Wednesday, January 2, 2008

I'm cheering for Columbus


With a hat tip to Mrs Biesinger and Kirk from the previous post (well worth checking out, by the way, if the critical returns hold any water: "stunning; magnificent; transcendent"—Martin Levin, the Globe and Mail"; "truly a thoughtful, engrossing read"—a sock put on my hand and made to sound like this Norweigan guy I once knew): the EIG has rejected (EDIT: As pointed out in the comments, they're simply recommending a rejection; I still don't think that makes the following any less stupid, though) Darryl Katz' latest offer to buy the team.

This is pretty much depressing enough as is, but the kicker has to be this sentence:

"The 33-member group stated their desire to know if Katz would be willing to sign an agreement to keep the Oilers in Edmonton."

I'm going to use capitals in my response, not only to convey the sheer anger and frustration I feel, but also because, evidently, the EIG is made up entirely by people who are going blind, but refuse out of masculine modesty and the inability to recognize the unstoppable march of mortality to get better bifocals:

DARRYL KATZ IS FROM EDMONTON. HE WENT TO HIGH SCHOOL WITH KELLY HRUDEY. HE GOT HIS DEGREES FROM THE U OF A. HE CURRENTLY OWNS AND RESIDES IN THE BIGGEST HOME IN EDMONTON. HE HAS A TATTOO OF EDMONTON'S RIVER VALLEY PARK SYSTEM ACROSS HIS CHEST, STOMACH AND RIGHT THIGH. HE OFFERED $100 MILLION OF HIS OWN MONEY TO BUILD AN ARENA IN EDMONTON'S DOWNTOWN CORE. WHAT THE FUCK MORE DO YOU WANT FROM THE MAN? SHOULD HE ENCASE HIMSELF WAIST-DEEP IN CONCRETE AND COMPOSE AN ANTHEM FOR THE CITY? HE'S NOT GOING TO MOVE THE TEAM, YOU ASSHOLES.

"
Most important, we should never lose sight of what our group has accomplished since 1998. Whatever decisions we make should honour the spirit and commitment to Edmonton which first brought us together as shareholders."—Bill Butler, Chair, Edmonton Investors Group

FUCK YOU. SELL THE TEAM. YOU'VE TURNED US INTO THE NOUVEAU LEAFS, CONTENT TO BOTTOM-DWELL SO LONG AS THE REVENUE STREAMS ARE STEADY. SELL THE TEAM. YOU THINK THAT SOMEONE WHO HAS SPENT HIS ENTIRE LIFE IN EDMONTON IS A THREAT TO MOVE THEM. SELL THE TEAM. SELL THE TEAM. SELL THE TEAM, YOU INCOMPETENT, BRAIN-DEAD, DRIED-UP HUSKS OF SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS MEN. SELL THE TEAM. I HATE YOU.

32 comments:

LittleFury said...

They haven't actually rejected anything yet. They've until Jan. 21 to get things sorted, so let's not soil our collective trousers just yet, okay?

I just can't see this not going through, unless the EIG think they can keep rejecting offers until Katz starts offering Belfour dollars. I'm sure this latest move is posturing, though if these dumb fucks actually send Katz packing, I'll be on the next plane back with an armload of torches and pitchforks (all wrapped in a Ziploc baggie, per Transport Canada regs).

LittleFury said...

Oh and don't listen to Biesinger. His words are like aspartame: sweet, but poison.

Colm in Belfast said...

I think this is a ploy to try and crowbar a few more shekels out of Katz. At least that's what I'm going to keep muttering to myself as I weep silently into my pillow tonight. I mean that's gotta be the case, right? RIGHT? Please someone tell me the bad men are going away soon (looks longingly into the Oilogosphere).

sacamano said...

You know PM, it is this kind of mealy-mouthed, wishy-washy response that is going to encourage the EIG to continue to own the team in perpetuity.

I mean, honestly, quit with the metaphors and euphemisms and just tell us how you really feel about it. Do you want the EIG to sell the team or not?

gary b said...

"Rejected" has become "rejection recommended":

http://tsn.ca/nhl/news_story/?ID=226319&hubname=


still, whatta bunch of cock tractors.

Cal Nichols thinks its a good deal. what's the problem with the rest of them? sell the team already!

Pleasure Motors said...

Oh and don't listen to Biesinger. His words are like aspartame: sweet, but poison.

Did somebody lose at A&A?

Anyway, regardless of them not officially rejecting it yet, or just trying to get a few more dollars out of Katz hands, honestly thinking he's a threat to move the team is stupid. Breathing-through-your-mouth, getting-lost-in-shopping-malls, demanding-to-eat-pudding-for-three-meals-a-day stupid.

