#105 – The Cult(ure) of Hockey, Special Edition: Maple Leaf Sports & “Entertainment”

English Canadians are idiots for supporting the Toronto Maple Leafs or the Toronto Raptors.

Welcome to a special series, where I lampoon all of the owners of Canada’s contractually-permitted hockeymans teams. And surely nowhere is better to start than the richest and shittiest team in the league. Toronto’s fans, forgetting that the obligation of a company is to return a profit and not to make a winning team, have been duped since 1967. For its part, though, Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment has been busy proving how useless Canadian businesses are at actually producing anything besides profit – even when they’re peddling Canadiana.

MLS&E is shit from the very beginning because it is a business owned in the majority by Bell and Rogers, two of Canada’s most useless aristocratic families. MLS&E isn’t important enough to be held by either of them directly, though, so they both have numbered shell companies holding onto the stock. So, yes – it’s a holding company and behind it are the very people slack-jawed Canadians complain are charging them too much to see The Game on cable. Or in person – the resale price of Leafs tickets is almost 33% more expensive than the next most expensive tickets. But for all that failure, paying the highest prices is amazing! Who needs to see playoff games, right?

Not like a Leafs fan ever will, what with the club being effectively an extension of the mental midgetry that produces Canada’s telecom sector and having only made it to the playoffs once in 10 years. Canada’s richest and most useless hockey holding company also owns the unsuccessful Toronto Raptors and the hilariously unimportant Toronto FC. Zero for three is the Canadian standard of excellence, after all. At least it’s enough to give Rogers, Bell, and a holding company. Seriously – look for rot in Canada and you’ll find some rich asshole family’s shitty fucking holding company.

Again, Canada? Really? Kilmer Sports is held by Larry Tanenbaum and is, you guessed it, a holding company holding a holding company held in common by two telecos. So the largest and most profitable team in the League is run by three rich Canadian families, none of which can be bothered to actually own the company directly and two of which didn’t even bother to name the thing that they were using to own the company’s stock. They’re happy to deliver shitty teams, happy to gouge people sideways with the most expensive tickets in the League, but fuck actually paying attention to the quality of the product at the end.

This is a textbook Canadian consumer attitude too – why worry about how successful something is when you can just buy their merchandise and hope that sometime in the next decade Canada’s least competent businesses and a guy funding the Israel lobby (if that’s something you’re concerned with) can put together enough contract hockeymans to actually have a chance? It’s only been 50 years and the fans are still lapping this shit up. Useless business, useless fans, useless team. A Canadian trifecta for the ages.

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