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From the soon to be published book - Spin Cycle

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    From the soon to be published book - Spin Cycle

    The following excerpts are taken from the soon to be published book “Spin Cycle – Ruprecht Spinnerman and the Greensville Goldmen” by San Diego Tribune Union sportswriter John Plachner:

    …The hiring of a new GM for the Goldmen was fraught with challenges, as their board found themselves without a knowledgeable football man to guide them through the hire. Then board chair Dan Ross, and Goldmen CEO Dick Monseigneur knew they needed to make an impact hire that would give them credibility with the rank and file fans and a fast track back to the Dominion Football League (DFL) Silver Cup title. They could have chose to go the route of hiring a relative unknown or low key hire but made the choice of hiring the controversial and polarizing Ruprecht Spinnerman . Spinnerman was also seen as radioactive after being pleading guilty to an obscene indiscretion at a petting zoo during his previous stint as GM of the DFL’s Smallville Range Rovers.

    Seeking input from alumni members, Monseigneur met with a group of high ranking alumni to discuss possible candidates and when Spinnerman’s name was brought forth, he was resoundingly rejected by the senior alumni. Undeterred, Monseigneur and Ross convinced the Goldmen board that Spinnerman was indeed their man…..

    …From the start the Spinnerman hire was polarizing to the Goldmen fan base and indeed created a lot of angry responses and ticket cancellations. Spinnerman who prior to interviewing for the Goldmen job, decided to use his favorite medium, social media, to gauge the temperature of the fan base to his potential arrival by creating an account at under the moniker “Gainer”. Spinnerman was obsessed with the reaction he would generate both with his potential new suitors along with his previous stint with the Range Rovers, and his reputation in website interaction with fans, including hostile ones, preceded him. The Goldmen wrote into his contract that he have zero direct interaction with social media sites from team issued computers, phones, laptops, etc.. but Spinnerman, quickly gauging the lukewarm, at best response to his hiring knew he had work to do, and having his favorite medium cut off, he had to employ other methods. This included recruiting friends to sign up to his new team’s fan site with systematic instructions to massage the message and fracture the fan base further with the goal of recruiting less savy fans to buy into his message as others had done before in a cult-like fashion…

    …Efforts to go about this subversion were immediately countered when the ownership received tip offs of what was to come if history was any indication:
    There’s a BIG difference between what Spinnerman says and what he does. He gets hired based on what he says, but based on what he actually does he usually gets quickly fired. My advice is to keep a list, maybe even on this site. Record everything he says he’ll do, and then see how many of them he actually does. With the Rovers he made several bold statements early on. He said that he’d only bring in good character players, and then he proceeded to bring in worse character players than probably any GM in the history of the team. He said that he doesn’t believe in excuses and that we wouldn’t be hearing any from him, but from that point on he never stopped making excuses, starting with endless complaining about injuries and the cap. He also said that he values NIs very highly, but then he proceeded to trade away numerous draft picks and NIs, often trading them for imports.

    Spinnerman lies incessantly, and he lies as easily as he breathes. He tells people what they want to hear, but he doesn’t have the intention or the ability to follow through on his promises. So don’t be fooled by what he says. Keep track of what he actually does.

    … Upon Spinnerman’s hiring, several Goldmen alumni quietly expressed their concerns to Plachner:

    I know a lot of the alumni are not happy but are resigned to playing the hand that has been dealt for the sake of keeping the peace. This club has lost something. Ruprecht’s only interested in himself…

    He's an egomaniac, I'm giving it one year. If he continues being the way he is... It’s going to embarrass him on the way out…

    the Alumni have kind of asked us to keep a stiff upper lip where Spinnerman is concerned in the media and otherwise..

    The facts I have about Spinnerman are mostly personal ones...just illustrating his dishonesty. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't upset. To give years to the organization and then have this "poser" come in and wait til the 13th hour, days before camp, to release me...not giving me an opportunity to even find work with another team. Even the other GM's that I had conversations with told me he was wrong to do what he did...asking if he had a vendetta against me.

