Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Pure Imagination

Damien Cox has filed yet another blog post that I just can't ignore. Just like those Devilishly tasty and tempting peanut M&M's - I just can't say no to the horribly written tripe that man generates.

Speaking of chocolates, is it just me or does Cox's "blog" The Spin conjure up a little Roald Dahl:

We'll begin, with a spin
Traveling in the world of my creation
What we'll see will defy explanation....

Ok, maybe it's just me...With that out of the way, here's the latest bit of pure imagination from Cox:

It seems virtually certain that the NHL season and playoffs will end, and the Maple Leafs will still be without a new Great Helmsmen.

Isn't this pretty much in keeping with the time lines identified throughout this process by MLSE? As such, is it really news? Not to be slowed by the lack of a lead, hook, or anything approaching interesting, Cox ploughs on:

Ask them and they'd tell you that doesn't matter, that they already have fabulous people in place to make all the necessary decisions. Of course, if that were the case, why would they be looking to hire people?

Wouldn't it be freakin' great if Cox actually picked up the phone and asked Richard Peddie or Cliff Fletcher his questions and then printed their actual responses instead of just imagining what their reply would be?

Can you imagine how refreshing it might be for a journalist to use their much vaunted access and professional training to bring the general fan some news?

Me either. And to quote Han Solo, "I can imagine quite a bit"

Cox says of my beloved leafs and their pursuit of a new President/GM:

Meanwhile, the rest of the hockey world snickers.


Oh Wait. Is this the same world that extended Jacques Martin’s contract, employed Doug MacLean and Mike Milbury, sent a huge offer sheet to Dustin Penner, paid Bobby Holik $9 million a year, refuses to move to no-touch icing, has a disciplinary program that’s about as consistent and logical as my two-year old son, and is embroiled in over-lapping law suits over Todd Bertuzzi?

That world?

Snicker away boys…

Wait, those of you who want to snicker should know that Cox has more, lots more:

Increasingly, the Leafs seem to be settling on a curious plan that will see Cliff Fletcher remain in charge until Brian Burke shakes free of Anaheim, whether that's next month or next year. In the meantime, the Leafs are attempting to lure good hockey men with obscure promises of jobs with no authority under Fletcher.

That's what they were offering former Vancouver GM Dave Nonis, and likely what they plan to throw at ex-Dallas GM Doug Armstrong when he comes to Toronto to meet with the Leaf brass this week.

“Obscure promises” “no authority” – according to whom? Where’s the source? Can we get a quote over here? Maybe even a third party? Anything to get me out of this world of pure imagination...

At least they were successful in getting permission from the Stars to talk to Armstrong, but that would be because owner Tom Hicks would love to get out from under the three years he still owes his former GM.

When the Leaf succeed - it's not of their doing; when they fail - it's all their fault.

See how this works?

If the Leafs ever win the cup (I'm thinking 2067 is our year) it will be because of the other teams' failures.

Unfortunately, Cox has more:

With those three years, of course, Armstrong can afford to be picky and why in the world would he accept anything less than full GM powers from a lousy team like the Leafs, particularly since his resume for the past decade is much more impressive than Fletcher's? Moreover, if the rumours in the hockey world yesterday were correct, the St. Louis Blues may beat the Leafs to the punch and offer Armstrong a job as GM-in-waiting as early as today.

Think about it. Would you rather work with John Davidson, Al MacInnis, Larry Pleau and Andy Murray with a closet-full of solid prospects in St. Louis, or labour under Richard Peddie in Toronto?

I’ve got an idea! To answer that question, let’s go back one whole paragraph and play a game of mad libs.

Cox wrote:
“With those three years, of course, Armstrong can afford to be picky and why in the world would he accept anything less than full GM powers from a lousy team like the _______, particularly since his resume for the past decade is much more impressive than _________’s?”

In my version, I replace the word "Leafs" with "Blues" and "Fletcher" with "Larry Pleau” and the answer is:

Why in the world would Armstrong accept anything less than full GM powers from a lousy team like the Blue's particularly since his resume for the past decade is much more impressive than Larry Pleau’s?

I'm guessing that answers Cox's question...

You'd think Cox, an editor, an intern or maybe a person wandering around the newsroom looking for a pen might have picked up on the fact that anyone that bothered to read Cox's copy would notice the gaping hole in Cox's logic - afterall, it is only one paragraph up.

Come to think of it, one would hope the senior hockey writer at a paper like the Toronto Star would:
a) re-read his work to remove poor reasoning/ circular logic
b) realize that GM openings are usually with teams that are “lousy” and;
c) “lousy” teams usually seek GMs that have had lots of success – usually more success than the men they are reporting to and replacing.

Despite this, sadly Cox continues his entry:

What Peddie would love, of course, is for Fletcher to remain in charge so he can keep his job title as president, having lost basketball responsibilities when Bryan Colangelo took over the Raptors. Its all about territorial protection in the corporate world.

