To The Pointwith Boris Bozic
Commentary, Opinions, Thoughts and Discussion on Current Events, Politics and The Mortgage Industry

0 Comments The Business of Sports – And the Fallout

Article written by Boris Bozic on the 12 Apr 2016 in Current Events,Hockey,Sports

Every day we hear about athletes earning, or about to earn, mega millions for service rendered. It’s so common today that most sports fans speak of contract values or the terms of a player contract long before individual performance. There was a time when the only discussion would be about goals, assists and team standings.  Today that’s secondary to the economics of sports. Sports have changed dramatically over the last 20 years.

From my perspective I can’t think of anything more contemptuous of fan base than a league which has a salary cap. The unintended consequences of a salary cap are being felt by many professionals sport leagues, of which the NHL (National Hockey League) is one. The NHL just finished its regular season, and not one team in Canada will compete for hockey’s Holy Grail, the Stanley Cup. However, at least three of the seven Canadian teams probably could have qualified if they were free to spend at will. Based on published reports I have come across, Vancouver, Montreal, and Toronto have the financial wherewithal to buy talent. Yet the current NHL collective barging agreement precludes them for doing so. In essence the CBA was negotiated to ensure parity amongst all the teams, and to ensure that all franchises would be profitable. So if you’re a fan of the Canucks, Canadians, or Maple Leafs you should be willing set aside your passion and allegiance to your team for a higher and nobler aspiration. Like the profitability of team playing hockey in the Arizona desert or the Lone Star State. How sporting is it that for your team to get better, and maybe one day challenge for the Stanley Cup, you first have to gut your team, and try to lose. Today it’s about shedding player contracts and drafting kids, that’s code for cheap labour. Today teams are built to lose, and then wish upon a star that one day they will come out stronger on the other side. Of course there’s no guarantee that “tanking” works. Just ask the poor fans of the Edmonton Oilers. The NHL is not alone in this. Have a look at the Philadelphia 76′s of the NBA, (National Basketball Association). Their record this year is 10 wins, against 70 loses, as of writing this post. Last year their record was 18 wins versus 64 loses. A record this poor has to be intentional, because there’s no other explanation for this level of ineptitude. Frankly, the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) has more integrity than many of the Main Street sports leagues. The WWE at least is open and admits that the results are predetermined. 

My passion for hockey has waned over the years. That has a lot do with the fact that my childhood idols, the Toronto Maple Leafs, have been abysmal for decades. When I do pay attention I’m floored by the fact that fans of the Leafs want their team to lose, all in the hopes of getting a higher draft choice. It’s today’s sporting reality, I get why Leaf fans park themselves in front of their TV, and cheer for the opposition. As bizarre as it sounds, losing gives them hope. What does it do for me? It forces me too look elsewhere, and see where else I can spend my disposal dollars.

Me thinks that when Rogers paid over $5 billion to the NHL for the TV rights, they never anticipated that not one team in Canada would qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It doesn’t take a media expert to predict that there will be fewer eyeballs in this country directed towards their TVs to watch the NHL playoffs this year. As the old saying goes, you reap what you sow.

On a positive note, I came across a video over the weekend about hockey, and more specifically, the Toronto Maple Leafs. It’s set to the music of Ron Hawkins, “Peace and Quiet”. The imagery was created by videographer Tim Thompson. I was taken aback by the video for two reasons. It’s a moving video, which brought back a flood of memories for me. Like when I was 8 or 9 years old, doing what I always did after school, playing ball hockey with my friends. My mom called me in and I recall being less than pleased about my game being interrupted. When I walked through the front door she handed me an envelope, and said this came for you.  I remember seeing the return address on the left hand corner of the envelope, Maple Leaf Gardens. My hands shook as I opened the envelope, and there inside was a picture of my childhood hero, Toronto Maple Leaf Captain, Dave Keon. On the picture he wrote, “To Boris, my number 1 fan”.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think he would respond to the letter I wrote to him. I don’t know where that picture is today, but it really doesn’t matter. It’s the memory that does, as in 48 years ago. I also had to acknowledge that it took courage for the Maple Leafs to actually play the video at the Air Canada Centre before Leaf games. The beauty of the video is that it celebrates triumphs, and the dark moments. My relationship with the Toronto Maple Leafs is one of love, hate, laughter, disbelief and now indifference. But after watching the video, maybe, just maybe, reconciliation is possible.

Until next time,


Leave a Comment!

Posting your comment...


Contact Boris


  • Welcome!

    "I work in a world of numbers, process, execution, risk mitigation and all kinds of other sexy stuff. To share my thoughts, opinions and personal tidbits does have some creative appeal for me. It will also push me to do something that I am not totally comfortable with, writing. Get me in front of a room full of people to do a presentation and I'm on. Writing a story that others may actually be interested in reading sounds like a challenge to me. The reality is that I enjoy a good challenge and if it ends up that mom is the only reader of my blog so be it."

  • Subscribe