"Could you designate one or two of the fine SC citizens who are dumping on me to perhaps take a break and consider what might be a fitting tribute to the team and memorial for the players at the town museum where many are remembered--politicians, businessmen, athletes, and other local figures--but not the Broncos, not the championship team, not the four who lost their lives"
Gare after an great big espn.com article, you have finally made a solid factual point. Yes, we do have a disturbing lack of Bronco content in our museum. Other than that, half truths, misquotes and a general disrespect for our city and its hockey history.
Having gone back and read some of your posts, I'm disturbed by your labelling of the "McBain"s as "pathological". First of, your inability to spell their name furthers the case you did zero research. It's a sad shot at a family that has done alot for our community even in matters totally unrelated to hockey. Colleen's comments only relfect that NO ONE KNEW WHAT GRAHAM WAS UP TO (except Bob Wilkie, who kept quiet). At the time Graham James was viewed as a leader who guided the players and even the community through a tough time. Graham had a community fooled. He had the McBeans fooled. I hope I'm not out of line in saying Graham had Lorne Frey fooled.
Gare, I'm sure you did your research on Lorne Frey. Assistant coach, assistant GM, director of scouting from 1986 to 1991 for the Broncos. Graham's right hand man for five + years. Gare, this is nothing new to a steadfast researcher like you, so for everyone else's benefit; Lorne Frey was an uncle to the Krugers...and Fanner's brother.
Think on that for a second.
How many people would put their own blood in the sights of a sexual predator? Winning or not, no one was hiding anything. The guy who worked hand in hand with Graham James obviously had no clue about the true nature of Graham James. We were simply a community that didn't know. The McBean's comments were not "pathological". They where as you say "reflective" of how we were duped. Yes, it's easy now to say Graham was a monster and had no redeeming qualities, but the very people who said that had family working right next the monster for more than five years.
Graham was a horrible, horrible man. He fooled us all. Look at the facts, look at the people involved.
Hell, the Calgary Hitmen gave him a job. You'd think someone would've spoke up that maybe he wasn't a good hire? No one knew.
Gare, you owe the McBeans an apology. We'll add it to the list.
The Hitmen didnt give James a job. James was part of the group which founded the Hitmen along with Kennedy, Fleury, Sakic, Bret Hart, and others.
So it wasnt like a bunch of outsiders thought he would make a good coach. Nobdoy in the league would hire him so he got back in by getting his own team. Only the league can be blamed for that.
You're right that he wasn't hired in the traditional way most coaches are.
One of the "others", you refer to was Lorne Johnston.
Copy and paste this link for more info:
A respected farmer who had a son (Neil) play for the Broncos in 92-93 (when Graham was coach). Read his bio. A hall of fame farmer with character and conviction. Not a guy who would become business associates with a known pedophile.
Graham James fooled the league, the town, his businness associates. Everyone. For people to continue to say that people knew about this and kept it secret in a city the size of Swift Current is, as Gare would say "pathological".
There was a lot of questionable material in your article. And there was a lot of stuff about Swift Current that is true. I think what has everybody so outraged is the way you went about all of this.
Swift Current is a proud town. Of course Swift Current is ashamed of Graham James. Of course people are embarassed that they didn't realize what was going on. Of course people feel guilt that they didn't know. And I'm sure there are a few people that suspected what was going on. Suspected. However, if you can't get anyone to come forward, how can you get rid of the guy??? Graham was manipulative and smart. He knew what he was doing and how to hide it. And yes, of course he should be mentioned in an article about the bus crash. He was there for it and he was still there after it. People in Swift Current are angered over the amount of material in the article about Graham and the way you presented it.
Everyone in Swift Current was excited about ESPN doing an article about the Broncos. The Broncos is one of the biggest, if not THE biggest, things in Swift Current. People are proud of the team no matter what you say. And then you make it look like Swift Current is full of a bunch of jerks who would rather have a coach molesting their players than a losing hockey club. Get real.
I could guarantee that if you called half the people you quoted in your article and asked them if they knew what that article was going to be like if they'd actually sit down with you again they'd say no. People thought it was going to be a nice article about the four players we lost. Boy, were they wrong.
I agree that more could have been done on the anniversary. Many people do. But does that mean that Swift Current isn't proud of the team and doesn't honor those players? No. Honestly, what more did you want them to do? A banner would have been nice. And I believe that they will do it in the future, when the rink is renovated. But what else did you want?
You really just needed to make a good read and you didn't care who you were gonna hurt to get the story.
One of the biggest problems I have with your article is that you're making Swift Current look terrible to everyone who doesn't know any better. Sure, all the residents of SC know that some of the stuff you wrote had a spin on it, and some other people from parts of the WHL know that you did. But do you think that anyone in Central/Eastern Canada or the United States realizes that you twisted it a little? No. You've made a disgrace of Swift Current.
I'm not going to sit here and point out things in the article that I know are untrue, because I know you'll just jump all over it and lie. All I'm arguing is the spin and twist you put on your story. Brutal.
Everyone should check out the Booster, Thursday, April 12th edition. There is a story about the article. "Broncos irate with negative portrayal by ESPN". Dean is not a happy camper.
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