    My father has a close business associate in Greensville (owner of a large heavy equipment company) that expressed his, and others', displeasure with Spinnerman’s hiring. He immediately, with other associates and friends, cancelled their season tickets and only continue to go to the annual dinner because it supports local charity. I can only imagine what the true sentiment of the city is toward him. But unfortunately, he is not the only problem. His boss is clueless, and just as much to blame for allowing Ruprecht to trade Rickie. And even more so, the BOD should have the finger pointed directly at them for hiring this (these) fool(s) in the first place…dark, dark days. its unfortunate.

    My opinion...he's a scumbag for so many different reasons. Its only a matter of time before he gets what he deserves. I wouldn't mind if its sooner than later.

    …It didn’t take very long for Spinnerman’s unique management style to endear him to his new front office staff as the resignations began soon after. Details emerged soon enough about his demeanor with his staff:

    “I just quit the Goldmen. I can't work for Spinnerman. I was really upset the Goldmen even hired him, but tried to stick it out and give the guy a chance. He's a total headcase and *******, treats people like crap, is completely arrogant. He blew up at me the other day and I ended up getting into it with him because, I had to stand up for myself. I had enough and went to put my 2 weeks notice in, but Spinnerman said that there is "too much sensitive information" and he didn't want me hearing any of the info, that he didn't trust that I wouldn't release it, etc. So while I quit, I wasn't allowed to stay the 2 weeks and in turn was given a settlement.
    Even people who tried to "spin" the Spinnerman hiring to be positive, weren't happy about him being on the team and that he really is a pompous ass. I do know that he's making more enemies than friends. Really wish he'd stick to the football side of things and not meddle with the business/admin side of things - he simply isn't qualified nor does he have any understanding of/connection to Goldmen history.”

    …What may be chalked up as a clash of management styles was further revealed as serious doubts as to Spinnerman’s competency. Many in the Goldmen personel dept speculated that the reason why Spinnerman stayed in Smallville was to hide the fact of how little he was actually doing, recruiting wise. In fact events would later show that the majority of new roster additions that he brought on board were simply agent recommendations based on very little actual personal assessment. Even more, as Spinnerman’s reign continued, social media was not relenting in their criticism of his hiring and the moves that were being made as was evidenced in this inter office communication:

    I’m laying low and staying out of the crossfire. I'm avoiding confrontation. He's doing things his own way so I’m doing what I was advised to do. This place has changed a lot. Ruprecht is selling and people are buying without knowing what they bought. He spends all his time trying to find out the identity of people on the Goldmen fan and Roverville websites. "They say bad things about me"

    …Ruprecht knew that those he couldn’t manipulate into being one of his ‘boys’, needed to be marginalized and discredited with the media. Almost immediately he demanded credit for all new draft picks, and free agent signings, including the ones he knew nothing of. For others in his personel department he would simply reduce communications to a minimum, sometimes going weeks at a time without contact. It would seem that those who wouldn’t be swayed into thinking that Spinnerman was this football genius that some media members made him out to be, were simply marginalized…

    …Spinnerman also tried to duplicate his manipulation of the local media as he did in Smallville where his success in a title starved town earned him a wide berth, however in Greensville which was a much larger media market, his antics were viewed as weird borderline sociopathic, especially in trying to garner sympathy with the media and others in the social media world:

    [name withheld] brought their baby girl to work yesterday and she was so bothered that he just walked up and started touching her... not inappropriately, but she was just not comfortable with it.

    He made a comment about flying to see his family and she said, "Oh.. didn't know your family wasn't here..."
    Then he went on about how Greensville fans don't like him and his family .... he then proceeded to go on about how he didn't do anything wrong at the petting zoo... just went on about it. She was so uncomfortable and bothered by it.