Scarlett said...

Happy New Year eh? Damn EIG clowns!! Let's hope this "recommendation" is put where it belongs, up the ass of those who agreed with it!

Colm in Belfast said...

I don't think the EIG realise how strained the public's patience is. I thought the Brylcream and Buick (in my mind everyone in the EIG drives a Buick. And then they all get in their Buicks and drive to Hap's Hungry House to drink coffee and talk about golf holidays in Phoenix and how much spunk that young Stortini fellow has) set got the message after the latest offer that it was time to gracefully ride off into the Arizona sunset. Now, I'm not so sure.

David S said...

Seems like more public posturing to set in stone the "we're doing what's best for Edmonton", white knight crap.

This is quite normal actually. Except that most classy organizations do the final dotting the i's and crossing the t's behind closed doors.

I wonder if the EIG realizes just how fucking stupid these sorts of comments make them look? I'd love it if Katz came back with a thinly veiled "fuck-you" response. But he won't because he's...well...classy.

R. E. Biesinger said...

I don't know if this fits in the "sweet" or "poison" category, but CBC 740 is going to be interviewing the new EIG chair (Bill Butler?) this afternoon....

Won't say exactly when, of course.

Yrs.,
R.

Coco Says said...

Seriously! I'm at a loss... what the hell do these people want? Fucking sell the team already! We all know you did a wonderful thing in 98. But it's 08 and we want some new blood in our ever failing team! For God Fucking sakes SELL THE TEAM!

Happy New Year! Just one more fuck you from the EIG! Thanks guy... lets all collectively assume the position once again!

uhg! yeah... goil.. :'o(

David S said...

Grabia is going to have an aneurysm.

Crosby!

LittleFury said...

Did somebody lose at A&A?

Someone did. Just not me.

This is quite normal actually. Except that most classy organizations do the final dotting the i's and crossing the t's behind closed doors.

That's exactly right. I can't imagine details like the purchase price offered to shareholders wouldn't come out as part of the process of due diligence, so the need to go public is a bit mystifying. I also don't see what business it is of the EIG whether Katz follows through on his pledge to sink $100M into a new rink or decides to move the team to Somalia. That seems like more "white knight" bullshit.

Anonymous said...

hunter1909: Bottom line-Oiler's management doesn't care if they win, so why should I?

Therefore, until MacTavish goes, I'm cheering whoever Oiler's play. Tonight it's the Blues. I want to see Lowe and MacTavish totally humilated.

David S said...

Anon: MC79 has something to say about that. You should check his blog out before you castrate MacT. He's not perfect, but he's not Satan either.

Chris! said...

Holy shit, PM! Where have you been, trapped in a mine or something?

Eyeris said...

Is that picture supposed to be Katz's house?

Rod said...

Did you hear Katz' response? It was classic. In essense the press release said:
- the EIG board's actions the last few weeks have been confusing. Katz has offered to meet the board (together or individually, along with representatives) to answer their questions. Yet the first Katz heard from them was EIG lawyers on New Year's Eve
- that if the board is acting in the interests of shareholders, the EIG board should come clean on their counter-offer
- the UofA training facility and the downtown arena are part of his plan to buy the team

All in all, it was a nice, clean smack down. Hopefully the full press release is available somewhere... Links anyone?

Anonymous said...


full response by Katz

David S said...

Those EIG fuckers!

So it seems they're trying to buy time so that an inside offer can be hammered out.

You guys should read the Katz press release (link above). He really called those old bastards out.

Sorry for the tone, but my first reaction to this was: "You have GOT to be fucking kidding!!!" and I haven't cooled down yet.

Darien said...

This just in! Katz's offer rejected in favour of William "Boots" del Baggio's 140 million dollar offer and a move to Houston!

Too much?

twain said...

Any reservations I had about Katz are gone with that press release of pure awesome.

p.s. Penner!!!!

Vic Ferrari said...

Worth noting that when the EIG purchased the Oilers they flatly refused to agree to a non-movement clause with City Hall.

The right to relocate the team to another city, at any time, or sell to a buyer who would do the same, that was one of the conditions of purchase from the EIG.

Lord Bob said...

Stupid EIG! Wanting to own a hockey team. They should let somebody else own a hockey team.

Seriously, did Pat LaForge sleep with all your wives or something? Holy hell, I can't believe the vitriol. Of course, considering how badly the Oilers are doing, it's probably time to start blaming the janitors at Rexall and Joey Moss, because there's a lot to go around. But I don't see how wanting a guy to say he's not going to move a hockey team is a bad thing: if the guy is really as iron-clad certain to keep the Oilers in town as you say, what would stop him from saying "I will keep the Oilers in Edmonton"?

