680News political affairs specialist John Stall on politics.See more blogs
The first star of tonight’s game is…
If you find yourself among those who find it hard to love the way some companies and institutions like Canada Post , Air Canada and Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment do business, you will enjoy the following story that was passed to me by a friend recently.
He took his 11-year-old son to his first Leafs game, bought tickets the day of the game, literally in the last row. Between periods, he and his son were walking down the three stories (sic) to the nearest concession stand, when they stumbled upon a media scrum with Leafs GM Brian Burke. Remember, this was the day before the trade deadline, which sports media cover with baited breath. As my friend and his 11-year-old were silently watching the media circus, a security officer comes by and tells them they can’t stand there. ”There”was in the middle of a hallway… not a media room, not a conference centre… the middle of a hallway. “I’m the only guy here who bought a ticket… what do you mean I can’t stand here?” my friend asks incrediously. “Nope… can’t stand here,” insists the rent-a-cop. Rather than create a scene in front of an 11-year-old, my friend accedes, but is not happy and has a very healthy Irish-Italian temper. Not five minutes later, he gets a tap on the shoulder from a photographer who asks for his cooperation to stand aside so they can take a picture of Robert Hunter, the MLSE executive VP of venues and entertainment.
Hunter should buy a lottery ticket because of 19,000 fans, he finds the one who is about to have an aneurysm over MLSEs customer service. Situations are explained and Hunter listens carefully. He apologizes, says he will take care of it and disappears. Between the second and third period he returns with a custom-made jersey for the 11-year-old boy, a Leafs hat and a stuffed animal. The 11-year-old thinks he has died and gone to heaven. So while he and other Leaf, Raptors, Marlies and Toronto FC fans can rant all they want about the losing tradition and 3.5-per cent ticket price increases, his opinion has changed. If Bob Hunter is the model for MLSE executives, he’ll give them another chance. Now only if they could get more than a second round draft pick for Dominic Moore, and tell the rent-a-cop to repeat 1,000 times: “Rules are my friend; they are here to guide and protect me.”