    When the station got their media passes for the year, it was odd to notice that passes were not included for those who had written or spoken out against his hiring. This was later addressed and referred to as an oversight…

    …More odd were the increased actions of Spinnerman’s internet friends who would offer up insider information to people for reasons unknown, and it was discovered that two in particular were active in mining for information on Spinnerman’s biggest detractors. Friendships were compromised and places of work were sourced out, names obtained and other private information. It was said that Spinnerman used this information to obtain further information from the Goldmen season ticket database, and in one instance contacted an individual at his home, unsolicited:

    The wife hands me the phone and says the Goldmen GM is on the phone. An hour and a half I listen to him prattle on. Never really came clean on how or who supplied him with names, and I asked him multiple times. Said something to the effect of friends who are much more computer savvy than himself. The majority of it was simply repeating the same stuff we already knew, went into details about the previous Rickie deal with Steeleville, and a bunch of other crap like what the previous GM paid to guys like Lloyd and Morgan and crap.

    Frankly the guy can talk and talk and talk without really saying a thing to the point where you forget WTF you were even talking about in the first place.

    The only thing I really got out of it was his saying that this site may be having a negative impact on bringing players in here.
    He mentioned the name of some import OLineman that googled the Goldmen, which brought him here. The negative atmosphere led him to ask questions about the club with some hesitation.

    On my end, I told him I never wanted him here, that he was not the right hire for the club at the time and why I thought that. So hard to encapsulate the whole conversation when my eyes were glossing over half the time. That said he was exactly how I pictured a conversation with him would go. When asked about how he got our names he mentioned something about higher ups.....and a picture of all of us at practice. Where "someone more savvy" could say this persons name and screen name.....

    I seriously doubt that I am going to be the only one he calls. He says he knows others names and numbers too

    Over the conv. I caught him in a few lies but said when he came here that he had no knowledge of the site, and it was his wife that pointed it out to him. That I know is BS, as the date stamp tags his handle here before he was hired.

    A couple other things I got..... When he said that the QB situation is a gamble (one that he admits if it fails he will likely get fired for), I told him he only has himself to blame for that, with no progression in place. I mentioned of course that two years in the league with sporadic time is hardly eval, he simply disagreed, which led me into the 5 years of Jyles inability and the faith they've now put on him....

    Each time he would go on a a tangent that was really quite dizzying in it's speed to the point of wondering if he actually got WTF you were actually saying.

    Also, the petting zoo topic was one that he brought up, not fact I tried to stay away from it, but I said it is something I cannot or will never be able to just slough off. Which led into multiple times admitting that it was his fault, his responsibility, etc, etc.....which I do believe he is genuinely remorseful about. When he brought up the medication stuff though, I cut him off with the only thing that does is lower your inhibitions.....

    At one point I did flat out say when he asked if I thought he should quit "yeah....actually".

    That's all I got for now.....still very creeped out by the whole ordeal.

    I just can't believe that someone would dig this hard to phone me up. Christ do you think Andy Reid is calling up guys on Igglesfan (Eagle fan forum)??

    The next day, Spinnerman was in his coaches office bragging about how he now had the internet boys on the run. His coaches and staff were not too impressed that he was obsession over internet sites more than his roster. Efforts were made by staffers to have formal complaints levied against Spinnerman for his obvious breach of club policies and breaches of personal privacy for his own agends. Further, one of Ruprecht’s web boys tried to back off his detractor by hinting he knew where he works, which was erroneous information supplied by Spinnerman…

    …During the offseason while on one hand Spinnerman would offer to the public that certain players were outside his budget, agents were offering a contradictory version of events. Slowly behind the scenes, the real story was starting to emerge:

    He’s guilty of being a lousy GM. I know for a fact that he never offered Spicolli even a low-ball contract. The fact that he had absolutely no stats for the entire last season without a doubt brought his free agent contract opportunities and his value way down. He publicly said that he wanted to sign him yet he never even made an offer. He told the public that he had made a fair offer to Davis yet he told him to pound sand and sign elsewhere. Davis' agent was brushed aside by Spinnerman in a phone call because "He had a press conference”

    I had coffee today with an agent that has dealings with Ruprecht and knows him very well. He said that Ruprecht is a lousy judge of talent and heavily relies on the opinions of his favorite agents. Spinnerman is not a standup guy. On the other, everything that Spinnerman is not -- Popp is and that is precisely why Popp nearly got the GM job in Indy. I do feel sorry for the coach. He is a standup guy but he is stuck with a lousy GM and even worse -- stuck with a lousy human being.

