Saturday, December 9, 2006

Food for Thought...

So have you read any of t.v. ratings articles? Amazing stuff. This is one of my favorite sections because I firmly believe that the NHL skewed its post-lockout attendance numbers. I mean, c’mon, what sport comes back from a season long lockout with increases in attendance from before the lockout? That is laughable. The NHL should be ashamed to release such figures and statements as facts because real sports fans know that is impossible. Sure… hockey fans are loyal the Commish will tell you. I believe that too. But I also believe what my eyes were telling me… and that is, numerous whole sections were and still are empty in NHL arenas. So while the NHL was busy putting out press releases about the strong comeback after the lockout, countless other articles were pointing out that the NHL wasn’t getting much hype on the tube. As a matter of fact, the NHL has consistently lost in ratings to taped curling, bowling, and poker! This is sickening. If the NHL thinks its current product can continue on this path, they are wearing blinders. Time for a change… and I don’t mean in marketing. I mean the game needs a change.

The NHL brass never cease to amaze me with their brilliant ideas. Did you know you can watch any NHL game FOR FREE on Google? Sure! Go for it! They are all right there… watch them on your computer and enjoy. While you are at it, cancel you NHL Center Ice Package. That costs around $150.

As you know, I am a Caps’ fan. But I must say this; last night’s game between Ottawa and Washington was disgraceful to watch. And the Caps won. AND there were two scraps. So why am I so upset? Well… here is a blip from ESPN’s recap of the game:

“It was a penalty-filled game, with each team whistled 11 times, and Senators coach Bryan Murray wasn't exactly pleased. "I'm not supposed to comment, but [during] the first goal, Ovechkin was offsides, and we watched it. His foot was well over the line, and his other foot was in the air," Murray said. "The third goal, with an icing call ... that's what we were yelling about, and they call it a clean play."”

Murray obviously had a problem with the refs last night. He even put his team two men down by yelling at them after a Denis Hamel phantom hook. There were 12 obstruction-like penalties last night, many of them having little to nothing to do with the flow of the play. One of the worst calls was on Mike Green for interference. Right… his backed bumped into a player that had just released the puck, the player fell over… penalty. It’s absurd. There are numerous examples like this every night in the new NHL. They say they call them because they are freeing up the ice. Instead, they are making the game boorish to watch. Watching players skate to the penalty box after yet another hooking or holding call is boorish and it disturbs the flow of the game. Free up the ice? Sure… but at what price? The NHL thinks increased scoring will bring fans to arenas. Instead, boorish hockey has sent them running in droves to the parking lot. Like I said, if you want your fix, watch it on Google.

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