Mr. Burns, Er, John McDonough Gets Promoted


Well, look at that picture over there. Do you really blame me for getting the two confused?

The Blackhawks announced that McDonough was promoted to President and CEO. The press release was brimming with the humility that one has come to expect from McD:

“John has shown unprecedented leadership, boundless energy and a tireless ability to move the Blackhawks forward since he took over operations for the organization in 2007,” said Chairman W. Rockwell “Rocky” Wirtz. “It is only appropriate that we add CEO to his title as the direction of this franchise continues to strive for excellence.”

Under McDonough’s leadership, the Blackhawks have become one of professional sports’ biggest success stories.

McDonough was also instrumental in bringing NHL Winter Classic 2009 to Chicago, a contest which matched up the Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings in front of 40,818 fans at Wrigley Field on Jan. 1, 2009.

Shortly after his arrival, the club welcomed back Blackhawks legends and Hall of Famers Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita and Tony Esposito as official team ambassadors and instituted the annual Blackhawks Convention, the first of its kind in the National Hockey League.

Et cetera.

I’m of two minds when it comes to McDonough. While the over-commercialization of the Blackhawks must be hard for some older fans to swallow, it has helped bring the Blackhawks back to the forefront of Chicago sports.

Some people claim that he got lucky to come in at the right time — Bill Wirtz had finally shuffled off this mortal coil, and the Blackhawks were drafting the talent that would fundamentally change the future of the franchise. Others charge that the changes he oversaw were common sense — putting the Blackhawks on television and spending more than $2.47 a year on marketing the team, for example.

Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. And, as a wise old man once told me, common sense ain’t so common. So, congrats on the promotion, McD. I always have a soft spot for people who so tirelessly self-promote. They remind me of myself.


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