    …It all hit the fan when in the offseason Spinnerman traded all star franchise QB Ray Rickie for what amounted to a very poor return. Worse yet, the cupboards were bare behind him and suddenly Spinnerman found himself completely in the spotlight, exactly where he liked it as the face of the franchise. It was this trade which would lead to his undoing later that following season as Spinnerman’s continual need to defend his actions of the trade which has been viewed as one of the most lopsided in DFL history…

    …Further disturbing revelations as to the instability of Spinnerman’s makeup surfaced after the Goldmen Christmas party when it was discovered that one of Ruprecht’s internet followers had supplied him with personal information unscrupulously pried from supposed friendships, that Ruprecht then used as leverage against a staff member when it was found that a friendship existed between that person and one of his detractors. Not only was it revealed that Spinnerman had tried unsuccessfully to fire this individual from the organization on 3 occasions, but further it was discovered that Spinnerman had solicited off duty Greensville police officers to monitor the house of a detractor based on personal information gleaned from the Goldmen’s ticket base info. It was hoped that by leveraging his friend’s job, that he could silence his detractor. It was also later discovered that a second person within the GGFC also had attempts to have their position leveraged for a friendship with the same person. 3 separate sources within the Goldmen confirmed these actions…

    … When the role of Goldmen CEO was becoming vacant, Spinnerman actively lobbied against a prominent former Goldmen Alumnus who he knew would not tolerate Ruprecht’s act. At a speaking function for the Greensville Rotary, Spinnerman actively tried to network with those he thought important, however not being knowledgeable, he ignored the true power brokers in the room. His approach was characterized as “slimy” by one attendee…

    …In regards to free agency, Spinnerman’s moves were largely disasterous as his high profile signings routinely were busts. Spinnerman also made plenty of noise about going after prized O-Line free agent Brandon Molson, and on the day of free agency, Ruprecht sent his head coach and his head scout to meet with Molson to convince him to sign with the Goldmen however while his staff thought they were on a legitimate effort to sign Molson, Ruprecht never delivered an offer to Molson or Molson’s agent. In fact it was Molson who informed the two Goldmen staffers that no official offer had even been delievered. Needless to say they both were pissed at being made to look stupid by Ruprecht and Molson’s agent who is also friends with a rival GM. Molson signed for 170/175/180 (bonuses included) and the Goldmen were supposed to offer 190 but it never made it to Molson's eyes. Spinnerman and Molson’s agent ensured that his former team the Range Rovers got a prized asset after being raided somewhat earlier in free agency. Spinnerman purposely sent his own people on a wild goose chase for a free agent he never intended to sign. His public motives were to pry Molson away from another DFL club and make it easier for Spinnerman's old team to sign him…

    ... During training camp that year, Spinnerman, who was absent for the first week, began attempts to influence personel staff to change depth charts to favor his own signings and players against those done by his player personel department. One particular such battle involved a second year linebacker CJ Dockett, in which another MLB recruit was being pushed by Ruprecht to start even though Dockett was emerging as an impact player. The player personel department won this heated argument and Dockett went on to have a record setting year. Spinnerman then attempted to take credit for Dockett's signing. Spinnerman won another of these battles by keeping QB Pat Nicholson stapled to the bench until injuries could not prevent it any longer. Spinnerman would routinely after games rush to speak to the media first, leaving his head coach unsure as to what Ruprecht said, and unsteady in his own press scrums, leaving many to speculate that his own job and reputation were shaky...

    …As the season wore on, one by one front office staff began resigning which prompted one Goldmen insider to offer up the following:

    You can't really buy much that comes out of Spinnerman’s mouth. His ego prevents him from being truthful in his communications. Now I know that at time corporate communications often require clever manipulations of what is said and how it is said. Ruprecht, at times is a very good communicator - far better than his predecessor was. His biggest problem is that he doesn't have a consistent plan on how to communicate things over the longer term. Quite likely because his ego tells him that he doesn't need the assistance of someone trained in precisely that arena. (I can just hear the comments of 'you can't tell me how to communicate with the media, I was IN the media and I know what they want!' Sigh... how many times have I heard that before!)

