Kukla's Korner

Abel to Yzerman

Counting Tuesdays With The Chief

Counting Tuesdays With The Chief.  That will be the title of my first book.  I’ll write that my Red Smith Award for outstanding contributions to sports journalism was my inspiration in the introduction.

Recently I played a dirty trick on everybody.  In two posts, here and here, I copied Mitch Albom articles, almost verbatim, in which he fabricated a story and then confessed his amoral ways a couple of days later.

It was wrong to bring the Delicate Genius to the blog.  Wrong to steal his lies and bring them to such a fine forum.  It was a satirical commentary on faux journalists like Mitch Albom, it had to be done.

It is too easy for someone with access to fake the facts.  Too easy to surround a few quotes with paragraphs of drivel.  It is tempting to betray the trust of the fans and the readers in the pursuit of selfish desires.  Writing sports stories isn’t about enhancing reality by spicing up quotes.  Writing sports stories is about telling the truth and bringing people with you to experience the moment.  It shouldn’t be up to a faux journalist like me to remind paid journalists that.  They are supposed to hold the truth sacred.

Apparently not everybody got the joke.

George Malik, showoff blogger and recent KK addition, sent me this email yesterday after I came clean and apologized via email for misleading him:

There is ONLY one tenet regarding blogging as “journalism” or anything near it—
“Don’t make shit up”—and you violated that tenet.  Don’t do it again.

I love George.  Serious bro-mance stuff, too.

Although Malik is not a “real” journalist, he is more real than all of the Deep Diggers put together.  He was literally appalled and disgusted at my apparent lack of integrity.  Telling stories is that important to him, as it should be to all of us.  After all, stories are what gives a team its character.  Fans know the stories on the ice, we rely on others to tell us the stories off the ice. 

Faux journalists like Mitch Albom and most Deep Diggers violate that obligation to fans.  They don’t write stories for the fans, they write stories for their own selfish purposes.  They could ask insightful questions.  Instead they choose not to.

There are a lot of cowards hiding in newsrooms and studios.

A couple of months ago Mike Wilner, a baseball radio broadcaster in Toronto, was suspended by his station, the Fan 590.  Wilner was asking questions that the Blue Jays’ manager thought were a bit too direct.  Rogers Communications Inc., who owns both the team and the station, informed Wilner his services would not be required for a few days and to stay home.

With the exception for a couple of good articles condemning, quite rightfully, Rogers Communications and the station for punishing a journalist for essentially doing his job, the majority of the Canadian media were silent on the issue.  So I asked them about it.

I asked about their thoughts on the Mike Wilner saga.  I’ve never heard Wilner’s work, yet I was horrified to learn of his suspension and outraged few journalists were raising hell about it.

As it turns out, journalists I spoke to are terrified of addressing the scandalous suspension.  They are trying to protect themselves and their careers as Rogers Communications is very powerful in Canada.  Journalists have families to feed and getting laid-off in an already brutal media industry won’t put food on the table.  I pity them.  Too scared to do their job, and too meek to try and make a stand as a group.

I asked Jim Nill about the Wilner saga.  The Chief started A2Y because our Deep Diggers sucked.  They ask no probing questions and put little effort into capturing a unique story.  To read one is to read them all:  cookie-cutter crap.  Almost all of it.  I asked Nill if they were afraid of the team’s repercussions for asking tough questions.

Jim, emphatically I might add, denied this.  Several times in our conversation, Nill stressed the honesty the Red Wings organ-I-zation has.  We are a quiet organization, he said, we are confident as we’ve been battle tested.  Most of all, he stressed, the entire organization tries to always be honest with everybody.  The team is only secretive about players’ medical information, to protect both their safety on the ice and their privacy off of it.

The answers are available if the questions are asked.  Nill proved that to me, and I’m only a fan. 

Over the course of the next few days I will be filling you in about details of our conversation about the Red Wings, various players and prospects, the fans, watching games, scouting players, H2H, Corsi numbers, Modano, Salei, the salary cap, the organ-I-zation as a whole, and more.  All taken from a couple of conversations that lasted about an hour altogether.

The tape recorder wasn’t rolling.  It was just a couple of hockey fans talking about the team they love and watching the game that brings us all together.  Jokes were made, thoughts were shared, and a door was left open to do it again.

If a faux journalist can get these kind of answers in one afternoon, why aren’t real journalists doing it everyday?

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Comments

Andy from FightNight's avatar

Beautiful Voox. I am so psyched to see the results!

Posted by Andy from FightNight on 08/21/10 at 04:04 AM ET

IwoCPO's avatar

Great stuff Voox.  And I, of course, like the title of the book.  Thanks for holding it down while I’m “working”.

