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Final Word... hopefully...

I'm kind of hoping we can put all this "fighting" to rest... I'm sure this won't actually end it but hopefully this will help pump the brakes a little bit.

First thing... The Union of Victims certainly has the "right" to yell and scream and do whatever they want. Their folly of course is in thinking that Russ or Rob give a shit about your yelling and ranting. So if Russ and Rob don't care... what exactly is the point? You guys say you are trying to get something to "change" but if what you're doing isn't actually creating any change... well then all you are doing is being disrespectful and rude to your fellow fans.

My suggestion to the Union would be this... There are far better ways to express your frustrations than the rude and disruptive behavior that is only bothering those around you. How about this... don't buy tickets and write an intelligent and polite letter to the front office explaining to them why you aren't renewing your tickets. I can assure you they don't care about your posters, your cardboard cutouts or your taunting but they might care about losing your money.

Second... This is all mostly a waste of energy. Everything I have been told is that Rob Sumner is going to be back as coach of the Thunderbirds. That makes all this discussion (some good, some not) kind of a waste of time.

I'll get on with the business of wrapping up the season later today.


Phuxy said...

I don't know if I'd call the comments fighting. So far I thought it has been decent dialog back and forth.

I enjoy going to the games and supporting the boys too much to just let the year end, send a letter, and not renew. So the noise and signs was a hail marry to try to make Russ notice that fans are not happy and that a fair number of us believe a change should be made. I don't want to take the next step of not buying tickets but that is my next step should Sumner be back.

As for being disrespectful and rude we have tried our best to be respectful of those around us. 99% of the time during play there haven't been signs up or chants. We have done nothing that other fans have not done (i.e. bringing posters, chanting _____ sucks, booing ref's/other teams) it's just our message is different. If that ruffles feathers, I am sorry. If we didn't get so much support from the people around us or support from some of the players we would have stopped. In fact, had we of heard through the grapevine that any of the players disagreed with it that would have squashed .

You are right that a lot of this may be a waste of energy but at least I know I tried. All of this may also totally back fire. Russ could be the kind of man that won't fire Rob because he doesn't want to give fans the impression that they can make him do something. In which case I don't want to give money to a man like that either so I win in that scenario as well.

I guess we will all find out in the coming months what will happen.

Thunnex said...

I definitely don't think everyone has been rude. I think there is a way to voice displeasure without being disruptive.

Anonymous said...

To be totally realistic? I think it makes the most sense to stop saying that Russ does this and that because he cares or doesn't care and start realizing that he honestly can't afford to care for this organization. Simply put, the guy is in over his head.

I've tried looking at this from many angles, and keep coming back to that conclusion. Russ can't buy coaching for his team, that's how it is. He is losing the attendance war and can't get those playoff dates that are needed to bring in more $$$. He tries raising prices where he can to make up debts, but it's just not working. My opinion: It's not that he isn't listening to the fans, he and Campbell just can't do anything about it. It's 2011 and we are still digging our way out of the hole that began years ago, so sorry but Sumner is the best we can do. This team needs to be sold to someone who can manage the debt better and can afford to lose a little cashflow in building for future profits. If minority owners don't stick around, this will become a real mess.

Jay said...

As someone that sits behind the net where Phuxy is at, i pretty much agree. There is a lot of support back there we might not all yell or have signs but we understand why they are doing it. In the end no matter what your opinion is we all want this team to win, and that is something we all agree on... May not be your ideal converstion Tyler but you have a great site here for fans to interact and 70 posts in 2 days show that. Nobody comes here to get the attention of Russ it's to share thoughts on the team, some negative some positive, you do a good thing here, and when you post about the players I will chime in there to... On a side note looks like Jonathan West is not coming back for those who like him or like to boo him.

Thunnex said...

Well I really appreciate the kind words. Obviously I don't agree with the opinions on Sumner and I feel like I've tried to outline my position on the problem (drafting, notibly 1st rounders) but in the end I don't have a problem with having the conversation as long as it is respectful and considerate of others.

Call me crazy... but I'd like to think that we Tbird fans hold ourselves to a higher standard... but I'm beginning to wonder.

Anonymous said...

I think losing has it's toll on everyone. Tri-Cities could barely draw 2000 fans just 5 years ago. Portland fans destroyed Andy Kemper's blog and outside of playing us they would barely draw 2500 just 3 years ago. Now look at them. I know that people will argue it's due to "change" and it could be. But the point is there is always hope that we can get there.

Anonymous said...