    However, Ruprect gets himself into heaps of trouble when he assumes that his audience can be played for saps. It's as if he believes that bullshoot baffles brains.

    No better example of that than the fan site and the criticisms they lay upon him that drive him bonkers (yeah, he's been told not to participate in any online exchanges with fans, but he's found ways around that). Once frustrated that he doesn't have the control he wants it seems that he lashes out - recently trying to 'brag' about having several of the members of this site 'running scared' because he got their contact info. That couldn't be further from the truth... and it speaks volumes that he even went down that path IMO.

    …Even worse was Spinnerman’s attempts at manipulating his coaches decisions by pressuring the media to write stories about how player X should be playing along with email tirades written at the wee hours of the morning to media sources reminding them of his past accomplishments. Routinely and weekly, Ruprecht would attempt to undermine his own coaches in efforts to ensure players that he signed were pressured into playing. As time went on the Media began quietly labeling Ruprecht as a sociopath, who was next to impossible to work with, however from a ratings point of view, they were quite content to let him expose himself repeatedly in interviews and articles. Spinnerman had an obsessive compulsive addiction to control the message about him and simply could not handle negative criticism in any fashion representing a stable mind. People who would level criticism were later attacked behind the scenes to peers…

    …More and more everyone was seeing how Ruprecht made moves for his own ego and agenda and not with the team's best interest in mind. He was already hinting his next stop might be the DFL’s Agros as he constantly gushed over Agros owner Donald Bailey. He had to be reminded it's not up to the Goldmen to be a charity.... (Re: Rickie trade) What was worse than the Rickie trade was a mid season move to replace injured punter Mark Bales when Spinnerman traded for a kicker with no pro punting ability abd gave up a 1st round and 4th round picks purely on the advice of the incoming kicker’s agent. Nobody inside the Goldmen organization knew anything at all about the deal until after it was consummated…

    … As his final season wore on, more people from inside and around the Goldmen organization began to speak out, including a conversation by a staffer with Plachner:

    There's so much more that could be said too...and that's the problem...nobody wants to say anything because they don't want to get fired...I personally can't wait for Ruprecht to be gone. His predecessor I could handle because when you looked in his could see there was NOTHING going on in there. He didn't have any evil plans or schemes...he was just clueless. Stupid I can handle, and you can use it to your advantage sometimes. As much as I dislike Spinnerman...I have to respect and remember the fact that he's got a plan. Nothing he does is spur of the moment, even though it might seem like it. It's like playing chess, you have to be thinking six moves ahead on every possible option and play each one out because he already has. The funny thing is, I can't recall what the final straw was this morning. I just woke up and thought "**** it...this has to be said". Nobody's called and said "Gord! What are you doing...Ruprecht's losing his ****!" yet, but I do expect a couple texts or calls today, and gave a few "honk honks" to the right people to let them know the bus might be coming to run them over. At this point though, I suspect he knows he's done and there's nothing he can do but play out the game he's already started...let's hope that's true.

    It's just baffling the amount of crap he's gotten away with and it's sad that more people don't want to say anything because they know they'll either get fired/blacklisted etc because of it.

    It kills me to think that we need to lose games to make changes. It really does. But I'm getting to the point that if that's what it takes to get him the hell out of town...make some fumbles boys! There's still enough pride in the locker room to make that happen though...
    It also kills me when the players have to outright lie to the media about supposed injuries to explain their absence from the field and games too though...and I think it's going to cost us in the offseason with trade requests and free agents not wanting to come here. Word is out around the league of how if you come to Greensville, you're going to get screwed over.

    Spin Cycle - Ruprecht Spinnerman and the Greensville Goldmen, in book stores soon.
    Last edited by Opus; 11-06-2012, 03:10 PM. Reason: spelling