Dan Tanenbaum, Guest Contributor

Living in the shadows

Image: Dan Tanenbaum

Image: Dan Tanenbaum

It’s that time of year again.
The start of the NHL/NBA pre-season and that triggers one thing:
My phone starts to ring.
People think that because my uncle is one of the owners of the Leafs and Raptors that I have a drawer full of tickets.  I receive calls from all sorts of folks asking for tickets, explaining how they “don’t mind paying”.
“First of all”, I tell them, “Larry is my uncle and I don’t have access to tickets.” The script continues, politely, “Secondly, I have a pair of tickets that I pay for.” I share tickets with my two brothers and my parents, so over the course of the season, I have 6 games to attend.
I always know when someone is fishing during a call, it’s usually someone I haven’t heard from in a long time, or someone who I just met recently… and found out my connection to ownership.  The call starts off with small talk, I know it’s coming, then there is a silence and ….almost as an afterthought they ask.  Some people actually get annoyed that I wouldn’t “at least” try and “help” get them tickets, but most people understand, once I explain how silly the idea is, that I do not have an abundace of tickets.
Of my 6 pair of tickets, I donate 2 pair to a charity event close to my heart — leaving me with 4 pair for my family, count ’em – wife and 3 kids who love to go to games.
It’s really quite fascinating that, even after I explain the facts of my family connection, it never stops “the ask”.
People escalate to insinuate that “surely” I “have connections to get tickets because of Larry”.
I’m here to tell you, I don’t.

Sometimes I’m forced to explain that my connection is Larry, and no one else in the organization, and I typically don’t call him up to see if he can find some “spare” tickets, for friends.
Can you imagine? Awkward!
It’s an interesting experience, having this family connection, Larry Tanenbaum is very well known and yet I never really know how to handle it when people ask if I am part of “the Tanenbaums” … “well, yes, yes I am.” It’s just not me, and yet it IS me.  I am a Tanenbaum…but really I’m just Dan.
It’s important that you don’t get me wrong here.  I feel very honoured to be a part of such an enrepreneurial family – who has accomplished so much in business and philanthropy.
Each day I do my best to live up to the legacy of such a strong family name, tickets or not tickets.
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1 Comment

  • Reply Moira A. Fitzgerald October 2, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    I can relate! I am now retired, but prior to my retirement, acquaintances and family would routinely ask for free veterinary care be it medications, radiographs, bandage material, or anything else related. This includes people living 3000 miles away. ((sigh)) I worked for a veterinary hospital. I couldn’t give their supplies away! People didn’t seem to realize they were asking me to either steal, pay for it myself or convince my employers to give money away. Not quite the same as your situation with the tickets, but similar. I promise I will not ask you for any tickets. Ever!

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