The Arizona Coyotes lost their second straight “must-win” game, this one in Winnipeg, and have twelve games remaining until the curtain mercifully comes down on their dismal, disappointing season.
It occurred to me after the Arizona Coyotes’ loss in Calgary that it must be difficult for the Phoenix metro sports media folks to “tell it like it is” when the team they cover “underachieves” (tactful and diplomatic for “stinks”). In reality, they can’t and they won’t.
Because of the relationships they’ve cultivated and developed and the trust they’ve earned, those human beings need to remain cool, calm, and collected (and indeed supportive) when all heck is collapsing around the team and its hopes for a successful season comes crashing down. If writers and bloggers want access to those athletes and are able to garner information from them, they can’t very well bad-mouth the very organization and its members that they depend on.
After watching the Coyotes go up 2 to 0, only to lose 4 to 2 in Winnipeg on Monday night, I wanted to scream from the rooftops (and then come down prior to being arrested). I wanted to tell the entire Coyotes organization that it wasn’t fair that we Coyotes’ fans have waited for 8 long years to get to the playoffs and that it was negligence on their part that caused it. The Coyotes haven’t “fielded” a good, competitive team in forever, and the season-ending results have proven it year after year.
Just from the perspective of a diehard NHL hockey fan in general and a Coyotes’ supporter in particular, it is obvious to me that the Coyotes just aren’t good enough to make the playoffs with their current roster. I can express my personal opinion just as any other fan can (and occasionally does), but the media folks normally can’t.
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I can only imagine what those who have those “coveted” media jobs, with the associated perks and frequent access to the athletes, would say if they could do so without losing their privileges and jobs! It would be enlightening to know what they would say to ownership, who may or may not give a damn one way or the other. But again, they can’t express themselves publicly.
That’s why some of the supportive, almost sycophantic pro-Coyotes comments continue, and rightfully so. As refreshing as it might be to hear a respected media bigwig say that the Coyotes don’t have a chance to make the playoffs because the team isn’t built for success (just look at the bargain basement roster), it’s not going to happen.
That’s why, as the Coyotes’ season increasingly circles the drain, we hear simple comments like “all we need to do is win the remaining 12 games.” Sure, no problem.
In essence, what we all want, regardless of its source, is basically the same: Let’s have the organization become more gutsy and cap-creative, spend some serious money on a “name” player or two, and make an honest effort to create a competitive team and a winning environment.
Is that so difficult? Evidently it has been for 8 years. Time to make some changes. Let’s go Coyotes!