Why 'Citizen Wayne' needs to forget about 'Citizen Kane'

An unopened rosebud is a metaphor for "greatness missed and opportunity lost"

An unopened rosebud is a metaphor for "greatness missed and opportunity lost"

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Somewhere in the north, in the land of Canada, there is a City awaiting the game’s greatest legend. The City of Hamilton needs hockey’s ambassador to return to his roots, and be recognized for who he is, and what he has done….

Citizen Kane.

Sounds like a movie I should see.

After all, Citizen Kane, released in 1941, was according to Roger Ebert, a masterpiece:

‘So it’s settled: “Citizen Kane” is the official greatest film of all time.’

Fitting really, because Wayne Gretzky is arguably the best player of all time.

I have not been kind to Gretzky in a couple of past articles, and in hindsight, and knowing the ‘true’ reaction of the man shunned by the NHL, I extend my apology and an outstretched hand.

Perhaps Wayne really was concerned about Jerry Moyes.

Like a car crash, one could stand in stunned silence, not really knowing what just happened. More likely to sit back and do nothing, until the point when you come to your senses and realize what is happening.

That is what has happened to Wayne Gretzky. He sat in stunned silence, not believing what had just gone on around him.

Citizen Kane, according to the plot outline had a man named Charles Foster Kane, a media magnate.

The issue of who he was paled to the tragedy of who he became.

Losing touch with the people around him, Kane died a lonely man, in a bed, holding a glass globe. His last word , “rosebud”, was uttered, as it slipped from his hand and crashed to the floor.

Kane was no more.

A tragedy that should have been avoided.

"rosebud" was the name of Kane's childhood sleigh: when life was innocent and pure

"rosebud" was the name of Kane's childhood sleigh: when life was innocent and pure

It was said that the true meaning of the word ‘rosebud’, and what it meant to Kane was never discovered by the people trying to understand what he meant.

Thanks to my friends at Make it Seven, Ic Arus, and Corey, their comments below describe well the “simple life” and the pleasure it brings.  There is a message to Wayne and his family. No amount of wealth and fame can replace for a man what he loves. In this case, Wayne Gretzky’s love for hockey.

The name “rosebud” was the name of Kane’s sleigh when he was a child. A simple thing, that led to simple pleasure.

You can take the man from the boy’s game, but you cannot take the boy from the man.

Standing corrected aside, perhaps we could also look at the metaphor of a rosebud as an opportunity lost, life never fully reaching it’s potential, a good that was never experienced.

Wayne Gretzky’s tenure with the Phoenix Coyotes has been marred by an unfortunate turn of events, and a shunning of a league that has shown their lack of respect for people, even extends to the greatest of the game’s ambassadors:

Gretz in '72 (Click on pic to see a slide show)

Gretz in '72 (Click on pic to see a slide show)

“This guy is the best thing that ever happened to the league and he’s being treated like he doesn’t even exist. He cares about the Coyotes. He wants them to succeed in Glendale. Heck, he moved his whole family here and has been trying to make this work. Is he upset? You’re damn right he is.”

Wayne Gretzky does not “owe” anything to Phoenix hockey anymore. He can become a “free agent” and get back to his roots.

If I could appeal to Janet Gretzky to allow her husband to do what he loves most, here it is. Despite what Wayne has mentioned in the interviews with Scott Oake (here and here), a man can do what he needs to do, and he doesn’t need to move his family to do it.

Understandably, his father Walter is upset for his son, and had this to say to Sun Media:

The Great One will no longer have anything to do with the National Hockey League, according to his father, Walter, told Sun Media.

“He’s had it,” said Walter. “That is the impression I got.

“I can’t believe it… Huge isn’t the word for it. It’s disastrous.”

I criticized Gretzky for the timing of his informing the public. I was wrong. Judge Baum had asked where the coach of the team was, it would seem, in a wise and knowing way. Perhaps Judge Baum needed this to put the icing on his decision. It was the missing last piece of a puzzle that would turn the tide in favour of PSE, and far away from the quickly beleaguered NHL.

There is an arena in Hamilton, Ontario named Copps Coliseum. Rumour has it that there could be an alteration to that name. Rumour has it Walter Gretzky should be honoured there.

A father is someone we need to make proud of us.

Wayne Gretzky is no doubt proud of the life of his father. Wayne is lucky to have him around. Should Wayne do what is right for his dad that pushed him to greatness? I would say, yes.

There is a judge in Phoenix named Redfield T. Baum. He presides over the case that could change sport forever. He too has a son. Should Judge Baum send a clear message to his son that people should not be bullied, abused, shunned, and otherwise left abandoned? I would say again, yes. As my friend and co-writer Patrick Romanoski has said, Judge Baum should have an easy time now making his decision.

