The gamesmanship might have started long before Game 1 of the Ontario Hockey League final on Tuesday night.
In a move right out of Mariah Carey’s diva handbook, the Windsor Spitfires complained that the coaches’ room offered to them by the Barrie Colts at the Molson Centre was far too small for their staff.
They were then given a larger change room that had been used as a walk-through for the media from the concourse to the press room. At one point, Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke tried to exit through door clearly marked “media” but was thwarted by a trashcan strategically placed behind the door to keep the sanctity of the Spitfires’ room. Reporters and staff were diverted to the hallway just outside the Windsor dressing room, to which the Spitfires had no objections.
Problems with the Barrie Molson Centre continued to plague the Spitfires, when their video feed in the press box used to record the game only picked up a channel showing cartoons. Spitfires assistant coach D.J. Smith spent at least half an hour fiddling with various wires and jacks before his crew fixed the problem prior to the start of the championship series.
Hardship at the BMC wasn’t just confined to the Spitfires, as the media was left to deal with their own issues. Now, I know no one cares about the plight of the lowly CHL reporter, but if you’re bidding to host the 2011 MasterCard Memorial Cup and you can’t get the wireless in your building working until 10:47 of the first period, there’s a big problem.
It is not as if this is a first. Barrie has developed quite the reputation amongst OHL reporters for their sketchy Internet.
The problem on this night? The wrong password was written down at our work stations.
In the grand scheme of things it’s probably not a big deal, but when you’re bidding for a Memorial Cup the attention to detail is what counts. So far, not so good, Barrie.
“Every time here, every time,” exasperated Windsor general manager Warren Rychel was heard saying as he walked out of the press box.
Amen Warren, amen.