(slightly updated below)
We'd like to begin this game day post by apologizing to all of our readers for being on steroids during our historic acts of blogging. Now then, moving on:
It's a sorry thing that Tony Danza has never served in a Senate of any kind. If he had, this game day picture might make more sense. But alas, the Senators aren't on my mind today. Not even that frosty Mormon who's in trouble for being the re-incarnation of Strom Thurmond, or something (the story's too boring to follow).
What IS on my mind? Well, Who's the Boss? of course. It's on my mind normally, but after reading the latest Dave Pagnotta article at the Fourth Period, I think the show's title has special relevance for our Thrashers:
Waddell and Co. have presented a number of different offers, but they fall far from what Kovalchuk is looking for, term wise.
I understand where the Thrashers are coming from, and it's extremely unfortunate. Their ownership group is, for lack of a better term, a mess. The Thrashers have been trying to lure additional investors, but it's been a difficult sell. Add to that the uncertainty of Kovalchuk sticking around beyond this season and you're in a very tough position.
At the same time, Kovalchuk is concerned with the future of the franchise and isn't interested in a short-term fix (or contract).
Kovalchuk, Grossman, Waddell and part owner Bruce Levenson all got together at the end of October to map out a game plan. According to a source, it was the first time the green light was given to start contract talks.
Instead of jumping at the chance to sign Kovalchuk right away, the team was focused on bringing in new investors and it took two months before contract negotiations finally picked up.
Oh for God's sake. The Falconer has already published a good post on the unfortunate likelihood that this is true, or at least seems consistent with what we already know about the Atlanta Spirit. His central point is that as much responsibility as Don Waddell shoulders for the Thrashers, the team's problems won't be resolved until it finds new owners. If this Pagnotta report is true, then this is the Spirit's true coup de grace. Delaying contract talks with their team's biggest star, one of the biggest in the league? There's nothing that excuses that. Like the Falconer says, even if Waddell were fired tomorrow the team would still be mired in all kinds of problems, problems that are the fault of its ramshackle and endlessly confused owners.
I hate (love) to blare my own horn, but your Chronicle has been making this point for going on 2 years now. Waddell, while not entirely bad, is in his mistakes a symptom of a larger problem. The problem's name is Atlanta Spirit, LLC.
At this point the team's owners remind me an awful lot of something Christopher Hitchens once said about John le Carré in a very different context. Their "conduct...is like nothing so much as that of a man who, having relieved himself in his own hat, makes haste to clamp the brimming chapeau on his head." It's sort of an analogue of "you made your bed, now lie in it." They've pissed in their hat; now they have to wear it.
All that said, for tonight: Go Thrashers.
UPDATE: Oh ho ho, look at these fancy new line combinations.