As previously noted in this space, Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider has invited Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin to drop the ceremonial puck before the Flyers’ home opener with the New York Rangers tomorrow night. The New York Post’s Larry Brooks, perhaps deviating from the NewsCorp company line on the general election, insists that Snider “is using his team, the Rangers, and the NHL as stage props to advance his own political agenda, and it doesn’t appear the league is willing to do a thing about it.”
Snider was host for a Sept. 26 Palin campaign event at the Irish Pub in Center City in Philadelphia. According to records of the Federal Election Commission, Snider donated $50,000 to the Republican national campaign effort between June 24 and June 30, 2008.
Now he is donating the stage of an NHL pregame ceremony for use as a pep rally for McCain’s presidential effort. Now he is intent on transforming a sports arena into the political arena. He is creating an environment in which partisan politics, not hockey rooting interest, might well create dangerous disruption in the stands.
The NHL, which apparently had no idea of Snider’s power grab, has thus far been mute on the issue. Snider has backed Gary Bettman into a corner as if a latter day Don Saleski. This is behavior worthy of league sanctions.
What’s next, NBA Bobcats owner Bob Johnson, a public supporter of Barack Obama, inviting the Democratic nominee for president to participate in his team’s opening tipoff under an equally odious and flimsy guise of paying tribute to basketball-playing civil servants?
As if an NBA owner would ever attempt to slide something like that past David Stern.
10 thoughts on “Why Doesn’t Gary Bettman Mind The Flyers’ Shilling For McCain/Palin?”
I just sent nhl.fanhouse.com an email stating the Flyers have lost me as a fan. Snider can vote for whom he chooses but i’ll be damned if i’m gonna sit there and be counted as a supporter of what i consider to be a very dangerous candidate. No offense to hockey moms everywhere. Doug
Now he is donating the stage of an NHL pregame ceremony for use as a pep rally for McCainâ€™s presidential effort.
a stage in a building built with taxpayer $$$, no?
Actually, not really. On the original budget, $20 million of $215 million. That’s probably no more than the standard tax abatement nearly any developer or corporation gets for any sort of building.
I dunno. Like Chuck predicted, she’ll get booed. I’m not sure it matters too much that she is actively running for office, as opposed to all the times the sitting President and VP have gotten to throw out the first pitch. They still represent party as much as country in those instances (and I don’t suppose Dick Cheney has ever thrown at the first pitch at a Red Sox game. Only baseball owners of the same political stripe as Snider, i.e., most of them, make that happen).
The Obama/Johnston analogy doesn’t really work and Brooks should know better – hockey is always desperate for any kind of public attention as well as validation by celebrities, whether it’s Elisha Cuthbert, Les Savvy Fav or a VP candidate. There aren’t any basketball fans out there going, “a candidate for President likes to play our game, maybe now TV ratings will go up!” And the implied endorsement of Chris Drury and Mike Richards probably isn’t going to change in minds in NY and Philly, or be worth much anywhere else.
Come to think of it, the whole McCain campaign has felt a bit like one of the NHL’s crack marketing efforts.
According to Wikipedia:
The arena was completed in 1996 on what was once the site of John F. Kennedy Stadium at a cost of $206 million, largely privately financed (though the city and state helped to pay for the local infrastructure).
Not that it matters. Cash gifts from the taxpayers to rich team owners are gifts, not investments in programing. If they wanted something for their money, they should have insisted on a seat on the board.
Snider, smart enough to squeeze millions out of Wachovia for the naming rights while their money was still worth something, is afforded to the same right to free assembly and right to free expression as you and I. He’s just better funded.
Likely, his donation (or was it a sale?) of the pre-game ceremony to the McCain camp is an attempt to protect an investment in the Republican party that is rapidly fading. Unlike credit default swaps, though, his support of the GOP will pay off. It might just be later rather than sooner.
ok, i’m totally cool with infrastructure enhancements around stadia, it only makes sense, but i abhor public funds going to construction.
whatever guys — it’s going to be awesome when she’s booed. if only schultzie were there to kick her ass.
So what your saying Gee Sea, is that an NHL owner (who has spent untold millions to be a part of an ultimately umprofitable league) wants to advance his political agenda? Holt fucking shit! Jesus Ger Ger, your Ed. R. Fucking Murrow! Good catch sherlock!!!!!!!
Holt the presses, Mr. Ranna. Could it be that an alleged college graduate has great difficulty spelling, let alone stringing a coherent sentence together? That’s UMPOSSIBLE.
That Ed Snider wishes to pimp the candidate(s) of his choice is neither shocking nor news at this point. That the NHL, however, finds this practice a-ok, does strike me as newsworthy. Clearly, a larger number of other web and print outlets found it just as curious. Presumably you’ve written to them as well, unless of course they’re not as likely to provide you with a forum for your fascinating observations.
Good catch jackass, a typo in a web post clearly indicates that I was lying about my educational status.
sooo aneywaey, hoos it gowing, sints u buzted mee eye fergot owe too shpell?
I’m sure your degree is worth far more than the paper it is printed upon. However, it does seem a bit precious to be blowing one’s own horn about the benefits of higher education while flashing the sort of writing chops we’ve not seen since the late, unlamented Critical Sports Blog. Weirdly, he was rather proud of his (alleged) Ivy League background, too.