Donald Trump doesn’t really want to be President. He got into the Presidential race because he figured he could sell some books and get some lucrative speaking engagements out of it. As the race wore on and he saw that he was getting somewhere, he hung in because he figured the longer he stayed in it, the more money he could make. But a funny thing happened on the way to making a few extra bucks. He became the Republican nominee. And while it sounded like a good idea –and will ultimately translate into yuuuuge money down the line - he’s still faced with becoming something he hates: a loser.
Donald Trump should look to Patrick Roy. Not only for being the fierce competitor and champion that he is, but for the wise way he has salvaged his legacy.
Roy quit as coach of the Colorado Avalanche, I believe, because he didn’t want that sterling legacy being tarnished with the failure he was facing. Roy, a Hall of Famer and widely considered the greatest goalie of all time, knew that if he stayed at the helm of the leaky ship that is the Avalanche, his bright reputation would have lost some luster. And he got out, wisely, before that could fully happen.
It’s still unfortunate and pretty crappy the way he left the team mere weeks before training camp opens. It leaves the team in a bad position but I’m sure they can plug someone in there who can do at least the same level of mediocre coaching Roy did. With that said, was it absolutely terrible Roy bailed out on the Avs?
I say no.
The Avs weren’t doomed to a Cleveland Browns stretch of failure. Far from it. The team has loads of young talent and was certainly primed for an upswing - in another season or so. That’s probably what Roy pondered as the 2016 NHL season crept closer. He knew he was going to be coaching a loser yet again and didn’t want his name to be tied to it.
Another bad season with Roy behind the bench would have put him right on the hot seat and while upper management had his back, he would have certainly been under scrutiny by the rest of the ravenous hockey media once the season went south, his legendary status being dragged down by a team failure he’d been saddled with.
The players talked about how much they loved playing for him, but if you watched any games down the stretch last year, it became clear they were starting to tune him out. He publicly called out Matt Duchene at one point, and while no one will say it, this seemed to showcase a growing schism between coach and players. A hard-headed determination to implement a system that this current crop of players weren’t able (or willing) to execute was slowly spray painting the word “failure” on the dome of the Pepsi Center. One more season of that and he’d have to leave in disgrace rather than on his own terms. And you know Patrick Roy, the four-time Stanley Cup champ, was not going out like that.
Compare the tenures of Roy and Rockies manager Walt Weiss, and you will see similar situations yet with stark differences on how they have been handled. Roy eschewed a paycheck and the potential glory of bringing a great franchise back from the brink to salvage any shred of pride he would have left after the Avs ultimately sputtered out this season. Weiss, also in charge of a young, talented team not able to get over the hump, will hold on to his position with the Rockies like grim death until he’s escorted from the building.
Roy has more in common with Weiss’s predecessor Jim Tracy because he too opted to quit rather than hammer a check and helm a team going nowhere. Weiss is just happy to be there, while Roy would rather people call him a quitter than a bad coach. It’s certainly not an ideal situation for the Avs, but it probably can’t get any worse than another mediocre season the team was facing under Roy.
Roy lives a double life of a beloved icon, and the goalie you love to hate with a large number of people licking their chops at the prospect of him failing. Instead of giving them what they want, he’s removed himself from the equation.
The difference between Roy, Trump and Weiss is Roy knows a losing proposition when he sees one and would rather be called a quitter than a loser like the other two. Roy quit for selfish reasons regarding his legacy and you may not like it but we all knew what we were getting into when he was hired. His ego is larger than the shadow he cast on the NHL and this one last spectacular save is probably going to be the best of (for) his career.