In this tragedy, there are lessons to be learned. People to be honoured. The guilty to have their day of comeuppance.

Citizen Kane ended with a man who, like the rosebud, did not open up to true calling and potential. The bud didn’t open, and a life never truly reached it’s ultimate purpose. Happiness never truly blossoming.

For Wayne Gretzky to end his hockey saga because of a league gone south in integrity would be a crying shame.

And, the NHL tries to do damage control at this point?:

Now that he’s resigned from Phoenix, it’s over. The NHL press release yesterday, offering hope he might rejoin the Coyotes in a “prominent role” if the league wins the auction for the club, was just ridiculous. Time to say uncle and give the team to Jim Balsillie.

Citizen Wayne needs to ensure his hockey legend is not remembered as the unopened rosebud, just ready to reach it’s deserved reward, and bloom in glory.

He first needs to set the story straight

Memories like this need to be made before his career truly ends

Memories like this need to be made before his career truly ends

on the league and it’s operations:

Gretzky would then be free to speak his mind as Citizen Wayne and it’s reasonable to think that the NHL won’t like what he has to say.

Don Cherry has even noted Wayne should have been there for his team. That’s okay though, I’m sure even Don reading this news would have a warm spot for Gretzky yet again.

Wayne Gretzky needs to come home, to where his roots began. He needs to finish what he started.

There are plenty of us here waiting with open arms.

But he ultimately needs to do his father proud.

The bud has taken 48 years to grow. It’s now time for it to bloom.  Canada is the fertile ground with the perfect climate.


5 responses to “Why 'Citizen Wayne' needs to forget about 'Citizen Kane'

  1. Rosebud was the name of his sled; a sled that he enjoyed during his early childhood .The sled was a metaphor for those happier innocent times now long gone. He lived on a ranch with his kin (his parents had died) he remembered that time in his childhood as the BEST time of his life. When everything was uncomplicated, pure and peaceful, and where love resonated.

    After the acreage was found to contain oil; Little Kane was – evidently for his best interest and in order to know how to use the immense wealth that would come his way – sent to private schools.

    In that last scene, Kane remembers that time of innocence. He had so longed for it again during his adult life that in a vain attempts to fabricate it, he used his wealth and power to try and take hold of it through a life of vanities; he even tried to force it as incarnate in a woman….. that in the end did not love him in the same way. He was always trying to regain that which he had during his early years on the farm with his kin, friends and of course rosebud – (sled) The sled was seen being burnt up – during the end credits – as his estate was being liquidated and what could not be sold or given away was destroyed.

    It I s a great movie…a wonderful example of how materialism cannot buy you happiness.

    I think Wayne should watch this movie!


  2. Great article, I assume you haven’t seen Citizen Kane by your tone. But “Rosebud” *spoiler alert* is the brand of sleigh he owned as a child. It symbolizes the only unspoiled time in his life when life was simple and joyous. And in the end he realizes himself that his entire life was meaningless, all the wealth and power were incomparable to those days with his Sleigh. I guess the sleigh, in this case, would be Waynes love of the game. And only now is Wayne looking back and realizing all his efforts in Phoenix and his loyalty to the NHL have been meaningless and the only good thing is Hockey “Rosebud”.
    Thats how I see it

  3. Cherry is an avid Naval Historian with a romantic notion of the Captain (read Coach) going down with the Ship (Team). Another part of “The Code” he subscribes to is that you leave the party with whom you came (Moyes); put your head down & work until your fired or they lock the doors (you dont quit). Loyalty to the team. No one player or coach is ever greater than the good of the game. I totally disagree with his decision to stay away & ultimately resign in as much as I dissaprove of his lack of support for Jerry Moyes in standing shoulder-shoulder with his business partner here. Do you seriously think this thing woulve’ gotten this far had he stood beside Moyes on May 5th?. You guys’ wouldve’ attended pre-season games at Copps already.

  4. An unopened rosebud is a metaphor for “greatness missed and opportunity lost”
    AND, the potential of opportunity to come, if it has the right environment and nourishment. Not much flourishes in the desert besides tumbleweeds and snakes.

    I’m all for Wayne boycotting the NHL, corp greed is out of control and they’ve sucked him dry in the name of love(of the sport). Abandoning the team in the 11th hour wasn’t the wisest choice(IMO), but I/we don’t know what kind of corner the NHL/Glendale/Moyes got him painted into. I’m disappointed, but not quite ready to erect the gallows.

    Maybe Wayne should take a considerable cut in pay(or no pay, he can afford it) and go coach pee-wees for awhile. I think he’d be pleasantly surprised to revisit what truly makes him happy and the ultimate truth: there is more to life than money.

  5. Pingback: Are we onto ‘Something’? Time for the ‘Real Truth’! « Make It Eight, eh? Hockey again for Winnipeg!

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