SBD/October 8, 2013/FranchisesPrint All
The Flyers yesterday fired coach Peter Laviolette after an 0-3 start to the season, and team Chair Ed Snider admitted "anybody looking at this from the outside looking in would say three games is totally unfair," according to Sam Carchidi of the PHILADELPHIA INQUIER. But Snider added, "Quite honestly, training camp was a disaster. I've been at 47 training camps and I've never seen one that I thought was worse." Carchidi writes compounding matters was that the Flyers "missed the playoffs last year for just the second time in the last 18 seasons" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 10/8). In Philadelphia, Mike Sielski writes under the header, "Flyers' Culture Needs Refreshening." But Snider yesterday was "incredulous that someone would dare suggest his precious hockey franchise might need a fresh perspective on how to win a championship." He said, "We've been in the Stanley Cup Finals a lot of times, and we've been in the playoffs a lot of times, and the culture is to win. Thirty teams are trying to win the Cup, and we're doing our damnedest to do it." Sielski writes while every team "tries to win every year," not every team "regards a season without a playoff appearance -- or even a three-game losing streak -- as a reason for upheaval." The Flyers' "lack of patience, their unwillingness to consider a longer view or embrace an innovation before it's already become old hat, their reliance on the tired cliché of 'Flyers hockey' - together, those factors have created a vicious cycle that has kept them from achieving their ultimate goal." The Flyers "pat themselves on the back, as Snider did Monday, for doing whatever it takes, for acting immediately in the name of chasing championships." Flyers President & COO Peter Luukko said, "Many teams are criticized for not having an identity. Right, wrong, or indifferent, we have an identity." Sielski: "Sometimes, though, an identity can be a franchise's worst enemy" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 10/8).
FRONT OFFICE MOVE NEXT? In Toronto, Damien Cox wrote, "It's not like the Flyers are doing everything wrong. Just enough wrong to tantalize their fans, and then disappoint them." It is "more like a team that does a lot of right things, but when it really matters, can't identify the missing piece, or pieces" (THESTAR.com, 10/7). QMI AGENCY's Chris Stevenson wrote the "clock is ticking" on Flyers GM Paul Holmgren, and Assistant GM & Dir of Hockey Operations Ron Hextall "is now a heartbeat away from the GM chair." Snider likes to "keep things in house," and Hextall, who had a "huge hand in helping build the Kings into a Stanley Cup winner, fits the profile perfectly." He is an "ex-Flyer -- and was a damn good one, too -- who embodied Philly’s identity when he played" (QMI AGENCY, 10/7).
Jacksonville city officials are gearing up "for a major outreach effort" in advance of the Oct. 27 49ers-Jaguars game in London, according to Drew Dixon of the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION. Economic Development Group JAXUSA Partnership President Jerry Mallot, whose agency is the regional economic development division of the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, said that a delegation from Jacksonville will travel to London equipped “with a serious onslaught of pitches featuring the economic attributes of the city.” Mallot: "We’re going to take full advantage of this mission to London." Dixon wrote the group would ideally “succeed in recruiting manufacturing business and other permanent jobs, while also encouraging more European visitors to Jacksonville and broadening the Jaguars’ fan base.” JAXUSA Senior Dir of Int'l Business Development Mike Breen “returned Wednesday from the United Kingdom, where he has scheduled meetings” for city officials with London business leaders for the week of the game. Breen said that Powerboat1, a London-based watercraft manufacturer and organizer of racing events, is already “considering holding events” in Jacksonville. Tourism development organization Visit Jacksonville will host “a tailgate party that 50,000 people are expected to attend” on game day. The group already has ads “in the British Visitor Handbook,” a short video “aboard US Airways flights” in and out of London, and several print ads (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 10/6).
TWITTER FEUD: In Denver, Mike Klis reports Broncos Exec Dir of Media Relations Patrick Smyth yesterday called the Jaguars to "apologize for a tweet that was sent out by a staff member of the Broncos' website." The tweet read: "The #Broncos' 51 points in yesterday's win are as many points as the Jaguars have scored all season." The Jaguars' official Twitter feed responded, "Stay classy, Denver" (DENVER POST, 10/8).
While the Dodgers sold a season-high number of tickets for Sunday's NLDS Game 3 against the Braves, team President & CEO Stan Kasten said that they have "no plans to sell standing-room tickets" for the NLCS or the World Series, should they advance, according to Bill Shaikin of the L.A. TIMES. Kasten said the Dodgers have "the capability and the facilities" to sell standing-room tickets but have no plans to do so. The Dodgers "sold 54,646 tickets to Sunday's game," the first playoff game at Dodger Stadium since '09. The regular-season high was 53,393, for a Sept. 14 game against the Giants. Kasten explained the difference by "saying that fewer complimentary tickets are available for postseason games." Complimentary tickets "are not included in announced attendance" (LATIMES.com, 10/7).
REDEFINING SHOWTIME? In N.Y., Harvey Araton writes under the header, "Kobe Who? Showtime Has Moved To Dodger Stadium." Dodgers owner Guggenheim Baseball Management has "reinvigorated the Dodgers," while the Lakers have "begun what looks to be a certain decline." Dodgers investor Magic Johnson said, “L.A. is a real Dodger town right now. You should see all of the blue and white in town.” Araton writes it also is the Yankees’ "apparent slide toward mediocrity that enhances the rise of the Dodgers, who did not lead the majors in home and road attendance this season by accident" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/8).