Of Profits, Politics and Performance.
Is Ottawa sitting in a sweet spot, a rose between two thorns, if you will?
If one were to take a moment to look to their left, and their right, they would notice two iconic teams mired in years of failure, rooted in a lack of focus.
To the west lies Toronto. A team still struggling to make the post season after almost a decade of misses…a decade! In Ottawa the revolt was on after missing once. In Toronto the building remains full, the merchandise continues to fly off the shelves, and the talk remains about possibly making the post season. Meanwhile companies are lining up to own the franchise, an epicly losing franchise, because even though they can’t win on the ice, they always perform at the box office.
Year after year the Toronto franchise insists winning is the best business move, yet, as the business grows, the winning doesn’t…actions speak louder than words, and in Toronto, the action is all on paper, not ice.
If you were to look East, one would notice the leagues most storied franchise, but a franchise that has been victimized by politics since it’s near bankruptcy in the 90′s.
In an effort to increase merchandising, the Habs management, under George Gillett, chose to market the team as a “francophone legacy”. It worked…too well. Now, as the masses clamour for contact with their francophone roots, the media has lept on board and, in an effort to sell papers, sold the masses a red herring crisis, more suited to the halls of government, than the media room of the Bell Centre.
As the Canadiens burn, the francophone “fans” play the fiddle.
Meanwhile, here in Ottawa, all we worry about is winning.
And guess what…we are.
Follow Sensay on Twitter at @GNSensay