Tuesday, August 28, 2012

MACKSTOPPER: A Project to Support the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Football Club

Timed Release Rewards Project

by James Hope Howard

Winnipeg, MB      Community-Owned Sports


I doubt I need to tell anybody reading this that it has been a difficult season, and a difficult year, for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Football Club; the timeline has been one debacle after another, careening from calamity to calamity, the Blue Bomber brand falling apart on every front and the devoted tearing their hair out in frustration.

It came to a head following a close loss to the reigning Grey Cup champion B.C. Lions last week, with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers releasing head coach Paul LaPolice this past Saturday -- announcing their decision via a Twitter link to a (hastily written) press release.

Reaction across news and social media sites was immediate and staggeringly negative, the overwhelming consensus being that LaPolice wasn't the man to blame -- and that a certain someone else deserves intense scrutiny.

"Exactly where the logic [is] in all of this seems a mystery, but chalk it up to general manager Joe Mack, who has run the football operations like a concert conductor without a baton."
"[Mack's reasoning] did not sound smart, and it did not make sense."
"In fact, most of the on-field issues the Bombers have been having can be laid at the feet of general manager Joe Mack."
"[M]any fans have completely lost confidence in the team’s management. And that’s a problem that’s not going to be fixed by firing the coach or handing out a few free cups of water."
"I haven’t seen this much anger at the top football job since the Dump Earl Lunsford campaign a few decades ago. It took Brendan Taman nearly 10 years to draw the kind of backlash Mack has created in less than three."
"Fair or not, LaPolice is the first to fall in Winnipeg. He can't be the last."

I would suggest, out of everything above, that the fan anger mentioned above is the most important consideration in all of this. The Blue Bombers are, once again, desperate for money, and they will continue to be desperate for money for the foreseeable future -- making this precisely the wrong time to be throwing their lot behind a man that the increasingly aggravated fanbase has soured upon. Mack has -- as the phrase goes -- lost the room, and when Blue Bomber fans turn on someone, they rarely if ever turn back again. ("We were too hard on Jeff Reinebold," said no Bomber fan, ever.)

The team cannot afford, either literally or figuratively, to risk further alienating its base; the Blue Bombers will find themselves in serious trouble before long should fans and their dollars stay away from the product because of one poor personnel-retention decision. The longer that the Winnipeg Blue Bombers maintain the employ of General Manager Joe Mack, the longer that money may stay away -- so I believe it also then naturally follows that, the sooner the Winnipeg Blue Bombers relieve Mack of his duties, the sooner and faster fan dollars will flow into the worryingly-empty Bomber coffers.

How confident am I in that assessment? Confident enough, certainly, to put my money where my mouth is -- and that, friends, is what I am here to offer today.


With the Kickstarter-themed Kickstart My City episode of Winnipeg Internet Pundits airing live tomorrow evening, it was perhaps inevitable that an idea like this would work its way into my head.

And how does it work? Whereas a Kickstarter project sets a particular outcome at a fixed date based on variable funding, Mackstopper -- as you'll see shortly -- instead sets fixed funding based on the variable date for a particular outcome. Similar, yet different -- and hopefully just as productive!

So allow me this time to explain the Mackstopper funding model, which is very straightforward, and goes like this: I will give the Winnipeg Blue Bombers money if they release Joe Mack this season, and the sooner they release him, the more money I will give them.

(That's it, that's the entire model. These things don't have to be complicated.)

Lest anyone raise doubts about my sincerity here, I want to note that this blog post is absolutely not a joke or a put-on; all of the following offers are made with dead serious intent, to be carried out immediately upon fulfillment of the reward tier conditions. This will not pull the Blue Bombers out of their financial peril, certainly, not alone -- but each must do what he can, and this is what I can do.

So let's do this!


Release Mack in November
0 Backers  
LIMITED (0 of 1 left)
COOLER HEADS PREVAIL: the departure of GM Joe Mack by season's end in November will secure the sale of one Winnipeg Blue Bombers 26oz Stainless Steel Water Bottle -- the perfect gameday container for all of that cool, refreshing free water!

Est. Delivery: Nov 2012

Release Mack in October
0 Backers  
LIMITED (0 of 1 left)
PUT OUT TO PASTURE: send Mack packing by the end of October to secure the sale of one Winnipeg Blue Bombers OFFICIAL Cowbell -- accept no substitutes (because Security sure won't)! This plus the COOLER HEADS PREVAIL rewards tier!

Est. Delivery: Oct 2012

Release Mack in October, by Week 16
0 Backers  
LIMITED (0 of 1 left)
DRESSED FOR (LATE-SEASON) SUCCESS: a Mack departure in Week 16 or earlier will yield the sale of one Winnipeg Blue Bombers W Logo Tie and a set of Winnipeg Blue Bombers Good Luck Socks (3-Pack) -- perfect to ward off the oncoming chill of another long, championshipless winter, and in style at that! This plus everything in the PUT OUT TO PASTURE rewards tier!

Est. Delivery: Oct 2012

Release Mack in September
0 Backers  
LIMITED (0 of 1 left)
SOMEONE MIGHT ACTUALLY BUY ONE OF THE NEW JERSEYS: here's where the rewards really ramp up! Relieve Joe Mack of his duties by the end of September and you'll feel some relief of your own about the new jerseys actually moving; this tier will yield the sale of one customized Winnipeg Blue Bombers 2012 Reebok Premium Home Tackle Twill Decorated Jersey, personalized to commemorate the occasion! (Current placeholder, subject to change: "FREE WATER 12".)

Est. Delivery: Sept 2012

Release Mack in September, by Week 12
0 Backers  
LIMITED (0 of 1 left)
SOMEONE MIGHT ACTUALLY BUY ONE OF THE NEW JERSEYS EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: Banjo Bowl a bust? Yet another annual Labour Day Classic loss weighing heavy on your mind? Send Joe Mack off to a nice farm somewhere by Week 12 and we'll upgrade the purchase to one Winnipeg Blue Bombers 2012 Reebok Premier Home Customized Pro Decorated Jersey, which is thirty dollars more expensive than the other jersey because thread is expensive!

Est. Delivery: Sept 2012

Release Mack in August, by Week 10
0 Backers  
LIMITED (0 of 1 left)
EVERYTHING BUT THE BATHROOM TROUGH: the whole kit and kaboodle! Dismissing General Manager Joe Mack prior to the September 2nd Labour Day Classic will net you the maximum output of fan support, combining the SOMEONE MIGHT ACTUALLY BUY ONE OF THE NEW JERSEYS EARLY BIRD SPECIAL rewards tier and the DRESSED FOR (LATE-SEASON) SUCCESS rewards tier -- plus one brand new set of 2012 Winnipeg Blue Bombers specialty license plates! Don't delay, fire today!

Est. Delivery: heck, tomorrow, if you like

I eagerly look forward to a successful outcome for the project, and to a brighter future for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Football Club; thank you for reading, and Go Bombers Go!


James Hope Howard

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