This is stating the obvious I know, but I wanted to rant about it and the man just makes it oh so easy….
It really isn’t something that can be explained, but it is very much real. You see it and hear about it in all sports all the time. The proverbial “it” factor. Some guys just simply have “it”. Tom Brady, Derek Jeter, Jonathan Toews, Magic Johnson, some guys just have “it” and you can’t explain what “it” is, but you know it when you see it…no pun intended. And while you have those guys, you also have “don’t get it” guys. Gary Bettman is simply one of those guys.
Why is this man still handing out the Cup? 3 lockouts during his tenure have the players hating him, the fans hating him, and yet this man still feels like he should be the one parading out at the end of every season with 18-20,000 fans booing the hell out of him making every Stanley Cup presentation a circus and taking away from what should be one of the greatest moment in sports.
Look at how the NFL started doing it. The man who presents the Lombardi trophy is a legend of the game, and it has turned that moment into the event it should be. Who is going to boo a legend? Would it really be that difficult to have Wayne Gretzky hand it out one year? Or Bobby Orr? Or Steve Yzerman? Just get a different legend every year to hand it out. You could even attempt to ensure that legend has some kind of connection with the team winning it. Maybe it would cost a bit to have 2 different guys flown in to present the Cup if you don’t know what night it will happen or which team will win it like in a game 7 scenario, but is that really THAT difficult?
But why would the league get this right? This league can’t even figure out how they want their officials to officiate their games. If things open up, the dinosaurs cry about how there aren’t enough battles going on. And when scoring goes down, they cry about that yet they don’t want to do anything to open things up. Right now they want to take a whopping 10% off the height of goal pads. That’s a start, but do they not see the size of gloves and blockers? And why the hell do they think every single goaltender wears white equipment?! It without a doubt is because visually white looks bigger. This would be the easiest adjustment to make, simply put in a rule that says every goaltender needs to wear equipment that is dark colored. Yet it isn’t even discussed when they talk about how to decrease the advantages goaltenders have.
You will see another example on Sunday. Just about every team will walk up to the podium in Newark, and they’ll thank the state of New Jersey, and congratulate the Blackhawks on winning the Cup, and the Bruins for being in the final, and say hello to their teams shitty draft party at the local Chilli’s with 13 people in attendance (7 of whom are only there because they just got through playing 18 and it was the most nearby place to grab a beer), and it takes 5 minutes to simply select a player. Tell them to shutup! We get it! Put a timer on them! They don’t need a parade of scouts and upper management and coaches going up to make the selection. 3 people is more than enough to say “the Colorado Avalanche are proud to wrongly select….”
So if things like that they can’t get right, why would something like presenting the Stanley Cup be easy to figure out? Bettman has always just come off as a guy who is extremely intelligent but has zero people skills. I know people like this. I have worked for a man who got by because of his knowledge for the business he ran being treamendous and when it came to dealing with people he simply kissed ass and to those he didn’t have to kiss ass to he would bully. I never seen anything like it and was amazed a guy could be succesful in life being that way. Well while I don’t know Gary Bettman personally, he definitely comes off as a guy like that and things that seem as simple as having a legend present the Cup are difficult.
You see the way Roger Goodell handles himself and while you can disagree with some of his decisions, you don’t question weather or not he has a handle on things. He is a guy who “gets it”. Gary is off in his own little world and just doesn’t seem to have a clue how to do the little things right. He has got better as time has gone on, no longer is Whoppi Goldberg narrating their Stanley Cup video’s, nor is Dave Coulier their big celebrity pimping the league. No no, they thankfully “cut. it. out.” (remember that?! No wonder Uncle Joey couldn’t get girls). But while things are better, they’ll never be anywhere near as right as they should be. And I place the blame for that solely on Gary, much like I do for anything that goes wrong in my life.
Follow me on twitter where I probably will bitch about Gary Bettman a lot more @TJ_Soups