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Praise Be To Foley, Vegas Golden Knights Hockey Website

Playoffs In 3, Cup In 6; A Mantra Better Off Believed Than Doubted

It’s a saying that shouldn’t be new to Golden Knights fans, players, and especially George McPhee, “Playoffs in three, Cup in six.” A mantra that dates back on record as far as February 2016, and one that in the mind of the man behind it probably dates back to the moment he first thought about buying an NHL team.

Four months before Gary Bettman stood behind a podium at the Wynn and awarded Vegas an NHL franchise, The Creator had his a timeline made up in his mind. “Playoffs in three, Cup in six”

I don’t think it’s quick at all. Playoffs in three, Cup in six. Period, no excuses, that’s the standard. I consider that being very patient. -The Creator

Let me have him repeat what he said to News3’s Amber Dixon (see tweet below for video) again.

Period. No excuses, that’s the standard. -The Creator

Which begs two very simple questions. What if they aren’t in the playoffs by 2020 and what if the Stanley Cup is not being paraded down Las Vegas Boulevard in June of 2023?

Only time will tell, and it’s certainly not crazy to hear the mantra and instantly disbelieve it. But this isn’t a claim coming from some fan, a player, or worse off some no-good blogger. It’s coming from a guy who simply doesn’t let things fail, and someone whose portfolio of successes isn’t exactly confined to one area of expertise like most believe.

The more I talk to people, the more I realize they aren’t actually aware of who this guy is, what he’s done, and why when he says he’s going to do something, you are better off believing it than doubting it.

It’s well-documented he’s a West Point man at heart (cough, Rat Pack was a better name, cough). But it’s not as well known that he didn’t fulfill his military commitment by joining the infantry, artillery, or any of the other generally soldier-like badassery we are used to. Instead, he spent five years overseeing multi-million dollar defense contracts for Boeing… in his 20s.

Then, at the age of 30, having returned to school to get a Masters of Business (MBA) at Seattle University and a law degree (JD) at the University of Washington, he joined a law firm. Two years later, he opened his own law firm. Utilizing the law firm he had created, he decided to put together an investment group to buy a small title company. 20 years later, and having bought up 80 other companies, that title company became the biggest in the world. It’s called Fidelity National Financial now, you’ve probably heard of it.

But that’s just one. Ever heard of Hardees and Carl’s Jr? How about Rally’s, Checkers, or Taco Bueno? His companies owned them all. He owned wineries, golf courses, hotels, a restaurant group, mountain lodges, a cattle ranch, a payroll company, multiple IT companies, America’s largest manufacturer of automotive alternators, a “jet center” that’s utilized by hundreds of private jets a year, and now… a hockey team.

This isn’t just some guy making an outlandish claim in a field of business he has no clue about. It’s a guy who doesn’t take no for an answer, and has been making claims like this is equally as competitive fields for more than 50 years.

We want to be the very best. We want to be successful in everything we do. We do not accept bad product. If I have a winemaker that can’t make the right, quality wine with the product that we give, the grapes, that winemaker has to move on.  -The Creator

The man has a plan, and no matter how unlikely, unprecedented, or even impossible it may seem, there’s a track record, and a legit one, behind the guy saying it.

I won’t fault anyone for being skeptical, but knowing the claims he’s made before, it’s probably safer to just blindly believe and enjoy the ride rather than doubt a guy who’s done wilder things in crazier timelines than win a Stanley Cup in six years.

***

There’s a lot of really great stuff out there for anyone interested in learning more about the business acumen of the Golden Knights owner, but here are two of the best pieces to really give an overview much deeper than the one outlined in this article.

Whitefish’s Mountain Mogul by Dillon Tabish of the Flathead Beacon

William P. Foley on ReferenceForBusiness.com

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23 Comments

  1. James

    @Ken Boehlke
    ‘The man has a plan, and no matter how unlikely, unprecedented, or even impossible it may seem, there’s a track record, and a legit one, behind the guy saying it.’

    Doesn’t always translate to sport. Why hasn’t Shad Khan the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars been more successful? – In the business world, he’s a pretty smart cookie – the same goes for most professional sports team owners. Sport is a a very different animal. Foley doesn’t have a track record in the sporting world – he’s as green as grass

    My advice to Foley would be, do not meddle in the affairs of George McPhee. He knows what he’s doing

    • PhiSig 150

      Exactly James. Unless they inherited their wealth most of the owners are in the same boat as Foley. They don’t take no for an answer and they don’t accept failure.It’s that mentality that made them such a huge success in the 1st place. Until they get into sports. Then they have to suck it up. Sports isn’t a true business anyway. It gets an antitrust exemption. They share resources and personnel with 30 other businesses. Apples and oranges. Not sure why Ken doesn’t get this. Malcolm Glazer owns his Bucs. Has he been a great owner lately?

      • Malcolm Glazer passed away, and the team has struggled mightily since. There are a lot of owners that don’t have even 1/100th of the experience as Foley.

