How to Solve The Five Big Problems for the Toronto Maple Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs have sunk into a terrible morass from which there seems to be little escape. The players are adrift, the coach at a loss, while the media metes out blame and the fans cry in dismay. B9G9hrkCUAAU-WoRather than plunge into some sort of Robespierre frenzy, I suggest the following:

Problem #5: Vitriolic Toronto Sports Media. The Toronto sports media, as eager to deify as they are to condemn, is comprised of knee-jerk simpletons who make as many bad judgements as they do unintelligible puns. B2yA4mcIEAANrAz.jpg-largeThese clown are stupid enough to seriously suggest that Kessel be traded – Are they nuts?!? Solution: Change the channel and watch highlights of the 1993 Playoffs instead.

4. Ineffective Coaching. Ron Wilson (2008-12) and Randy Carlyle (2012-15) provided no direction for the players, beyond yelling and making snide remarks. wilson-preachWhile Horachek struggles to implement a system, it appears that his time will also be limited behind the bench. Solution: Mike Babcock needs to be hired, and Brendan Shanahan is the man to do that.

3. Infantile Fan Base. Sports fans are not known for a generosity of spirit nor intelligent analysis. For a market like the Leafs, where hockey is religion, it is all the worse. The symbolic throwing of team jerseys is emblematic of these childish reactions. imageSolution: Encourage your neighbor to give his jersey to a kid and maybe yell at the Flyers/Canadiens/Bruins/Rangers instead.

2. Lack of Team Leadership. Being captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs is a heavy burden to bear. It is not as much a matter of talent as it is of a confident, under-stated personality such as Dave Keon, Wendel Clark and Mats Sundin all had. 12822218153230Dion Phaneuf is not like these men. As skilled as he might be, he talks too much, often out of turn. Solution: Trade Dion Phaneuf and appoint a new captain in the off-season. James Van Reimsdyk is a good option to consider.

1. Team Management in Disarray. The ownership is weighed down by a bureaucratic board of governors, focused on making too much money, burdened by a history of poor management practice. 940-ballard-8colThis problem is the trickiest of the lot. Hopefully these suits can be swayed by Brian Burke’s wisdom: “They’ll name a street after whoever brings the Stanley Cup to Toronto.” Solution: Remind the board that they hired Brendan Shanahan to be president, and to let him do just that.

BAM Marathon: The Iceman Exhausteth

The Brooklyn Academy of Music is currently staging Eugene O’Neil’s marathon play, The Iceman Cometh. icemancometh_1At just under five hours (!!!), the play delivers its message in the form of a blunt object (“the pipe dream”) ad nauseum, inducing an uneasy drowsiness for actors and audience alike.nathanlaneWhile the acting of Nathan Lane, Brian Denehy et al is solid, as are some tableau moments, the trauma of this painfully slow drama begs the services of a certain tool. wood_chainsaw2The highlight of the evening was in fact the relief of it being over and then getting on the NBA All-Star subway train home.NBAtrain1Although even this moment of reprieve became painfully slow.NBAtrain4

Work Phraseologies: The Nadir of Language

We’ll begin with a Gallery Walk*20150122_115635

Now we’re ready to write down our Plus/Delta’s# 20141122_154013Ready for some Brainstorming?

looking bck

All ideas are good ideas.

20150131_110613

Keeping in mind the Optics. 20150124_122518We’re all set for our SMART Goals^. 

20141130_073403That was a real Win-Win. colorow

*Gallery Walk: A walk around the room, looking at charts and diagrams of broad and predictable ideas.

#Plus-Delta: Writing comments, in post-it form, that are only positive in nature.

^SMART Goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.

Leaving Home As a Kid

“I wandered off as a kid, just kind of left. I never wanted to run away, nothing like that, but I liked being in my own head and staying there, alone.” Och squeezed the brim of his hat between his hands, bending the thick material together. “I remember once coming home from school, pretending to sleep, just so I could miss my stop. That’s how I thought. I had to pretend to sleep and wake up in case someone was watching. It was just…I just wanted to see where the bus went. I always got off at the same stop and I didn’t know where it went. I wanted to know where it went. And so I opened my eyes like, ‘Oh, no, I missed it. What do I do now?’ And there wasn’t anything. It was all the same, streets and stores and apartments. I stared out the window as we went north. And then it was only apartment buildings, wide avenues and then empty fields. The bus came to a turnaround and the driver asked me if I was lost. I told him that I had missed my stop.”

“How old were you?” Dee asked.

“I don’t know. I think maybe Grade Three.”

“You rode the bus alone when you were eight?”

“I did the same thing on the subway another time. I went to the end of the line. I collected a transfer from every station.” I stared into the water as if he could see his small hands clutching bits of colored paper. “I was never scared or anything. I was just getting off and on the train, collecting transfers. It was so great…like magic.”