Ted Won't Take the Abuse
Remember the days when a professional sports team owner was just the guy in a suit who sat up in a skybox and ignored the little people? (Er, okay, maybe some owners still follow the old model.)
These days, in the age of the Internet and social networking, some owners have made themselves infinitely more accessible. The man who does this best, no doubt, is Caps owner Ted Leonsis. He has a public email address, gives fan blogs the time of day, writes his own blog, and if that's not enough, feel free to friend him on Facebook.
I guess Leonsis might have taken this whole "I'm one of you" thing a bit too far, though, because the email situation has gotten out of hand and his inbox is consistently full.
Leonsis first tried to make the following topics off-limits: Kono trade; Bondra trade; Jagr trade; Gonchar trade; Witt trade; Grier trade; Halpern non-resigning; Olie to Tampa; Capitals Spirit Squad; Mike Gartner number retirement ceremony; and if you get banned from the message boards.
So that pretty much only leaves Mystics basketball and gourmet cheese up for discussion. Great for Steinberg, bad for inquisitive Caps fans.
The guidelines didn't seem to resonate, and neither did the follow-up post "asking folks to respect my time and my space."
No dice. I think he's serious this time:
The 3 to 0 deficit also brought out the worst of some folks' instincts and emails into my inbox so here is what I am thinking: I have made myself incredibly accessible to our fans and I mostly enjoy the interaction but it is becoming apparent that some fans abuse me and have gotten into the habit of just firing off hurtful missives about me personally or about our team; certain players on our team; or our fan base. To be direct, we don't deserve it and the abuse is probably the reason that most professional sports team owners don't open their mailbox to fans.
Without more restraint from some of you, I will be forced to shut down my email access. It is making the process of listening to our fan base too noisy and, frankly, it isn't much fun. Try to enjoy the ride; the team; and respect my time and space. Thank you.
October 17, 2008; 3:39 PM ET
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