You know how much you hate it when someone tells you how to drive? (Especially when such helpful advice is accompanied by your passenger clutching her seat belt like her very life depended on it…Mom.)
Well, owning a sports team must be like having a million backseat drivers.
“Really, Mr. McConnell, you’re going the wrong way! Your prospects need more mileage before you call them up. Can’t you pull a U-turn and hire a former Jacket to coach? Derek Dorsett shouldn’t be your only spark plug, right? Your draft picks keep stalling! The goalie has a problem with red lights. Why won’t he stop? Please, no more foreign models, okay? And what are you going to do about the Oil…because they won the draft lottery again?”
It’s understandable. What else are fans going to do? They can’t make line changes, or trades, or put a check on Shea Weber (without getting arrested).
There is one group of fans who today sent a letter to John P. McConnell and included a petition with 1,002 signatures.
I’m not endorsing the stated goals of the organization “For A New Start.” While I can certainly, certainly understand the frustrations of a loyal, passionate fan base, I can also put myself in the shoes of an NHL GM, who works hard at his job and might not be comfortable bringing his kids to a game because of the signs they might read.
For my part, I believe calling for a change in philosophy might resonate more with McConnell than asking him to cut ties with two men he’s long trusted (a move he might resent being demanded to make). And 1,002 signatures on a petition that insists on “drastic action” would probably convey no less urgency than what is currently being communicated.
However, let it also be said that I continue to respect those involved in this effort. Their love for the Blue Jackets is overwhelming and unquestionable…and it’s newsworthy as well, which is why I’m linking to the group’s press release, letter to Mr. McConnell, and the petition itself.
I also want to mention that Dark Blue Jacket covered this topic as well, and offer Blue belated congratulations on his new joint arrangement with Fox Sports!
UPDATE: Blue Jackets spokesman Todd Sharrock has forwarded me the team’s response.
“We are aware of the petition and believe we are fortunate to have passionate fans that care very deeply about our team. The organization is committed to improving the team and doing so with a great sense of urgency.”