All the fighting and name calling aside, ultimately what it comes down to is: If you're that unhappy with the product that the Thunderbirds are selling, don't buy it. I'm one of the 'Silent Majority' of long-time season ticketholders. As much as I think that Sumner has done a crappy job coaching, I didn't wear a 'Fire Rob' T-shirt, hold up a sign or shout him down after the game. But I think that as much as he hasn't been given much talent to work with, he sure doesn't inspire the talent he does have to overachieve on a nightly basis. Dump and dump chase, change lines, rinse lather and repeat. It gets really old to watch.

I'm in a section with a lot of other long-time ticketholders, and being that I'm not shouting him down - it gives me the opportunity to hear what others are saying. What I'm hearing is much the same - from a lot of different people. How many of those people will actually follow through and not renew for next year remains to be seen. But I for one won't be renewing my 3 seats, and the group with the 3 seats in the row in front of me has said if they don't fire Sumner, they won't be back either. I can't help but think that there will be plenty of good seats available for those who choose to remain.

I've been going to games since the days of Ryan Walter and the Breakers, and the good old Mercer Arena. In all those years, I've seen some great hockey. But lately, I've seen a lot of uninspired, bad hockey. It's time to move on and spend some of my entertainment dollars elsewhere. Hopefully if enough loyal fans vote with their wallets, the ownership group will take notice and make some positive changes.

At some point I'd love to come back. But leaving the current structure intact and expecting different results is simply ignoring the obvious and accepting mediocrity as the staus quo.

Hearing that Jonathan West won't be back, is a small step - but definitely one in the right direction.....

Anonymous said...

Tyler - Amen to your post.

Anonymous said...

"Russ can't buy coaching for this team" Are you serious? If you think that coaching is the main problem on this team you could not be more wrong. No coach in the league could have made Fleming or Sanvido play like a good first round pic. When Nachbauer was here fans blamed him, now look at his work in Spokane where they know how to build a team. That says it all. I'd bet my truck that Sumner would do well in Spokane too with the players they have. Not saying Sumner is the best or even an average coach. But that's one of the biggest over simplifications I can imagine for this situation. Folks don't like to deal with reality if its ugly, always easier to stick the head in the sand and pretend its just the coach. Got news for yeah its more the owner/GM/scouting/drafting and its not even close. Now maybe they somehow revamp the drafting and Farwell listens to the scouts but I'm certainly not counting on it. If I had money to bet on this, I'd expect more of the same until they fold or move.

stoykoj said...

To the last poster......most of the "experts" thought that Spokane would finish 3rd in the US division and 5th in the conference. They finished with 104 points, the 4th best record in the WHL. I would argue that they finished as well as they did because of coaching.

Anonymous said...

So.. what that poster up there is telling us is, 'stick with Sumner because coaching isn't our main problem.. Even if he isn't even a great or even average coach.' Your words, not mine. So should we hang on to mediocre coaching forever simply on the pretense that we have other problems to deal with? I agree that our scouting and drafting have lagged behind other teams in the league, and that Sumner hasn't had the talent, but building a winner for the future involves great players AND great coaches on this team. I don't care what comes first, why prioritize? I want a good coach in place for if and when we finally have the talent. Sumner's not the guy, but again.. We can't afford coaching so it is what it is.

Anonymous said...

"I would argue that they finished as well as they did because of coaching." So if Nachbauer had such an impact in Spokane, why couldn't he do that when he was in Seattle, what was the difference? Come on - that's it you got it, ding ding ding, less talent here! Worse drafting! Lousy GM!!!

"'stick with Sumner because coaching isn't our main problem." I never said that, you did. I'm just saying that is mostly a red herring. If people want a replacement I wouldn't argue that, I just think they are completely fooling themselves if they think that is the main problem.

stoykoj said...

Coaches, like players, develop over the years.

I don't know what know what kind of coach Nachbauer was when he was here. I do know what kind of coach he is now and has been the last 5 years. And that's a pretty good coach. Infact, coach of the year this year. He has also experienced different organizations and been around different front offices. He has seen the good and the bad.

Sumner has been with the Tbirds organization for 14 years. He hasn't coached anywhere else. How much more can we expect from him?

I am not disagreeing with your point that this team needs a lot of changes. And you are right, the biggest change that would produce the most results would be a new GM.

Anonymous said...

Well you're right I don't expect great things from Sumner either. Couldn't hurt to go another direction, would at least offer some hope. However staying with Sumner lets the coach catch some of the heat. If he goes with new coaching and still doesn't succeed that reinforces his shortcomings as GM. Sumner the lighting rod. I'll have to concede new GM is very unlikely, if they have revamped their draft process I'd love to know that as it would offer some chance of a change.

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