A response to Burke’s becoming an embarassment by Steve Simmons – Published in the Toronto Sun on 12/05/2011.
Wow! Between a goaltender swap and Burke’s scandalous crossover into “tweeting”, I’d say you have quite a juicy scoop! That’s the kind of hard-hitting investigatory journalism that wins awards and brings tyrants like Burke to their knees!
It’s not as if you sound like an amateurish blogger abusing the forum of their craft to settle a score with some domineering figure who’s clearly made you feel small and inconsequential more than one once. It couldn’t be that your words echo with the pangs of a frail little boy fuming behind your keyboard trying, in the only way you know how, to find some means of compensation, of self assertion, so that you no longer feel like the bullied schoolboy with urine stains on your Levi’s who was picked last for shinny.
Don’t you realize that it is in fact THIS kind of hollow, gratuitous, futile “journalism” that creates this, as you say, “poisonous atmosphere” between GMs, coaches, players, fans and of course, THE MEDIA? Can’t you see that without some petty hack scrutinizing anything and everything that happens around an organization (you so obviously abhor) as big as MLSE, that there wouldn’t be so much emphasis on interpersonal conflict and instead the GAME itself might be the story?
As you said, Burke could be taking bows for his savvy as General Manager of the Maple Leafs (you don’t get the job based on personality and last time I checked they’re looking pretty good in the standings) yet instead the people of Toronto (and if you’re lucky, the man himself) are subjected to the trivial complaints and observations of a disgruntled pseudo-journo.
At least you could have brought up some of the rich history of this unquestioned loyalty that exists between Burke and Wilson. This legacy of unwavering faith and support that has, in the past, cost the city of Toronto more than a mere two points here and there.
You could have easily lambasted Burke for being ultimately less than professional; as it is often the case that his no-nonsense attitude toward the organization by and large, seems to exempt his best pal and former college teammate, Wilson.
This is not the story you’re after though, is it? No, I think a specimen such as yourself is much more inspired by the chance of having millions (or in your case, dozens) influenced by your small-minded crusade for righteousness. Of course, there’s the inevitable bandwagon of Leaf haters (i.e. the rest of the country) who will invariably stand right by your side. The only “local embarrassment” in this equation is you, sir… and of course the rag that passes for a publication called “The Sun” that you carry water for.
Believe me, my own petty quest for self-righteousness in this instance is in no way lost on me. Unlike some, I feel a certain amount of brutal honesty and self-awareness is necessary when projecting your general frustration onto one specific subject. I’m not above admitting that in this case I know little of your work other than happening upon this most unfortunate of examples. My ignorance is on account of a general avoidance of most sports commentary; especially those related to the SUN sports media.
It’s unfortunate for both of us that I actually took the time to read your words. I’m sure not everything you say is as irrelevant or objectionable as this… but the mere fact that you opened with the phrase “Brian Burke is out of control” and then went on to lament about what is essentially complete and utter fuckery/bullshit of no real consequence, I feel gives me valid cause to vent my own frustration even if its at the expense of your own personal character.
I understand that everyone has to make a living and sometimes a story has to be invented for lack of a better one to report on… but if this is the best you can come up with, you should hang up your spurs and hand the reins to a more qualified and competent individual.
The bottom line is that the buck has to stop somewhere, and you are just the patsy who happened to write a bunch of drivel, which was read by the wrong person at the wrong time. As a born and bred Torontonian (as I believe you are as well, if I’m not mistaken) I can’t find words to express how utterly sick and tired I am of the wealth of meaningless self-serving provocations disguised as works of journalism that now seem to endlessly flood this city in all forms.
Toronto is the largest media hub of the region and nation, for that matter, especially concerning sports, where we have 5 major teams and employ journos at countless publications and at least 3 sport specific television channels.
This entails that a resident or sports fan simply can’t escape the imposing reach of talking heads and “reporters”, even when all they have to say is nothing at all. For many of us, the wonderful world of sports is supposed to be a safe haven from the rest of the bullshit blather of the 21st century; this function is entirely precluded by the self-serving works of shitty journalists and pundits who, instead, fill this world with inane nonsense in an attempt to further their own careers and change the focus of the institutions themselves. Don’t bother looking at the game, look at ME instead!