Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Jeff Jacobs has another dumb idea

His vocal chords are made of gold, he just looks a little too old Ron Francis

This paragraph is from a column that ran in the Hartford Courant recently, written by noted Whalers hag Jeff Jacobs, on the retirement of former Whalers captain Ron Francis from the Carolina Hurricanes:

"Now it's time to look after him. It's time for MSG to retire Francis' No. 10 before one of the Wolf Pack games this season. It doesn't matter that they are a Rangers affiliate. All that matters is that it is Hartford and it is hockey and nobody ever meant more to the game in this town."

I was never really a Whalers fan, and since Francis was “another team’s player” his retirement didn’t draw as much interest from me as the retirements of other players, like the Rangers’ Mark Messier and Ken Gernander. I can admit that Francis had an exceptional NHL career (579 goals, ranked 3rd in games played and 4th in points), but the owner of the Whalers scurried out of town like a cockroach and left Hartford for dead well over 8 years ago. Besides the fact that I think every one of Jeff Jack-offs' "Bring Back The Whalers" rants are stupid anyway, I think this is a dumb idea because, as Jacobs himself pointed out, the Rangers are in the building now. Is Baltimore going to let the Indianapolis Colts hang any of their players' numbers in the Ravens' stadium when the time comes?

I think the manner in which the Whalers left everyone in this town high and dry, and the manner in which most diehard Whalers fans refuse to support the hockey team playing in Hartford now, should make people think twice before mumbling that we should hang up the numbers of any more ex-Whaler players.


Anonymous pack attack said...

brush I really didn't mind the Whalers when they were in Hartford. They provided an easy access place for me (and many more New York Rangers Fans) to see my Hockey team.

The whole deal with them leaving was a joke. I actually "used" to feel sorry for the Whaler die-hards. But Jeff Jacobs has turned into an idiot hyping the so-called Whaler glory days, and the hope he has for a return of NHL hockey to Hartford.

This recent article by him concerning Ron Francis is just plain stupidity. And when looking over his writing output over the eight years since the Whalers departure he has maligned MSG (who did not kick the whalers out of town, nor prohibit another NHL team's arrival in Haryford). He has taken every opportunity to poke fun at the Wolf*Pack and their fan's. In short, he has made me into a Whaler-hater.

Madison Square Garden should no more retire Francis' number than the Boston Red Sox should retire Babe Ruth's number.

9/17/05, 10:32 PM

Blogger d-lee said...

You said "Is Baltimore going to let the Indianapolis Colts hang any of their players' numbers in the Ravens' stadium when the time comes?"

Did you already forget that the NFL really screwed up when Johnny U died? They issued a statement that only the RAVENS could wear patches or ambands (or high-top sneakers), or have the Colts #19 jersey on display to commemorate Unitas. This made no sense to me then. I was furious. Unitas was a COLT, and despite the fact that the franchise relocated, Indianapolis should have been able to pay tribute. The RAVENS are nothing more than the BROWNS (version 1.0). So in a wierd sort of way the BROWNS (1.0) organization got to pay tribute to a player who never wore a Browns or Ravens jersey. Yeah, he attended Ravens games. Big deal. He helped the city of Baltimore. Okay. Meanwhile the franchise that he singlehandedly brought to prominence was denied the opportunity to pay tribute.
For the most part, I think that Paul Tagliabue has done a great job as commissioner. In that case, though, he dropped the ball big time.

I agree with you that Jacob's idea is stupid. The only teams that should retire the #10 sweater are Carolina and Pittsburgh.

9/18/05, 10:48 AM

Blogger Brushback said...

Pack Attack, your Babe Ruth line was a good one. Carry on!

D-Lee, your Unitas example shows how far my interest the NFL has slid in the past few years, as I missed out on that controversy the first time around.

A number of NHL franchises moved during the '90s (Quebec to Colorado, Hartford to Carolina, Winnipeg to Phoenix, and Minnesota to Dallas being the more obvious examples). Jacobs' suggestion leads to whole bunch of other hypotheticals, like: when Mike Modano retires, are the Wild going to hang up his jersey?

There might be good intentions behind it, but I think Jacobs' idea is pretty silly.

9/18/05, 3:42 PM

Anonymous pricklypear said...

The crazy thing about this is that we know all the lemmings will buy into it. Jeff Jacobs is like David Koresh when it comes to Whaler Worship, and every word he writes is taken as gospel by his followers. Now if MSG doesn't retire the number I'm sure they and the Wolf*Pack will receive a scathing commentary along the lines of Jacobs' previous nonsense. What a fucking tool.

9/19/05, 11:34 AM

Blogger Brushback said...

