Gary Bettman, since he truly has little else to do, has been watching the Brett Favre retirement/unretirement debacle from afar with great interest. In his infinite idiocy, he has hatched a little idea in an attempt to generate some interest and much-needed sympathy relating to his tenure as Commissioner. And, as always, poor Gary is a day late and a dollar short on this one as well.
In a moronic attempt at relevancy, Gary has misguidedly decided to retire as Commissioner of the National Hockey League. Not only that, but he has elected to pattern his retirement after Favre’s. We take you live to his press conference from NHL Headquarters.
Seems like just yesterday we were here. Actually, I think we were, but I can’t remember that far back. Well, I think you would all like to know why we’re here. First of all, sorry I’m late – I got lost making my way down the hall from my office. But I am officially retiring from the NHL, and as much as I’ve thought about what I would say, and how…I promised I wouldn’t get emotional… it’s never easy …you know, it’s funny, I’ve watched hundreds of people retire, and you wonder what that would be like…you think you’re prepared…but I was telling Shelli on the way over here, God has blessed me with so many great things. Ability, wonderful family, photogenic face, a woman’s intuition. And as I was driving up here today, actually I wasn’t driving – my driver was – but I was playing with my Speed Racer Mighty Mach 5 Racing Wheel and I pretended I was driving.
I thought about so many different things and how I wanted to say some of the things that I felt like I need to say, but God gave me an opportunity to hardly make use of my limited abilities, and I reluctantly seized that opportunity halfheartedly…I thank him for that.
I’d like to thank the National Hockey League, for giving me the opportunity as well. I hope that every penny…I hope that every penny that they’ve let me piss away, they know was money poorly-spent. It was never about the money or fame or national relevance of the League, and I hear people talk about your failures and things…It was never my failures, it was our failures, the owners I’ve worked with, and I can name so many, probably two or three, if only I had written them down. It was never about me, it was about everybody else, so if you want to blame someone, blame them. It just so happens the position I’m in got most of the attention.
Being Commissioner is hard – often I stay up real late just to watch highlights of the games. But the NHL has been…it’s been a great relationship, and I hope that this League, and all the fans that haven’t jumped ship, loathe me as much as I loathe them. I just want to be despised, is that so wrong?
I’ve given as little as I possibly can give to this League, to the game of hockey, and I don’t think I’ve got anything left, and that’s it. I know I can still screw this up more, but I don’t think I want to. And that’s really what it comes down to. Fishing for different answers and what ifs and things like that, what matters is it’s been a terrible career for me, and it’s over. As hard as that is for me to say, it’s over. There’s only one way for me to do this, and that’s 25-35 percent. I had that conversation with my Cabbage Patch Kid the other night, and I will wonder if I made the wrong decision. But I just don’t think I can screw up anything else. It’s a total commitment, and up to this point there has been no occasion where I shouldn’t have been committed.
As I look back on my career, no regrets. No regrets, whatsoever. Sure, I would have liked to have had one or two more lockouts, would have liked to have television ratings go down this year instead of up, would have liked to have alienated more fans, but no regrets. I mismanaged the League one way, the only way I knew how – the way Mr. Stern told me to. He’s a great man.
But I look forward to whatever the future may hold for me. Shelli, and our three children, what’s their names, I sincerely thank you Shelli and my family for being there and supporting me, going back and forth and avoiding public appearances and putting up with all those things that go along with being associated with such a despised public figure. I know you press folks probably have some questions, I’ll try to answer them as best I can, but hopefully I addressed a lot of the issues and spoke from the heart.
Commissioner, this sounds remarkably like Brett Favre’s retirement speech. Care to comment?
Really? It does? I thought I changed enough of it. Go figure.
What are you trying to accomplish with this?
Well, I thought, and I know thinking usually gets me in trouble, but I reasoned that by retiring, people would be forced to celebrate my legacy as Commissioner. And then they would devote hours and hours of coverage on ESPN to my retirement. I would simply file the appropriate paperwork with the NHL and then people would think I wouldn’t be coming back and then they would be forced to appreciate me.
But who do you intend to name as your successor?
What? You people – you just don’t get it, do you? I’m not really retiring. You see, after all the accolades, retrospectives and such, I’ll have a change of heart and decide to return to my post. In my opinion, things couldn’t have worked out better for Brett, so why not me?
Mr. Bettman, have you not noticed that this situation has not went well for Brett Favre at all? In fact, one could say that through his selfish actions he has irreparably tarnished his legacy via his actions. Any thoughts?
That’s news to me. Let’s just say we will have to agree to disagree on that one.
With all due respect, have you considered what you will do if the National Hockey League doesn’t want you back?
Huh. I just figured they would. I guess I will demand to be released from my obligation to the NHL to seek a position in one of the other National Hockey Leagues in North America. Or possibly the NHL could trade me.
But there aren’t any other National Hockey Leagues…
Huh. Alright, ummm…hey! I was just joking! Really! Ha ha! April Fools Day! I got you guys good! You didn’t think Old Bettster could get you but I got you!
Mr. Bettman, the owners have already released a statement indicating that they have already begun the process of replacing you and they do not wish you to come back.
You really didn’t think this out very well, did you?
As much as I think out anything else.
So, I take that as a no then?
I guess. Well, I guess there’s always the KHL over in the Soviet Union. Tell me, is that guy with the stain on his forhead still running the show over there, right? Mne nuzhna praktikovatsa v russkam! Poka!