CJ & LESPY'S 2014
Worst Performance
Don't Let The Door Hit Ya
Where The Good Lord Split Ya
1. Rockies Bullpen
1. Eric Decker
2. Broncos O-Line in the Superbowl (WINNER)
2. Andre Iguodala (WINNER)
3. Avalanche Defense
3. Knowshon Moreno
4. Nuggets Replacement Players
4. Elvis Dumervil
5.  CU Buffs
Best Newcomer
Toughest To Say Goodbye 1. Nathan MacKinnon (LES WINNER)
1. Champ Bailey
2. Terrance Knighton (CJ WINNER)
2. Todd Helton (LES WINNER)
3. Julius Thomas
3. George Karl (CJ WINNER)
4. Charlie Blackmon
4. Dexter Fowler
Best Executive
Biggest Embarrassment 1. Joe Sakic
1. The Monforts 2. John Elway (WINNER)
2. Broncos Front Office Best Coach
3. Super Bowl 48 (WINNER) 1. John Fox
4. Rockies 2014 Season 2. Patrick Roy (WINNER)
5. Von Miller 3. Jim McElwain
Worst Injuries Best Atmosphere
1. Denver Nuggets (CJ WINNER) 1. Sports Authority Field at Mile High
2. Denver Broncos (LES WINNER) 2. Pepsi Center
3. Colorado Rockies 3. Coors Field (LES WINNER)
Best Athlete 4. Folsom Field (CJ WINNER)
1. Peyton Manning (LES WINNER) 5. Magness Arena
2. Nathan MacKinnon
3. Troy Tulowitzki (CJ WINNER)
4. Ty Lawson
5. Garrett Grayson
6. Paul Richardson



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Inherit the Wins?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 10:44am

Once upon a time, there was a bad hockey organization called the Chicago Blackhawks.  They weren't always bad.  Back in 1961, they actually won the Stanley Cup.  But that felt like ancient history to hockey fans in Chicago.  In fact, the puckheads in that great city had all but given up on the local team.  The state of the franchise was reflected in low attendance, poor TV ratings, the low placement of hockey news in local sportscasts and poor merchandise sales.  The Blackhawks had one of the coolest logos in all of sports, yet team jerseys were rarely seen on Michigan Ave., State Street, Lake Shore Drive or in suburbia.  

Why had the 'Hawks become irrelevant?  One man was to blame.  Bill Wirtz.  Wirtz had owned and run the franchise for more than four decades.  But he was stuck in the 1960's.  He didn't want to spend money on marketing.  He didn't want to put his team on free TV.  (He refused to televise home games, fearful that fans would stay home to watch and not attend games in person.  He completely ignored the fact that most Chicago Cubs games---home and away---were on free TV and Wrigley Field filled up anyway.)  

And then in 2007, something good happened.  Well, good for Blackhawks fans, bad for Wirtz.  He died.  Bill Wirtz passed away in 2007.  Taking over the franchise was his son, Rocky.  Now, Rocky loved his dad, but didn't love the way daddy ran the team.  So, Rocky decided to make some changes.  But Rocky didn't know much about the hockey biz or running a sports franchise.  So, he asked for help.  He went to the co-tenant of the United Center, where his Blackhawks played.  He went to Chicago Bulls owner/Chairman, Jerry Reinsdorf.   And he asked Reinsdorf for advice.  Reinsdorf, as savvy a businessman and team owner as there is in sports, advised Rocky Wirtz to "hire a president and let that person run the organization."  Well, Rocky did just that.  He also hired a new marketing director, somebody with vast sports marketing experience in Chicago.  And Rocky put the Blackhawks games---yes, even the home games---back on free TV.  And what happened?  Fans started returning to the stadium. 

The Blackhawks would actually lead some nightly sportscasts.  Blackhawks jerseys and caps, once again, could be seen all over town.  Revenues increased, the team signed some free agents, the scouting department had some good drafts and voila!---In 2010, the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup for the first time in 40 years.  And they won it again in 2012!  A moribund franchise was revived.  


So, why do I tell this story?  Well, let's compare the Blackhawks saga to that of our local baseball team, the Colorado Rockies.  An inept owner acting as president.  He's turned off the fans.  He refuses to seek out or listen to advice.  He refuses to change what's not working (and that includes the front office).  Oh, and he has a son who works for the organization.  


Now, I'm not suggesting that Dick Monfort should cede control of the team to his son, Walker Monfort.  First of all, Dick seems to be in fine health, so I assume he's not going anywhere anytime soon.  And frankly, I don't know his son at all.  In the team directory, Walker is listed as the Director of Corporate Sales.  And I know he's had a few other jobs in the organization.  So, he's learning things from the ground up and that's a good thing.  But I've never met him.  I just see him around the park, periodically.  I don't know if he even played Little League baseball.  


But I do know this.  Something has to change with the Colorado Rockies.  This owner just doesn't get it.  And he's 60 years old, so I doubt he ever WILL get it.  Our only hope for good baseball, for a sensible accounting at Coors Field might be Walker Monfort.  Again, I don't know the kid.  I don't know if he's the second coming of his father (Heaven forbid!) or if he's a savior, as was Rocky Wirtz in Chicago.  But very soon, I'm willing to take a chance on the latter.  Because things can't get any worse or any more embarrassing with daddy in charge over at 20th & Blake.   



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