5 Questions With... J. Rutherford Sydel
It was 2004 when the Atlanta Spirit Group was forced into partnership by NBA Commissioner David Stern (in order to get Stern’s friend Steve Belkin an NBA team), the Thrashers were full of potential and playing in the state of the art Philips Arena. In just seven short years Philips Arena-- with it's wall of 100 flat screen TV's gone dark, it's filthy bathrooms, and disgustingly grungy concession stands --has become a rundown eyesore (a shocking development considering the number of fans that actually attend events there) and only thing in worse shape than the arena is the prospect of the Atlanta Thrashers staying in Atlanta.
Famous for having a GIGANTIC FUCKING HEAD, a man who would rather go by “Rutherford” instead of whatever the “J.” stands for sat down with us and answered our FIVE QUESTIONS in typical Atlanta Spirit Group fashion… avoidance and outright lies while surrounded by a team of lawyers.
SOCKEY ON HOCKEY: Now that the Coyotes are stuck in Phoenix for another year you and your partners are no doubt moving forward with your plans to sell the Thrashers to True North in Winnipeg. I know you guys have made a living the last several years mastering legal mumbo jumbo and coming up with creative ways of circumventing contract language. With all of that on your plate, I appreciate you sitting down with us.
ASG LEGAL COUNCIL: Please stick to questions.
SOCKEY ON HOCKEY: What?
J. RUTHERFORK SLYDEL: Was that a question?
ASG LEGAL COUNCIL: Technically, yes. That’s one.
SOCKEY ON HOCKEY: Huh?
ASG LEGAL COUNCIL: That’s two.
J. RUSTYFENDER SYDEL: Half way there! Lets wrap this up, I’ve got black people to take pictures with! If we're going to keep the Hawks, I've got to build my street cred!
SOCKEY ON HOCKEY: This is ridiculous, even by Atlanta Spirit Group standards.
J. RONTHURFORT SPITOON: (Laughing) Standards, that’s a good one.
ASG LEGAL COUNCIL: Please stick to questions or we will have to begin a long drawn out five to six year legal process to have this interview stricken from the record.
SOCKEY ON HOCKEY: Your head is so large that I assume you're named after one of Zues' daughters. It looks like a freaking ginger weather balloon. I was shocked to hear your mother didn't die during child birth. Exactly what size is your head?
J. RUTHERFORK SLYDEL: 7¼
SOCKEY ON HOCKEY: You said that with a straight face! It’s bigger than Star Jones breasts. Do you even know when you’re lying and when you’re telling the truth anymore?
J. RUTHWESTHIMER SIDECAR: I used to have trouble with that, but I’ve discovered the best way to avoid the confusion is by lying all of the time. We like to call it “The Atlanta Spirit Way”. We are trying our best to sell the Thrashers to a local buyer, it's our number one priority. We are not interested in the fact that the True North group from Winnipeg is willing to offer $70 million more than any other prospective buyer.
SOCKEY ON HOCKEY: NOW we are getting somewhere!
J. RANCIDFEET SNIGEL: See how easily I do that? We've had plenty of practice over that last several years with all of the "We're committed to building a quality on ice product." shit. Hell, I can do it in my sleep... I can do it under oath even!
ASG LEGAL COUNCIL: Last question…
SOCKEY ON HOCKEY: What do you mean, “Last question.”?
And with that the ASG Legal Council brought in former mayor Andrew Young for one more picture before they gagged Mr. Slydell and wheeled his monstrous head, and the rest of his body, out of the room. I assume they'll be loading hockey equiptment into that same wheelbarrow and
heading up to Manitoba. While I will be sad to see the Atlanta Thrashers leave, I can take some solace in knowing that the anger and disappointment they have brought to me for these past 11 seasons will now me unleashed on hockey fans in Canada.