Monday, February 21, 2011

Crunch Owners Fan Forum Showcases Honesty

The Syracuse Crunch are one of the few Eastern Conference teams that Texas plays this year. As part of keeping up with the AHL, I follow the Crunch Hockey blog at Syracuse.com. Beat reporter Lindsay Kramer and intern Kaitlin Santanna provide a lot of great information about the team and they do great work covering the Crunch.

One of this weekend's posts really struck me, however. It's title: Transcript of Syracuse Crunch owner Howard Dolgon's fan forum. Before last Friday's game against the San Antonio Rampage, the owner of the Crunch sat down with fans to take questions about the team. The Crunch have had a disappointing season and the owner could have just as easily cancelled the fan forum. But instead, he forged ahead.

Here's a good example:
Q: Anaheim doesn’t seem to be doing much for us down here. When we are thinking about renewing our season ticket for next year, why should we think anything is going to be different coming from them?
Ouch. That's real brutal honesty. But here's the thing: Dolgon answers in kind. Honest questions deserve honest answers, and I have to give the Crunch owner credit for giving the fans what they ask for. Check out the transcript to see how he answers that one.

As another example, here's his answer to a question of why fan favorite Jon Mirasty was sent down to Elmira of the ECHL:
"I’ll give you the honest answer. I still don’t have the answer. I have never been given an answer as to why and who decided. I was in Aruba for a holiday vacation with my family and I got an e-mail from our beat reporter asking what I thought about Jon being sent down to Elmira. I got on the phone and called Jim Sarosy and said, “What’s going on here?” So the answer to the question is that we never received the reason behind it."
What do you think about this kind of fan forum with owners and managers?

7 comments:

  1. First off, some very interesting and very telling items in his comments. While I understand why the fan would ask about the coach being there, but I think that's going too far. The owner on the other hand should be accountable to the people who amount to his shareholders, the fans, the only thing that undercut this was his inability to ever actually answer the question about Mirasty being sent down. I think he got an answer, it was either too prosaic or too stupid or too personal (inre the player) to repeat.

    Finally, the majority of AHL teams would rather not make the playoffs because they don't draw? Man that speaks volumes about how this league is regarded and how it regards itself.
    Ross

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  2. He is the owner, also, not the GM, so he may not really be "entitled" to an answer on that question about Mirasty.

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  3. Hey guys I lived in Syracuse until 20 months ago my whole life and root for the Crunch for nearly 15 yrs. I worked for them for awhile as well and I can tell you that Dolgon is one of the better owners in the league he has always been straightforward and at times like this brutally honest. They have been going thru some very tough times and thought they had turned the corner but obviously at 19-36 this year it hasnt happened. Mar 7 will be tough rooting against them at CPC and I will be in Syracuse rotting for the Stars Mar 11. Ill be home for a wedding anyways so fr the first time in 16 yrs I will go to the OnCenter in Syracuse and root against the Crunch and as tough as it will be and as close they always will be to me GO STARS!!!

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  4. Oh I forgot Kramer as well as won multiple awards for his coverage of the Crunch and he does a brilliant job for every year they have been in existence thru 4 affiliates. (VAN PIT CBJ AND NOW ANA). He writes one of the best blogs in the league....except for this one of course haha Great job by the way to this blog it is always updated perfectly and keeps everyone right to thr sec Thanx Again

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  5. Thank you so much for the comments! I really do enjoy reading Kramer's work.

    Syracuse is a great traditional AHL market and I'm sure it's hard for fans to see them have such bad luck. The change of affiliates was supposed ot bring new life, but it's obvious from the fan forum that Anaheim is no great friend of the team in their minds.

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  6. Yes Stephen your right CBJ was with us for 10 yrs and yes they made it to the final 4 once and that was in 1997 with vancouver as the affiliate but never out of the 2nd round since. They are still one of the rare teams to either have a 2-0 or 3-1 series lead and lose game 7' at home both years which is tough so I love here to Austin and the Stars are 2 wins from a championship in their expansion year hah I have followed AHL hockey thru my radio days for 17 yrs now and Austin should be proud and honored to have the Stars here and the people who have been behind it...work with it...and write about it are all gifted so GO STARS!...Mar 7 will be tough at 11am when the Crunch come to town haha...I will send pics of me in my Stars gear in the crunch's bldg next month ha

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