*CHICAGO STADIUM GOAL HORN*

My proudest professional – possibly human – achievement to date is getting something published on Deadspin. It's about hockey. It's about the 80s/90s Blackhawks and their miserly SOB of an owner. Enjoy.

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15 Responses to “*CHICAGO STADIUM GOAL HORN*”

  1. xjmueller Says:

    I just read it and noticed your by-line. That's what brought me here. As a south side Chicago native, I can absolutely agree that Bill Wirtz was a cheap, parsimonious, miserly bastard. I was kid when he wouldn't pay Bobby Hull who left for the WHL. He traded Phil Espisito and didn't get much in return. All about the dollars with him, which is why the fans hated him. Sorry to hear that you got stuck with Hawkvision. (when I first read the headline, I was afraid it was about Harrelson, but that's a different kettle of fish…)

  2. democommie Says:

    You guys might be lifelong sports enemies but Richard Kincade used to work up in Detroit doing Redwings games and wrote a book about it, the name escapes me at the moment.

  3. democommie Says:

    Blackhawks aren't the only team owned by cheapskates. The Bruins have been owned by Delaware North/Jerry Jacobs & family for about 40 years.

    Jerry Jacobs is a cheap prick and it took seeing diehard season ticket holders not buying their seats (the Garden and Fleet Center were both sold out for every home game for years) before he finally spent some money, put a good team on the ice, won a Stanley Cup and immediately got up to his former "bleed the roobz" game again. I wouldn't piss on him if he was on fire–and I'm not even a real hockey fan.

  4. wetcasements Says:

    As a life-long Orioles fan, is it OK that I pray to the FSM for Peter Angelos to slip in the bath tub?

    And Dan Snyder? How about falling into an aquarium full of piranha, pretty please?

  5. Noskilz Says:

    Congratulations!

  6. Katydid Says:

    @wetcasements, "gotta lub dem O's!!!" (said with a Baltimore accent)

    When I was in college and the O's were homed in Memorial Stadium, the bleacher seats were $4 apiece and the parking wa mostly free. If you timed it right againt something you needed (lunchbox day, cooler day, umbrella day), the game would be essentially "free". Now, like other sportzball teams, they play in a ridiculous palace that costs a family of 4 about $500 to park, get in, and get a hot dog and soda.

    But I still lub me dem O's; one of their charities is Baltimore's animal shelter and another is the food bank.

  7. West of the Cascades Says:

    " Belfour and Chelios in particular sounded like native speakers of Esperanto reading the phrase phonetically, at gunpoint" is unfair to put in a piece that someone reads while eating the morning cereal because the milk goes up the nose.

  8. sluggo Says:

    A sports talk show played "Ding Dong , the Witch is Dead " when Wirtz passed away.

    @katydid
    1.I went to Wrigley Field as a kid from grammar school thru college and tix were $4, like you paid for the O's. IT WAS EASIER FOR ME TO AFFORD MLB AS A CHILD THAN AS A WORKING ADULT!!!

    2.My wife got free White Sox tix in 1993 and we treated my parents. After parking, hot dogs and swag, we were out $100. Last MLB game I attended.

    3. We go the Salem Red Sox now, thirty minutes from the house, free easy parking, clean stadium and it costs us $25 soup to nuts. (I am a Chicagoan exiled in SW Virginia).

  9. Deggjr Says:

    The matchup was Chicago liquor magnate Bill Wirtz v. players during the 2004 NHL player strike. Liquor magnate Wirtz could have gone 100 years without one cent of income from the NHL v. the players whose careers grew shorter every day, strike or no strike.

    It's no wonder why the players surrendered to a brutal salary cap. That's how the rich get richer.

  10. Schmitt trigger Says:

    Bill Writz sounds like the type of person who would be a Trump friend

  11. Schmitt trigger Says:

    Actually, a very good Trump friend.

  12. wetcasements Says:

    "a very good Trump friend"

    Sec. of State

  13. Bitter Scribe Says:

    Great job, Ed. Everything you say about Bill Wirtz is true. To add one more thing: He made his money in liquor distribution, and specifically by bribing the eminently bribeable Illinois legislature to pass laws that gave liquor distributors what amounted to near-monopolies in their markets. This enabled him to jack up the price of liquor in Chicago to 20% or more above normal prices.

    The man was a blight on humanity, pure and simple.

  14. Katydid Says:

    @Sluggo; football isn't any cheaper than baseball, and (anecdota time) the finance person at a company I used to work for griped to me that the owner's season tickets plus parking to the basketball team cost more than her entire salary for the year.

    One reason The Youngs aren't such sports fans, I think, is the sheer price. "Back in the day", a middle-class or lower-middle-class family could swing a game or two a summer back when tickets were $4 (and go on Free Umbrella Night and the kids now have umbrellas!). Back in those days, I mostly got the cheap, crappy beer. I probably bought a hot dog or two; the fact that I can't remember the price tells me it wasn't memorable. Now, as you point out, it's something completely out of reach for a lower-middle class family and a real stretch for a middle-class family.

    Back to the point of Ed's great writing; it seems the owners of these sportzball and sportzpuck teams are real SOBs.

  15. kemibe Says:

    I had never heard of this owner or his deeds before. His money-groveling is certainly in the top 1/10th of 1 percent of greed-heads, and he makes whoever comes up with the price structure of airline food and beverages look positively charitable.

    Owners like this offer a window into how a lot of folks with a shitload of money see their wealth: through the lens of an addict. It confuses me that people who have literal billions would fight incredibly hard, to the extent of buying politicians, just to keep their fortunes from being taxed so that people can have healthcare and stand more of a chance at success overall. People who could not possibly miss this "lost" money in any meaningful sense of the word defend it to the undiluted detriment of their own public reputations. They don't give a fuck, because they are addicted not to the amounts of money they have, but to *always* seeing this amount, whatever it is, *increase*. That to me is psychopathology.

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