cheque from David Stern... Hate mail."
As if that wasn't enough, Bettman now seems to be facing a rebellion from his corporate partners. Air Canada fired the first shot on Wednesday when they released a letter expressing concern about the league's perceived violence problem. Via Rail followed up with a similar letter on Friday.
Fan reaction to the letters was split. Some argued that they were a cynical attempt to score public relations points, while others felt that it was about time a league partner stood up for player safety. But whichever side you're on, there was an important point that almost all fans missed: Angry letters to the league from corporate sponsors aren't remotely unusual.
In fact, Bettman receives correspondence from his partners all the time, and most of them are complaining about something. To prove the point, inside sources raided Bettman's inbound mailbox over the weekend and supplied me some of his most recent feedback from corporate sponsors. As you'll see, it's not pretty.
We're always looking for new ideas, and we certainly appreciate you taking the time to send us your suggestions. But with all due respect, we're pretty sure that "Roll Up The Rim To Lose, But Still Get a Point For Reasons Nobody Quite Understands" would be a disaster.
Are you serious? It's bad enough that part of our sponsorship agreement says we need to have half our fleet circling the arena in Phoenix at all times, but now you expect us to deploy to Atlanta too?
Acme Moving Vans Inc.
Is there anything you can do about the Leafs' recent run at a playoff spot? We've made billions in profits since the lockout thanks to Toronto-based anti-depressant sales, and now we're all on the verge of bankruptcy.
The Association of Canadian Pharmaceutical Companies
This is to inform you that I am seriously considering terminating my sponsorship agreement with the NHL. Given some of the recent on-ice events, I'm concerned that a continued association with your league could negatively affect my image.
This is out of control. We just spent two years and almost $200M on the filming of Transformers 3, and when we went to edit it we found Ryan Kesler lurking in the background of every single shot.
Please do something,
We're writing to express our deep concern over how exactly we're supposed to include this year's Colorado Avalanche in our upcoming release of our NHL 2012 game. As you know, our current ratings systems isn't designed to accept negative numbers.
Thank you for your recent correspondence, in which you complained about certain elements of NBC's coverage of the NHL. I am writing to assure you that all senior management here were completely appalled by your note and are treating it extremely seriously, as they were completely unaware that NBC has been broadcasting NHL hockey. Needless to say, we'll be rectifying this situation as soon as possible.
Any chance you could ask the networks to stop showing so many close ups of the press box? Every time they do, refund requests on our high-definition TVs go through the roof.
In answer to your questions: Yes, we've had tremendous success selling touch-based games on our app store. Yes, we're aware that certain Canadian teams are very popular. No, we're still not interested in your proposal for "Angry Burkes".
I know that you're hearing plenty of complaints this week. I just wanted to reach out to you in this difficult time and urge you to ignore the criticism. Your administration is, as always, doing a fantastic job for your corporate partners. Heck, I for one know that our business has never been better, thanks to you.
All the best,
Ernie's Emporium of Stretchers, Neck Braces and Wheelchairs