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Blogcat's Take 4/11


Bad news, everyone: according to a recent CBS News/New York Times poll, 81 percent of respondents believe that when it comes to the Bobcats, “things have pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track.”  Oh hold on, I read that wrong.  Sorry, they were the talking about the country, not the Bobcats.  Never mind then, that’s not nearly as important.  That’s an odd way of wording that survey, though.  “Things have pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track”?  It’s a bit cluttered—makes me wonder what the other options were on the questionnaire.  Was it something like:
 
1.  When it comes to the country…
            A) Things have pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track
            :cool:  You know, it is what it is, but for the most part it’s, you know, all good
            C)  Sometimes things happen and you have to kind of make adjustments
            D)  I thought it was sort of crazy before, but lately, it’s like, WTF?
 
For what it’s worth, Bob Johnson thinks things are pretty seriously on the right track.  In a recent interview, the Bobcats owner told The Gaston Gazette, “We've got a beautiful, downtown state-of-the-art arena. We've got a naming rights partner that's dominant in the media-content business. We've got a dominant carrier in the region in the content and sports promotion business. We've got a team that is building every year, we believe, to be a winner. And we've got a community that's committed, I'm convinced, to supporting the Charlotte Bobcats.” 
We’ve also got an owner who’s delusional.  I wonder what’s "convincing" him—the 8th worst attendance in the League?  The sub-1 television ratings? The fact that 100% of the $265 million it took to build his “beautiful” arena came from the taxpayers’ state-of-the-art wallets?  He’s right, the evidence is overwhelming.  Mission accomplished.  You had me at “no-jerseys-ranked-in-the-top-15-best-sellers.”   
 
It’s also nice to see that Johnson’s the latest mogul to fall in love with saying the word “content” as much as possible.  Guys like him LOVE to talk about “content,” especially when they can also talk about people “consuming” content.  It really dresses everything up and makes it sound much cooler and more sophisticated, even when 90% of the time the “content” in question is sports, sit-coms, or blogs about celebrity pregnancies—“crap,” in other words.  How refreshing would it be if Johnson or Rupert Murdoch called all of it "crap" instead?  I guess that wouldn’t present as nice a picture though, especially in the context of “consuming” it or—worse—“streaming” it.  
 
I assume Johnson was somewhat less convinced by the team’s two most recent showings: a narrow win over Minnesota and a sad loss to the Knicks.  Coach Sam Vincent inexplicably praised the win over the T-Wolves, even though it came about more from missed Minnesota opportunities than anything else.  “It was closer than we wanted, but we are trying to learn how to win close games,” said Vincent.  This was funny for two reasons.  First, it’s always absurd when coaches refer to “learning how to win close games” as if it’s a skill that can be achieved through lots of practice, like speaking Spanish or playing the guitar.  Second, Vincent’s got it all wrong: we never trailed this game and at one point we were up by 18 against a team with just 19 victories—we should be learning how to win blow-outs.  And maybe the Bobcats should consider switching majors, because after a 2-point loss to the Knicks on Wednesday, I don’t think we’re ever going to learn enough. 
At least I didn’t pay to watch the Knicks game live.  Neither did their new President, Donnie Walsh, but he got to attend anyway.  In fact, not only did he attend, he was the whole storyline.  I'm serious: in the NY Times recap, there actually wasn’t a single mention of the game itself; the entire article was a description of the Yoda-looking Walsh’s seating arrangements.  Walsh is being hailed in these parts as a savior, even though the bulk of his credentials—as far as I can tell—are that he was born and raised in New York.  Knicks fans certainly can’t point to anything he did with the Pacers in recent years as reasons for optimism.  In the Times article, Walsh also had a bunch of quotations, all of which were—you’ll never believe this—spectacularly uninformative.  Without getting into it, he assured everyone he’d be evaluating his options but offered no timetables on any major decisions.  At least he didn’t use the word “content.”  Hmm…Really old, doesn’t want timetables, bases his credibility on events that occurred decades ago…is this the Walsh Presidency or the McCain Presidency?





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