nhl_rd_rwirtz04_576

Dear Rockwell

You mind if I call you Rockwell? Would you prefer Rocky? Either or. Sir, I come to you today not in a bid to end this madness, because we really don’t know how you feel about it. You’re not allowed to say. Even if you could, it’s hard to gauge how much sway you have over your fellow owners. You’ve only been one for five years now, and there are some entrenched members in your little club there. Secondly, maybe some owners are going to be envious or jealous or suspicious of you as you have the biggest building in the league and you sell it out every game. Perhaps they feel your interests don’t match theirs, and that could very well be correct.

But sir, you have a chance to save yourself and your fanbase here. Not by ending this lockout. Your Napoleon-complex ridden leader will assure that one voice cannot crack his posse’s militant desire to break the union, the league, the sport, and every fans’ heart irrevocably.

But you can survive more easily than almost any other owner in the sport, at least one below the 49th.

You see sir, there’s going to be a backlash for the entire league when this is over. No one knows how much. Your cronies seem to think it’ll barely be a ripple. The players seem to think it’ll be little more, but they’re happy to prey on our emotions to win a PR war that doesn’t matter. To me, on the outside, I think it’s going to be bigger than any of you think. I can’t say for how long. Maybe it’ll be a one season thing. Maybe longer. I’m not sure you should take the risk of thinking it won’t be anything noticeable for a noticeable period of time.

But you have the rare owner-fan relationship. Yeah, we’ve taken some shots at you before, but everyone in this town still loves you. Or at least appreciates you a lot. There aren’t a lot of owners who get that. Sure, a lot of that is glow from not being your dad, but whatever gets you there. You’re still the one who brought this team out of the dark ages and brought our reward for surviving them intact. That is going to continue to draw you a lot of water in this town.

But  you could lose it quickly. I know what the penalties are for speaking out in the press. We saw what happened with Jim Devellano. But you have to ask yourself what’s going to be more expensive. Sure, good ol’ Betts could slap you with a $1 million fine or even try to take your team away from you (though I’d love to see him try this one).

But here’s the thing, Rock. If Hawks fans are just going to paint you as another in the group of faceless owners, they’re going to stay away. We’ve done it before, and you remember that. You had to take over that. If we all think you’re part of the machine, you’ll suffer. Remember, the Hawks haven’t been a huge part of a lot of those in the 22,000 per night for all that long. It wouldn’t be that hard for them to find something else. That might cost you a fuck of a lot more than 250k.

But stand up, speak out, show us that you want to get things moving. Even if it doesn’t work, at least put on the show that you care about something more than what Jeremy Jacobs does. Dare the league to do the worst. Whatever the outcome, if you can separate yourself from the evil cogs trying to break everything, I think you’ll find Hawks fans more forgiving to you than others. They want to believe in you, and maybe they can justify forking over the money if they think it’s going to someone who at least had a semblance of their feelings in mind.

Maybe that’s not you. Maybe this is what you want. But it’s hard to believe that you and McDonough are just watching sellouts drift into the either without getting somewhat agitated. You worked hard to get those. Some of your fellow owners aren’t getting those sellouts because they’re idiots. Why should they rob you of them because they can’t run their business like you run yours?

Maybe your claims that the Hawks are still in the red lead you to want all this. But you’re in the red, at least partly, because you had to re-establish this team. There were some costs and salaries handed out that were long-term investments in your team and your fans. You knew that eventually it would see you in the black. Are you sure you’ll get there now if you go along with everything and suffer consequences you can’t easily predict?

But in the end, it’s your bottom line. The fine would be an initial hit. But is it going to be larger than the long time hit you might take if you continue to tow the line? Can you answer that for sure?

Signed,

The Committed Indian

p.s. We’ll probably still make fun of you. We do have a rep to uphold. But we won’t mean any of it.

  • Joe DeTolve

    EPIC

  • OMFS88

    I personally don’t care who says what anymore. We can complain about the owners greed or the outdated notion that unions do less harm than good all day long. All I really want to do is watch top-flight hockey and drink beer while doing so. I have lost confidence that anyone in this business is the kind of person that I would get along with personally and yet I still intend to spend money on the product. Two months from now I will probably start to re-consider my season tickets and if the whole season is lost I’ll probably just take up knitting and spend my money on yarn. Too bad I (as a more-than-casual fan) don’t matter in these negotiations because I’d have pumped some serious money into the United Center concessions if I was at the Oilers game last night as I should have been

  • Z-man19

    I think we would all love to hear something from the NHL side from anyone besides Bettman but if I’m Rocky I’m keeping my trap shut. Let Gary be the bad guy. Anything Rocky says will piss off either the other owners or his own players and maybe players they try to sign in the future.

  • A.J. Parker

    I’m entering the fifth stage of grief: “letting go & moving on”