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 08/21/10 at 04:23 AM ET

VooX's avatar

Posted by IwoCPO from Sunny San Diego, bitches on 08/21/10 at 02:23 AM ET

Cheers, Chief.  What are you drinking?

Posted by VooX from Behind the Bar in the Hasek Club Car on 08/21/10 at 04:31 AM ET

VooX's avatar

The tape recorder wasn’t rolling.  It was just a couple of hockey fans talking about the team they love and watching the game that brings us all together.  Jokes were made, thoughts were shared, and a door was left open to do it again.

A little bit of Albom-residue leaked into the end of my post.  Sorry about that.

I will go wash with lye, thoroughly, rid myself of Mitch.

Posted by VooX from Behind the Bar in the Hasek Club Car on 08/21/10 at 04:36 AM ET

SYF's avatar

Great stuff, VooX.  Just keep kickin’ ass.

I’m really looking forward to the Nill write up.  I can’t get over how you got the time to chat with him.

A shot of Jameson’s, please.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 08/21/10 at 04:42 AM ET

Avatar

It is becoming increasingly apparent that that nearly all of your writing is about you.  Can you please, at least attempt to write some hockey related material once in a while?

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 08/21/10 at 11:16 AM ET

Reggie Dunlop's avatar

You Wings fans are an intolerable bunch. Especially you A2Y bitches, watching my Sharks put you out in 5 brought me great joy and sense of well-being in my soul.  Despite that, I think VooX is engaged in a noble cause and I wish him luck.

Posted by Reggie Dunlop on 08/21/10 at 11:26 AM ET

Chris from NOHS's avatar

For the last two posters, what the hell is wrong with you?  Even the stupid trolls know these posts are not posts one should troll.

Posted by Chris from NOHS from Columbus, OH/Grand Rapids, MI on 08/21/10 at 11:45 AM ET

Guilherme's avatar

VooX, you big teaser! Great post, looking forward to Nill’s interview.

Again (or for the first time, I don’t know), congratulations and glad to see you made good use of the opportunity. And the end of the posts sounded more like Terrence Mann than the Delicate Genius.

Posted by Guilherme from Brazsil on 08/21/10 at 12:15 PM ET

Red Winger's avatar

Especially you A2Y bitches, watching my Sharks put you out in 5 brought me great joy and sense of well-being in my soul

And watching your team, once again, crumple under the pressure of the playoffs, simply solidified what we already thought: The Sharks organization is light-years behind the Wings organization.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 08/21/10 at 12:19 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

I think he hates the fans as much as the fans hate him.
Posted by OlderThanChelios on 08/20/10 at 02:30 PM ET

That is sadly true, and true about many of our elected leaders.

(sorry no political affiliation here, just general comment)

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 08/21/10 at 12:37 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Douchebaggery from outside The Family.  Just change the channel if you don’t like what’s on.  You will never become cool by just trying to hang with the cool kids.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 08/21/10 at 12:38 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Amazing stuff, v00x (w00t!).  Congrats and thanks for unholstering the Paul Bunyon sized copper balls.

I will be boarding up in Richmond in a few hours to attend a conference at UC Irvine in Orange County next week, and visit with my daughter who moved there last month.  I feel a Marie Callender’s Sunday brunch coming.  High sodium, high saturated fat, great taste, all you would want from a commercial restaurant.

Thanks to amazing mahdrun technology I’ll be able to keep up with you Bitches and even occasionally post the same stupid sh1t that you’re accustomed to reading from me.

And how ‘bout genetics?  Here’s an email from my nephew in GR when I provided a link to George’s Red Wings’ Mt. Puckmore.

1) He was looking forward to it.
2) He didn’t read the other ones.

LMAO we didn’t even conspire but acted the same.

Yeah been waiting for it a week or so, whenever the first one came out.  I haven’t read any of the other puckmores though.  I am pretty damn excited for the season; I hope the guys 1) stay healthy 2) really find that sense of urgency when they need it (April-June) this season.

 


Let’s Go Red Wings.

Is it October yet, bitches?

Never ever give up, it’s coming.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 08/21/10 at 12:49 PM ET

OlderThanChelios's avatar

I will be filling you in about details of our conversation about the Red Wings, various players and prospects, the fans, watching games, scouting players, H2H, Corsi numbers, Modano…

Corsi numbers? Really? Dear God, Voox, now I’ll have to add you to my “blocked list” come September. smile

If a faux journalist can get these kind of answers in one afternoon, why aren’t real journalists doing it everyday?

It does sort of boggle the mind to think that you’ve gotten the kind of access and information you have this past week – while the “working pros” around you have filed one non-story after another. Crazy good stuff on your part, bartender. Shame on the Deep Diggers for not doing the same.

