Home > Journalists in the news > Gregggggate: Should there be a WHL boycott?

Gregggggate: Should there be a WHL boycott?

January 5, 2011

Some details about the aims of the Jan. 11 meeting between the Kamloops Daily News and the Blazers:

According to a story in today’s paper:

“The objective of the meeting will be to look for common ground on defining ‘fair and balanced’ coverage of the team,” Rothenburger said. “Right now we have different opinions on that.”

Yesterday, Gregg Drinnan‘s former colleague Angela MacIsaac asked on her Twitter feed: “I wonder if any newspapers would have the balls to boycott coverage of their #WHL teams in defence of Gregg Drinnan.”

That’s an interesting question. First of all, is it even possible when you have to fill your sports pages? Let’s look at B.C.:

In Vancouver, the Province and the Sun don’t need the WHL to fill their pages. But Chilliwack’s two twice-weekly papers probably do. Kelowna has a paid daily that needs feeding, although the Cap News could probably get by. The Cranbrook Daily Townsman definitely needs the Ice coverage. But in Prince George, they have a Junior A team with which to weather the storm.

But any boycott would probably start in Kamloops and would have to be launched by the Daily News, which for the moment seems inclined to talk before waging war. It will be interesting to see what comes out of the Jan. 11 meeting. If the Blazers come to the table demanding sugar and spice and everything nice from the Daily News, I’d like to see a boycott threatened.

I doubt it will be necessary, though. The Blazers have taken a PR schellacking, especially on Twitter. (Buzinga of the week goes to Dylan Bumbarger, who wrote:

Next: @blazerhockey fires scoreboard operator for being too negative

The tweet was instantly retweeted again and again.

Vancouver Sun sports reporter Elliott Pap wrote about the issue for today’s paper:

The Blazers informed Daily News sports editor and hockey beat writer Gregg Drinnan in a three-page letter dated Dec. 22 that he would no longer have access to players, coaches or other team officials. Copies were also sent to WHL commissioner Ron Robison and Board of Governors chairman Bruce Hamilton.


Meanwhile, even my blog stats show people care about the issue. This blog usually is frequented almost exclusively by readers in Western Canada. But today? Regina, Portland, Port Elgin, Summerside, Unity, Sask.,  Saskatoon, and so on. If that doesn’t show the Blazers play has backfired, I don’t know what does.

Also, this blog usually doesn’t get much traffic via search engines, a fact I don’t mind. This issue, however, has clearly touched a nerve. Here are some of the searches that led people to this blog yesterday (I culled a half-dozen non-Blazer-related searches):

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greg drinnan blazers 3
greg drinnan news 2
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kamloops blazers ban kamloops daily news 1
greg drinnan blazer 1
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“kamloops blazers” “greg drinnan” 1
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I think it’s only a matter of time before the Blazers cave off the ice like, well, they have been caving on the ice.

Is a boycott practical? Likely? Needed? Leave a comment.


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  1. Drinnan fan
    January 9, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Count me as one who hasn’t been here before. And of the WHL doesn’t stand up for Drinnan Tuesday, I’m 100% supportive of a ban!

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