The way I see it, Cox is either moonlighting on the MLSE cleaning staff to get insider information - just like Charlie Sheen in Wall Street. Or, Cox has found a way to transport himself right inside Richard Peddie’s cranium – just like “Being John Malkovich” I can think of no other explanation as to how Cox knows what Peddie would love.

If you ask me, I think Peddie would really just love an ice cream sandwich (but that type of insight is likely why the Star doesn't pay me to make stuff up).

Cox continues:

So unless Burke suddenly becomes available, the likeliest scenario appears to have Peddie remain as prez, Fletcher as interim GM and either one or more people without authority operating in a reconstituted hockey office.

Man, after reading this I really have no new insights and way more questions:

  • Why would Fletcher's hires not have any authority?
  • Why is it a “collection of great hockey minds” when other organizations load up their hockey staff, but it’s all “obscure promises” and “no authority” when it happens in Toronto?
  • Did someone at MLSE run over Cox’s dog? Twice?
  • How is it that Cox draws a pay cheque for this?
  • How long until the Star changes his beat? (Please)
  • What are the odds of the Star Sports department bringing in a fresh voice - one that doesn’t see failure, conspiracy and Machiavellian maneuvering in every move at the ACC?
  • How long before the new President and GM of the Toronto Maple Leafs is torched by the media - will it even take minutes or will we have to measure it in nano-seconds?
  • If this is the quality Cox brings to his blog, what's the value proposition?
Cox's final, ahem, "thought" on how things are allegedly developing down at MLSE:

Interesting but, as usual, utterly moronic.

And with that, I think Cox may have nailed the best six word summary of Damien Cox that ever was or will be.

This is epitaph material right here.


  1. A tip o the hat to you, good sir, for reading the blogpost. I heard about it but it's easier on my blood pressure if I avoid reading his crap. I have a low "wtf?" tolerance level.

    I think the summary of Cox could be chopped by the first two words to make it even more concise and truthful.


  2. It's truly impressive that Cox can still anger Leaf fans. We're generally among the sports world's most angry, bitter, disillusioned and hopeless fanbases, and yet Cox still manages to come across as overly critical. That takes talent.

  3. excellent post, as always. thanks for taking Cox to school, it's amazing how God awful that blog post was of his.

    and i've got to agree with down goes brown, it is pretty damn impressive that cox can still get us all so riled up. you'd think we'd be used to his drivel by now

  4. I can't even read cox's ridiculous tripe anymore. Last time I read an article it gave me a headache that lasted for 3 days. Luckily there are people like you, good sir, to bring me his BS is tolerable, exposed form.

  5. Anonymous5:12 pm

    Another gem.

    DGB's comment brings up a funny complaint, one that pops up at the Cox Bloc on occassion, that opposition fans have about how we can realize everything that's wrong with the team and yet still hammer the local press.

    You only have to read Damien Cox for about a week to understand that the problem isn't that he rips the Leafs (God knows we do a tonne of that ourselves) but that he does so in a dishonest and disingenuous way.

    I wrote a long comment replying to him and his harpies (doubt it gets published) but I think Damien is taking the old "blogs are just made up crap" meme too far with The Spin.

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  7. Anonymous3:09 pm

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    Sod off!

  8. Anonymous5:12 pm

    I think Cox is the ticket scalping bastard. Think about it. He writes his normal drivel, knowing that Mike will post a logical, informative response, which will bring in readers upset by Cox's nonsense by the droves. The worse the content of his blog, the more traffic to this site. In essence he's creating his own market for tickets. It's a brilliant idea!

    Wait...brilliant idea? Ok, I guess it's not Cox behind it after all.

  9. Anonymous5:25 pm

    Not my favourite reporter either, but the painful fact remains that the Leafs have been, and remain a disaster with no solution in sight. How did they get where they are, and how do they rise above it? At least Cox reminds us of an unpleasant and ongoing reality

  10. As usual thanks to all for these comments...and remember, those legitimate businessmen (aka ticket-scalping bastards) help pay the rent around here. Although if anyone doesn't like the ads, do let me know. It's new(ish) on the blog and I'd be curious if anyone notices it, clicks on it, hates it, loves it...

    As for the other comment by Anonymous (can I call you Anonymous 5:25?) I'm in complete agreement that the Leafs are in near total disarray. This is the worst I've seen this club in at least 15+ years.

    That said, given Cox's access, training and credentials is it too much to ask for some legitimate understanding and analysis of the situation? Even a hint of cogent writing and thought would be great.

    It's so ironic that at THE time when Leaf fans could really benefit from legitimate journalism: insight, access, quotes, sources we get a press corps devoted to churning out rumours, innuendo, faulty logic and mud slinging.

    I've been thinking of posting about this gap...the fact that Cox can write such great stuff one day and such steaming piles of crap the next might just be the reason he gets singled out for such scorn...