Saturday, January 31, 2009

Is This The Proper Place To Vent?

1. Id like the first rant to be about the NHL, Gary Bettman, making decisions to please American Viewers ( that normally dont watch hockey ) :

A. The Winter Classic-

Yes. I love the whole idea of an outdoor game being played in front of a giant crowd of hockey fans in sub-zero or almost sub-zero tempertures. But to make it a yearly event every year ? There is some things I see wrong with that:
It gives the NHL and its owners an excuse to rack up the MAD $$$ it gets from 45K-70K fans showing up for one home game, instead of the hockey players playing 4 home games. Thats not the problem. The problem is losing is effect on the viewers of the great United States. Lets face it, thats the only reason they do it. Its going to eventually become just another hockey games to Americans. And we all know how that ends up in the TV ratings. Seriously, after the First Winter Classic in 2008 with the great game between the Penguins and Sabres played at Ralph Wilson Stadium ( which you couldnt script a better ending with Crosby putting it in the back of the net in the shootout. ) the NBC ratings returned to a "normal hockey rating" the rest of the season. One may argue, and say it was the most watched hockey game since the retirement of the Great One. Isnt that very sad ?! That a regular season game, played in front of a larger crowd basically draws more than your championship game.

B. The Shootout-

Its been fun to me for that first season they introduced the shootout. But after the first 5 times i got sick of it.

Its a very dumb way to end a hockey game ! First, people are not stupid. ( some at least ) . So I think i wont be disagreed with when I say that Hockey has the best overtime in all sports ! In the NFL, the way you settle a tie after 4 quarters of a game, is sudden death. Which is alot like the NHL, except you may lose without ever getting possesion of the ball. In the NBA and MLB its a good way of settling it for its sport. But nothing beats one mistake costing your team the game, or one great trick play earning your team a victory ! It just takes one ! So the current situation is taking away all the build up from overtime and ending it in a skills competition. Its just sad. Id say at least half the games in the NHL that last past regulation, are finished within a 5 minuete overtime ! So if you add a 20 minuete period of 4 on 4 overtime, thats virtually no games ending past 1 overtime. To even debate that it should also be in the playoffs is obserd !

C. Larger, non hockey cities with a team.

I may be a bit biased here when i say what im about to say, but why do cities like Miami, Anaheim, Phoenix, Nashville, and Atlanta having teams, even Raleigh, when cities or states like Winnipeg, Quebec, Wisconsin, Seattle, and HARTFORD lost or dont have professional teams ?! The Hartford Civic Center was never packed due to constant losing and dumb trades ( we all remember the Francis, Samuelsson trade to Pittsburgh ! ). Its the same reason why the Islanders have empty seats now, dumb managment. The BEST hockey fans are in Minnesota, Detroit and North Eastern United States. Calgary and Edmonton as well. To put teams in Phoenix, Sunrise, Anaheim, Nashville and Atlanta even with the Salary Cap, is proving to me at least that the Bettman just cares about its American viewers that the NHL doesnt have, and the big bucks.

D. Purchasing the NHL Network, and TV issues.

The MLB Network is free. Why cant the NHL Network be ? If it really wants to gain the amount of fans, why not just put the big games you would normally see on ESPN and put it on a free NHL Network. Speaking of ESPN, end its love affair with the NBA and the Red Sox/Yankees, and put hockey back where it should be, on a channel that knows how to promote it ! Versus, we all can agree, is the worst channel on the planet ! They cant promote the NHL, and the broadcasting is very biased and is boring. Everyone here knows that Gary Thorne could make folding laundry seem like an apocolyptic epic event !

And the NHL became 3rd most watched sport in America when it signed its contract with the world wide leader in sports. The NBA isnt as exciting and big as ESPN makes it look like, but it is very talked about at the water cooler due to its huge contract with ESPN. Wednesdays and Friday nights. Most of them being double headers. Sunday as well if you count ABC. How can a sport be so big when it still recently lost its best player that made it very popular ? Its because ESPN knows exactly how to promote a sport it wants to promote ! Nevermind the fact ESPN treats the NHL worse than the WNBA !

Thats all i got to say for now. The reasoning to this random rant is because I am hearing of a rumor of ESPN extending contracts to NBA, NFL, and MLB, and the BCS, and no forward progress towards the National Hockey League. And it makes a man like me upset. Thank god things look like theyre improving though. Not fast enough for me however.

Sorry about the long post. Thanks for reading if you made it this far !

~ WhalersForever87

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