SBD/Issue 49/Franchises

Franchise Notes

Savage Apologizes To Fan
Over E-Mail With Expletive
In Akron, Patrick McManamon notes Browns Senior VP & GM Phil Savage this week "responded to some harsh and nasty words from a fan" during the Browns' win over the Bills on "MNF" by "advising the fan to root for Buffalo." Savage ended the e-mail with an "implied expletive, though he used symbols and did not spell the word." Savage said in a statement via Browns VP/Communications Bill Bonsiewicz, "It happened. We have both apologized to each other since." McManamon writes this "kind of thing ranks way up there on the embarrassing scale and simply should not happen." Such words "should not be directed to a fan from a front office of a professional football team, much less the guy running the front office" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 11/21). ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser applauded Savage's reaction, but said, "He shouldn't have done it, and I'm sure today he realizes he should not have done it." ESPN's Michael Wilbon: "Any public response now is dicey" ("PTI," ESPN, 11/20).

MOVING ON UP: While the Hurricanes "don't release season-ticket figures," the team said that it has "surpassed last year's total" this season. Hurricanes President & GM Jim Rutherford said that 10 of the RBC Center's 66 suites are "not leased for this season, although single-game suite rentals can offset that loss of revenue." Rutherford added that 22 suites were "up for renewal this year but that the net loss was four suites." Rutherford: "All in all, that's pretty good considering some companies merged or do not have the same (financial) circumstances." Hurricanes Dir of Corporate Sales Mike Hurley said the team is a "little ahead of where we were last year." Hurley added that "convincing corporate leaders to spend has become more difficult" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 11/21).

CHICAGO HOPE: Blackhawks President John McDonough appeared on “Chicago Tribune Live” Thursday and discussed trying to turn the franchise around. McDonough: “Our fan base was indifferent, which is really worse than furious or angry. So we’ve gotten them to the point now where they’re curious and interested. They’re in the ‘show me’ phase, but what we have found out is that this hockey community is much, much greater than we had ever envisioned.” WSCR AM 670’s George Ofman: “I’m not that surprised that they’re selling out all the games." Fans were "waiting for some reason to come back. ... They were so alienated by the previous administration from Bill Wirtz to Bob Pulford and the product on the ice. All of these (changes) happened in the span of a few months” (CSN, 11/20).

TURKEY TROT: In Detroit, Steve Schrader notes there is a threat that the Thanksgiving Day Titans-Lions game on CBS "will be blacked out" in Detroit, which would be "simply unacceptable." It "surely won't happen, though the game isn't a sellout yet," but even the "thought of that tradition being threatened -- a tradition other teams have coveted while the Lions and the NFL have protected it -- show just how bad things have gotten" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 11/21).

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