Note To Dan Bickley: Get Bent – AGAIN

Hey Dan, it’s me again…

As close to the rink as Bickley gets

As close to the rink as Bickley gets

You must be aware there are essentially two schools of thought about dealing with objectionable statements. One is to ignore them, the rationale being to give them any thought or time is to give them power. It makes sense. The second is to voice one’s objections to the statements and, perhaps, offer an alternate view.

Obviously, the first course of inaction is easier. But, like Tina Turner, I don’t like it “nice and easy”.

The last time we had this conversation was last July when you wrote a “Note To Shane Doan”. I’ll admit to getting my back up with almost any criticism of Shane Doan, but I’m neither embarrassed nor apologetic about it. Ironically, your dig in July was regarding loyalty, which Doaner obviously has in abundance and perhaps even to a fault. You don’t suffer the same affliction.

Failure Is A Big Word

I can hear the argument and justification now:

“You just don’t like to hear anything negative about your team, I’m just relaying the facts and you don’t like it.”

Maybe. Your latest blurb on the Coyotes begins:

“The Coyotes failed miserably this past season.”

Hey at least we didn’t have to wait long to get the tone of your opinion if there was a remote chance that anyone thought you might have a positive word to say. You repeated the “fail” word four times in 2:12, just in case we missed your position.

I submit that, despite missing the playoffs for the first time in awhile, the Coyotes had more successes than failures in the grand scheme of things. As you’re aware, there are many challenges the organization is facing that have been dealt with remarkably well.

You’ll disagree, I’m sure, but the increased attendance and doubling of viewership in a lockout shortened season are grand slams for a bankrupt team without a real owner for FOUR years now. While the on-ice side of the season was a huge disappointment to many (although not to you, I suspect), there were fairly specific and identifiable deficiencies that should be evident even to people like you and I, people without an expert’s grasp of the sport.

Excuse Is A Big Word

You add a dig:

“…possible that four years of uncertainty took it’s toll on the Coyotes, or maybe that’s just an excuse.”

Who, exactly, in the Coyotes organization on or off the ice have you heard use that excuse for their performance this season? I’ve never heard anyone use it, and I have been paying attention. In fact, I’ve heard the EXACT opposite from nearly every person with the team. Since you’re so familiar with the team, I’m sure you’re aware accountability is a big deal with the Coyotes organization. If you DO know it, then it was a direct insult aimed at the team, right?

In the Don Maloney presser you used for your bites, he is quite clear about HIS errors and HIS failures in providing the tools necessary to win games. Did you listen to what he said? Were you physically there to take notes or ask questions? There was never a hint of an excuse or a finger pointed at anyone but himself. That’s what leadership is about, that’s one way to inspire the confidence of the people around you.

Obvious Omissions

Of course you neglected to mention ANY of the positives for the team. You ignored the aforementioned attendance and viewership increase. Excellent season ticket sales despite a poor showing on the ice went unmentioned. Your mention of “as long as they play in Glendale…” as one of two reasons for the continued woes of the team indicates, to me, that you’re disappointed they moved from the dungeon of a hockey venue that is USAC. Your failure to appear at the arena with any consistency indicates the same.

Significantly, you ignored the current landrush of potential Coyotes owners in the process of working a deal with the NHL. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt assuming you actually have knowledge of these people. If you don’t, then you’re just really bad at your job.

There’s more, but you get my point.

Home Town Loyalty

Dan, you’re a sports reporter not an investigative journalist. I’m wondering if you see how your consistently alienating comments about a sports team could actually have an impact on the bottom line of that team, assuming you care. While your attitude does nothing but infuriate most Coyotes fans, there are other sports fans with less fervor and knowledge of the game that you can impact with your negativity.

People rely on sports reporters, like you, for real information without a lot of bias unless it’s cheerleading for the home team. That’s not happening with you and the casual listener would get the wrong impression of what’s REALLY happening with the team. Why should they buy tickets to see such a FAILURE of a hockey team? We all understand ticket sales isn’t your job, but don’t run too far up the self importance tree that you can’t see the ground where your bread is buttered.

There’s a LOT to be said for loyalty. Would it have been possible for you to put together a two minute editorial with less invective, more real information, and still get your point across? We’ll never know. You should understand that the Coyotes are part of the package that puts food on your table and MAYBE show them some support every now and then. You could show them some respect.

Or, you could stick to baseball and basketball and anything BUT hockey. Turn that over to Sarah McLellan and everybody will be better off, because she puts you on the trailer every single time, Dan.

That was another sports term you might not have recognized, sorry.

Let’s not do this again, okay?


  1. Right on George! Add my name to the growing list of people that are summarily unimpressed with Bickley. He seems to revel in the Coyotes struggles. Quite an odd posture for a local sports writer. And consistent with that, he is blind to the successes of the organization. He adds nothing, and should no longer be on the Coyotes invite list. AM 910. What a miserable “flagship station.”

  2. great article, G….just wishes you would come off the fence and say what you really mean…keep up the good work

  3. George,

    You are normally quite exponential in the detail you provide on the subjects you opine.

    But…who is Dan Bickley?

  4. Frank Thompson says

    George, I see that Glendale has turned down the Fire Department’s request for additional funding and may have to close a station or increase service call times.

    Can you do an article about it? I have trouble believing that the city would deny funding that affects public safety, yet at the same time approve another generous lease for a Coyotes buyer. Sure, the team is of some benefit, but to put people’s lives at risk for some hopeful economic impact at Westgate? I don’t see it happening.

    • Sure, when I have the time to submit the necessary public records request and do all the other research to get the numbers that aren’t readily available. Based on a Twitter conversation, I’ve been informed my statement (based on Chief Burdick’s presentation last October 2) that FD lost over a million dollars (more than enough to cover the $850k increase the FD is looking for) on their University of Phoenix Stadium contract was incorrect.

      I’d also examine the shared service contract with other cities to determine if Phoenix (in particular) routinely “gets” more than it “gives” to Glendale and perhaps adjust those expenses to save a few bucks.

      I’d also look at alternatives to medical calls, since they comprise the vast majority of FD calls.

      Obviously, since professional reporters don’t have the time to do that research, it will take a lot of time for an amateur with a full time job to do it.

  5. El Guapo says

    Dan’s a tool. He revels in pessimism and negativity. Since coming from Chicago, he’s never warmed up to any of the local Phoenix teams, and only talks or writes about the worst in every situation. He wouldn’t have a job if not for riding the coattails of Mike J. I don’t bother reading or listening to his drivel, he’s a waste of time.

    Keep up the great work George!