        • PhiSig 150

          Got me. He died in 2014 they still sucked for years after the SuperBowl

          • Look again. The issue there is with the coaches. Had Gruden, fired him and have been miserable since (until this year, hopefully)

        • PhiSig 150

          Mostly people that inherited their fortunes. Plenty of owners that built their fortune like Foley. He could be great. I’m hoping he is but there will be growing pains. It’s inevitable. You act like he’s going to take the NHL by storm solely based on his business acumen. I’m saying he’s not the only incredibly sharp business man in the league by a long shot.

        • PhiSig 150

          Malcolm still oversaw the firing of Gruden, the hiring of Morris and Schiano, and 6 seasons of no playoffs before his death. Shouldn’t his background not allowed this? Sometimes no matter how smart you are you’re going to make mistakes and/or encounter bad luck. Foley is not immune to this

          • James

            @PhiSig 150
            It appears that Ken is drinking the kool aid. A “free lunch” with Foley is a hell of a drug.

            It scares me that Foley once compared himself to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. I’m not really a fan of hands-on owners

          • Phisig150

            @James I think Ken might end up being a bit embarassed by some of the things he’s written and said about Foley 5 or 10 years down the line. He’s way over the top in his affection for the man. I’m struggling to think of a sports writer that has shown this much love for an owner. Maybe Bob Ryan and Red Auerbach. I do have it on good authority that like all billionaires Foley’s shit still stinks

    • Phisig150

      Everyone has a plan until they punched in the face- Mike Tyson. The NHL is that right cross Foley is that face.

  2. James

    @Ken Boehlke
    If this mantra doesn’t come to fruition, Do you think it’s rational to fire Gallant in three, McPhee in six? Has got a Florida Panthers owner Vinnie Viola vibe to it. Not exactly a model franchise.

    McPhee lasted 17 years with the Capitals without winning a Stanley Cup.

    • I’ll hold my judgements on whether it’s rational or not til it actually happens, but I definitely think there’s a high probability of changes if the mantra isn’t met.

    • PhiSig 150

      No it wouldn’t be rational. I could and do argue that Foley isn’t a rational man. Part of what makes him great and also could lead to his sporting downfall. Both should be fired in year 6 if they don’t deliver Cup if Foley lives up to his words. No excuses.

  3. Cappy

    Yeah. Cuz GMGM was so great guiding the Caps to the Cup over all those years. Good luck with that.

  4. James

    @Cappy
    I thought he did a pretty good job. I would be very happy with a fun to watch perennial playoff team.

    The Filip Forsberg trade in an attempt of self-preservation was more egregious than not winning the cup… “Playoffs in three, Cup in six.” A mantra that can lead to lopsided trades in order to try and save your job.

  5. RJ

    Bottom line, his track record is that of being able to turn a profit. I have no doubt whatsoever that Bill Foley will extract every dollar from this franchise that he can. Can he guide it to a championship? Who knows. That is something he has no history of.

    • PhiSig 150

      That is a good point there are owners who can make a ton of money off their team but can’t or won’t field a winner. Not ready to put Foley in this camp yet.

  6. James

    @RJ
    ‘Can he guide it to a championship? Who knows. That is something he has no history of.’

    I completely agree. We have no idea how Foley will react to a prolonged losing streak. If the grind gets to him he could scrap the building slowly through the draft blueprint and start trading young assets for veterans. The truth about team building is that there is no quick fix … Undercutting and changing McPhee’s blueprint in midstream is a recipe for disaster

    Is he willing to spend to the ceiling on a winning team once the prospects are in their prime?

    • PhiSig 150

      Exactly my worries. How patient is he? He says mostly the right things now but how about when things aren’t going according to his plans. Also he could be setting up a new fanbase for major disappointment if he keeps repeating this mantra over and over but does’t deliver.

      • James

        @PhiSig 150
        Personally I think that McPhee should be judged on his moves off the ice – It should be clear by year 6 if we’re heading in the right direction. We could be headed in the right direction, but fail to win the cup in six. Not everything is black and white.

        • Phisig150

          If we’re a playoff team by year 6 I don’t see how you could fire the guy

          • James

            @Phisig150
            Foley doesn’t strike me as the patient type … Top franchises have stability. A revolving door is a recipe for disaster. Not sure if McPhee would last this long without any playoff appearances until year 6 with the Raiders front and center. Using Gallant as a sacrificial lamb will buy him some time. Reminds me of former Orlando Magic head coach Jacque Vaughn, a person with the right temperament to absorb losses during the hard times and make the workplace bearable with his positivity. I agree with Ken. Not sure if you can win the Cup with him.

  7. James

    @Phisig150
    ‘I’m struggling to think of a sports writer that has shown this much love for an owner.’

    When it comes to Bill Foley, Ken is like some star-struck fan. A lot of goodwill for bringing the first professional sports franchise to Las Vegas

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