Andy Grabia said...

But I don't see how wanting a guy to say he's not going to move a hockey team is a bad thing: if the guy is really as iron-clad certain to keep the Oilers in town as you say, what would stop him from saying "I will keep the Oilers in Edmonton"?

Oh, bugger off already. Can you read?

Dec. 13th, 2007

"I have great respect for everything Cal and the EIG shareholders have done for the Oilers and for the City of Edmonton. I want to continue that tradition with a commitment to strong local ownership and an exciting vision for the Oilers. The centerpiece of that vision is a new world-class arena complex at the heart of a revitalized downtown."

"If the undecided EIG shareholders come on board, as I hope they do, and my offer is approved, I will commit my time, energy and on the order of $100 million in additional funds towards a new building."

July 24th, 2007

"I was born in Edmonton, I live in Edmonton and I grew up here with the Oilers during the glory days. I want to own the Oilers because they are Edmonton's hockey team, because I want to build a winning team, and because I think there is an opportunity, through the Oilers, to do great things for the City."

"To be clear, I am committed to building a winning team here in Edmonton, and I would play to the salary cap every year to help make sure that happens. I am also prepared to make a significant additional investment of time and money towards the development of a new downtown arena facility for the team and the City if that's what the people of Edmonton want."

"Likewise, I have initiated preliminary discussions with representatives of the University of Alberta about building a world-class hockey training facility on campus for the benefit of the Edmonton Oilers, the U of A and hockey in Western Canada."


How many times does he have to say it, LB? Would you like him to come over to your house and discuss this with you in person? Would a contract written up in blood be suitable? Would you like to hold his wallet in case he changes his mind? Give me a break.

Andy Grabia said...

Worth noting that when the EIG purchased the Oilers they flatly refused to agree to a non-movement clause with City Hall.

The right to relocate the team to another city, at any time, or sell to a buyer who would do the same, that was one of the conditions of purchase from the EIG.


Was this made public, Vic? Any idea where you saw it?

Vic Ferrari said...

Andy

In the camagazine article that someone (The Rage?) linked to at MC79hockey a couple of weeks ago. I'm sure there are other mentions in various media sources at the time.

It was a big issue at the time. The agreement that Pocklington signed was transferable if one of the two bidders from Edmonton were successful (EIG was one, who was the other, anyways? I think it was a dodgy offer, but I can't remember), and a some city councilors were unwilling to subsidize Northlands as per the demands of EIG, not unless they were willing to extend the relocation agreement. And it was a deal breaker for the EIG, they wouldn't budge. The EIG were obviously successful, but it was a close vote.

One of the aldermen was really outspoken, weren't there accusations of coercion? Some bold stuff anyways.

It would be very cool if someone on the blogosphere, who is less lazy and more literate than me, checked to see who the contrary councilors were and got their side of the story [nudge].

Lord Bob said...

Oh, bugger off already. Can you read?

Frankly, no. I hadn't seen either of those releases. I concede the point.

Andy Grabia said...

It would be very cool if someone on the blogosphere, who is less lazy and more literate than me, checked to see who the contrary councilors were and got their side of the story [nudge].

Here you go. You are wrong though, Vic. The EIG agreed to the original Location Agreement. They had no choice. Ignoring it would have meant that another bidder could have come in and bid a higher price. They just wouldn't agree to a changed, extended agreement.

Vic Ferrari said...

Ahh, you're right. It was the extension of the location agreement that was at issue.

That's a very impressive post that you've linked to, Andy, a lot of good work there at a skim through. I'll read through it shortly.

At a quick google it seems to be A. Bolstad and B. Mason who were the hardasses on city council. Here are the minutes from April 24, 1998.

I haven't checked any of the other meetings around that time. On the issue of extending the location agreement beyond 2004, only those two and M. Phair opposed, at least in this meeting.

Doogie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doogie said...

I love this last part of Katz's press release:

Daryl Katz is the founder and Chairman of The Katz Group. Founded in 1990 and headquartered in Edmonton, The Katz Group is one of North America's leading drug store operators with over 1,800 stores in Canada and the United states [sic]. Through its Rexall brand, The Katz Group is the largest corporate sponsor of the Edmonton Oilers. Mr. Katz was born in Edmonton and graduated from the University of Alberta in 1985 with a BA and an LLB.

Sure, it just looks like the standard PR bullshit about "who we are," but the facts highlighted in there seem like they're specifically calculated to make Butler look as ass-sniffingly stupid as possible.