question that’s on everyone’s mind is who’s coming to the camp that officially begins mid-week and I presume we’ll get a hint this morning. Not sure we’ll get a final, final list because these things are very fluid, always, right up until the last minute.
And since I know there is some angst out there about Andrew Wiggins’ decision not to play for Canada the world juniors, I need to draw your attention to the middle of this story by my buddy Marc Spears over at Yahoo.com.
Here’s the money quote from Wiggins, just in case you’re too lazy to read the whole story, which would bother Marc and me quite a lot.
“That's where I'm from. I have good times here. The program treats me right. USA already has a name for itself as a basketball country. Canada has not really established that yet. I want to be one of the reasons why we establish that.”
Everybody relax a bit? Thanks.