Jon Taffer, please rescue the Sharks

My pitch for the next <em>Rescue</em> series? <em>Sharks Rescue</em>.

Hello, Mr. Taffer,

I’m writing this while re-watching the latest episode of your show, Bar Rescue — huge fan, love your work. You can imagine how delighted I was to see some familiar faces on last night’s episode, which is probably the only time I’ll say that about Ryan Reaves and Nate Schmidt. Sorry, I know they’re your friends, and you know what, we’ll have to set the Sharks/Golden Knights rivalry aside if we’re gonna get anywhere with this pitch, though I hope at least you’ll value my honesty. Apologies, I’ll be more considerate in the future.

That aside, with the world of sports on hold, I was excited all the same to see hockey players out in the wild. If you don’t mind, I’d like to share what you said about Mr. Reaves and Mr. Schmidt:

“Who do I know that spends a lot of time on the road, that know bars, that know good food? Ryan Reaves and Nate Schmidt are two of my favorite hockey players in the world. These guys tour major cities, go to the best venues — they’re also treated incredibly well. They’re VIPs. And Ryan is even a part-owner in 7FIVE Brewing Company, so he really knows his stuff.”

That’s fantastic. Very cool to see you supporting your local Vegas hockey team, and I know I’m asking a lot for you consider aiding their rivals.

Here’s my justification: as a Golden Knights friend of the family, don’t you love the rivalry, too? I mean, c’mon, a brand new hockey team immediately having someone to justifiably hate, only for said hated team to get bad? That’s not fun. The rivalry only works if both teams have something real at stake.

So for the good of both of our favorite teams, here is my proposal: please rescue the San Jose Sharks.

Before the NHL was forced into quarantine, the Sharks were the worst of the Western Conference, with a 29-36-5 record. Just really bleak stuff. Even though Doug Wilson was able to sell off Barclay Goodrow for a first-round pick, the Sharks will still see the Ottawa Senators use their original first-round pick in one of the rare seasons that the Sharks could have a top-five pick. For the first time as a Sharks fan, I feel like the team actually is as bad as the reporters who go to bed at 10 p.m. Eastern say it is.

The quick turnaround to make this team competitive again is going to get even tighter now that the league is indefinitely suspended. Doug Wilson, trust him though I might, will be in perhaps the worst time-crunch of his career.

You know who does well in a crunch? It’s you, Jon. May I call you Jon now? I think we’ve reached that point.

Last night, and again right now, I watched you turn around a bar that was four days from going under. You saved it in four days. Think of what you could do with a whole hockey team during an indefinite hiatus.

It’s not like you don’t have a background in sports. I’m talking to the man who invented NFL Sunday Ticket. You’re practically a pioneer in the world of sports! You’re forward-thinking, and that’s what the Sharks need moving into the future with this “re-tool,” especially when they’re building the franchise around a creative player like Erik Karlsson.

You know what I like most about your show, Jon? Right there in the intro, that deep voice-over tells us that “running a bar is not just a business — it’s a science.” You look at businesses from a data-driven perspective, finding long-lasting ways to save them from brink of disaster. Not to mention the fact that you’re willing to scream hard truths at the people who don’t pull their weight without fear, as evidenced by the growing redness on Nate Schmidt’s cheeks as you yelled at the bar staff on last night’s episode.

I also know that this doesn’t stop you from branching out creatively. Last summer, you premiered Marriage Rescue, helping couples heal their relationship. You were able to stretch your skillset and showcase your heart, too. That balance of real people with real feelings, out of the box problem-solving and no excuses attitude is a unique toolkit for you to be holding at this period of time, when the Sharks need a quick fix.

You’re not only the best person to be able to do it ... you might be the only one.

Please Jon. Come rescue this team.

I look forward to your reply.