There are some things that I'm sure Jacobs' didn't even consider when he suggested the idea. Like: since Francis never played for the Rangers and MSG, who initiates the planning for the ceremony and pays for it-- the Hartford Whaler Booster Club? Does Francis accept the invite, or would the ceremony take place without him? How would the folks in Carolina feel about it?

In no way am I trying to disrespect Francis in all of this. This is only about Jacobs and his lousy Whalers propoganda.

9/19/05, 11:51 AM

Blogger d-lee said...

Ron Francis would not accept the invite. He will have to be forced by family and friends to accept the invitation to Ron Francis Sweater Retirement Night in Raleigh. He doesn't like the limelight, and he would certainly see the folly in having his number retired by the WolfPack.
I think the AHL would probably see the folly in it too. My guess is that they would disallow such an event, even if the WolfPack wanted to do it.

9/19/05, 2:04 PM

Blogger Brushback said...

My guess is that they would raise a green and white banner to the rafters, signifying that the #10 was being retired in retrospect for the Whalers, and not the Wolf Pack. Although that raises an interesting scenario: say, in my previous ridiculous hypothetical, that a contingent of nostalgic North Stars fans goads the Wild into retiring Mike Modano's number, as a tribute to the North Stars. How would the player on the Wild feel about having to give up his number over a player that never played for the Wild?

9/19/05, 2:33 PM

Anonymous pack attack said...

Let us say MSG/Wolf*Pack decided to retire the number of Ron Francis -- and do as you suggest Mr Brush -- and raise a green #10 to the rafters in the Hartford Civic Center.

What legal right would they have to officially retire a number? As I understand it, the City of Hartford owns the name "Whalers". The legal hockey entity that owns the history and pedigree of Ron Francis' career is the Carolina Hurricanes.? Either one of them could certainly retire a number, but why the New York Rangers, Hartford Wolf*Pack, or Madison Square Garden?

9/19/05, 5:17 PM

Blogger d-lee said...

Actually, the way I understand it is a little different. I was always under the impression that KTR Hockey, Ltd. is the owner of the names "(Hartford) Whalers" and "Hurricanes" as well as "(Plymouth) Whalers" and "(Florida) Everblades". If that is indeed the case, then the city of Hartford wouldn't have a right. The New York Rangers certainly have no right.

9/21/05, 12:59 PM

Blogger Brushback said...

I still think that the whole idea is full of holes, but Bob Crawford doesn't seem to think so, according to a Q & A segment in this week's edition of Wolf Pack News and Notes:

John Cornell of Annapolis, MD writes, "Now that he has retired, has anyone in Hartford considered retiring Ron Francis' #10 Whalers jersey to the rafters of the Hartford Civic Center?"

Yes, John, actually ever since Kevin Dineen retired a couple of seasons ago, the Pack organization has had discussions with him and Ron about a proper way to honor them and the contributions that they made to hockey in Hartford.

If D-Lee is right, then the Wolf Pack would probably have to make special arrangements in order to be able to have a tie-in with the Hartford Whalers within the ceremony, or else just leave the name "Whalers" out of it. Remember, the Wolf Pack did raise some Whalers banners to the rafters when they had Gordie Howe on hand for the "25 Years Of Hartford Hockey" night about 5 years ago, but that might've been under different circumstances.

9/21/05, 1:16 PM

Blogger The Acid Queen said...

I was always under the impression that KTR Hockey, Ltd. is the owner of the names "(Hartford) Whalers" and "Hurricanes" as well as "(Plymouth) Whalers" and "(Florida) Everblades".

Actually, KTR Hockey, Ltd. doesn't own any rights to anything in Hartford--one of the terms of Uncle Pete's exit deal with the City of Hartford was that he sign over the Hartford Whalers name, logo, and so forth.

9/23/05, 12:29 PM

Blogger Brushback said...

Thanks for stopping by with that info, AQ.

Nice 'Canes blog you've got, too.

9/24/05, 3:28 PM

Blogger Brushback said...


The Wolf Pack announced today that there will be a ceremony honoring former Whaler players Ron Francis, Kevin Dineen (now the head coach of the Portland Pirates), and Ulf Samuelsson (now an assistant coach with the Wolf Pack) at a game in January.

A nice gesture, no doubt, though it's more of an attempt by the Wolf Pack to get the Whaler fans back into the building, which is a plan that hasn't worked so far.

The idea of a defunct franchise (the Whalers) retiring an NHL jersey number (per Jeff Jacobs) is still a funny one. Could you imagine someone positioning themselves as a representative of the California Golden Seals or the Kansas City Scouts, for instance, and then trying to retire jersey numbers just for the hell of it?

11/8/05, 10:28 PM


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