Posted by OlderThanChelios from Grand Rapids, MI on 08/21/10 at 01:38 PM ET

Behind_Enemy_Lines's avatar

VooooooooooooooooX awesomeness. Faux journalism RULES(!)

Posted by Reggie Dunlop on 08/21/10 at 09:26 AM ET

Yeah, you guys did fantastic the next round when you didn’t have multiple 5 on 3’s per game. How many cups do you guys have again?

Posted by Behind_Enemy_Lines from Evanston,IL on 08/21/10 at 02:11 PM ET

Behind_Enemy_Lines's avatar

o yeah, must have got cut out. Don’t divide by that number as you can see what happens.

Posted by Behind_Enemy_Lines from Evanston,IL on 08/21/10 at 02:15 PM ET

Behind_Enemy_Lines's avatar

After a few moments of consideration I feel like I owe you all an apology for my previous posts as they were rushed (because of deadlines and customers). This is what really happened:

VooooooooooooooooX awesomeness. Faux journalism RULES(!)

Posted by Reggie Dunlop on 08/21/10 at 09:26 AM ET

Yeah, you guys did fantastic the next round when you didn’t have multiple 5 on 3’s per game. How many cups do you guys have again? Don’t divide that, OH SHI-

Once again I apologize for any confusion and misrepresentation of wit.

Posted by Behind_Enemy_Lines from Evanston,IL on 08/21/10 at 02:35 PM ET

Reggie Dunlop's avatar

Yeah the Sharks have no cups and always fold under pressure at some point in the post season. Does that make it better or worse to lose to a team like that?

Posted by Reggie Dunlop on 08/21/10 at 02:48 PM ET

WestWing's avatar

Yeah the Sharks have no cups and always fold under pressure at some point in the post season.

Well said. End. Of. Story.

But if you insist on more, I’d point out that the Detroit Organ-I-zation has won four of the past thirteen, is always a threat to win it again and is the one team that, even if you saw them again next playoff season, every damn last one of you would be shitting down your leg at the mere thought of playing them again.

Posted by WestWing from Portland, Oregon on 08/21/10 at 03:04 PM ET

pomthillips's avatar

About the faux articles…I think there is an expression that encourages me not to say anything at all.

But with regards to the Rogers/Milner situation, it brings to mind a scenario where that could happen in Detroit.  If Illitch succeeds in his bid to purchase the Pistons (and I still hope he does, even if I could care less about basketball), “deep diggers” have suggested it would enable the Illitch Holdings to open an all-Detroit sports station, similar to the YES network in New York.

Now, Mike Illitch is a top notch owner, and there is no reason to believe his successors will run things differently, but it seems to me that an an all-Detroit sports network could be a bad thing if run by the wrong people (i.e. the corporate blowhards you see running most media outlets).  It is just disconcerting when a system is overly reliant upon ethical ownership.

Posted by pomthillips from Ann Arbor, Michigan on 08/21/10 at 04:38 PM ET

stayouttamalibu's avatar

Yeah the Sharks have no cups and always fold under pressure at some point in the post season. Does that make it better or worse to lose to a team like that?

Posted by Reggie Dunlop on 08/21/10 at 12:48 PM ET

It doesn’t make me feel worse because the Sharks needed a serious advantage in power plays and multiple 5 on 3s to win it. How interesting that one of the least penalized teams and one of the most penalized teams during the regular season just seemed to magically switch places during that series.

Posted by stayouttamalibu from California on 08/21/10 at 05:01 PM ET

HockeyTownTodd's avatar

Allow me to interrupt the summer speculation with a moment of hockey.

Posted by HockeyTownTodd on 08/21/10 at 05:23 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Jeebus, gramps.  Reminds me of Crawford busting a vein in his forehead screaming at Bowman, who just stood there gazing up at him with a puzzled look on his face and knocking back another couple of pistachs.

Great stuff.  For some reason I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for the Sabres.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 08/21/10 at 08:08 PM ET

RWBill's avatar

Division by zero is hilarious.

Hey Douchenozzle, no hockey player or real fan counts up how many conference finals they’ve lost as a sign of accomplishment.  LMAO.  You can’t fix stupid.

Posted by RWBill from cruising Brush Street with creepy Rob Lowe. on 08/21/10 at 08:11 PM ET

Wings_Fan_In_KC's avatar

You can’t fix stupid.

Amen.

Posted by Wings_Fan_In_KC from ...somewhere southwest of The Motor City... on 08/22/10 at 06:38 PM ET

Nathan's avatar

You’re knocking it out, VooX. Keep ‘em coming.

Chief, best wishes to you on the high seas, get back soon.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 08/23/10 at 10:14 AM ET

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About Abel to Yzerman

Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com