Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Hey, It's More Exciting Than Golf...

Did anyone see this piece in yesterday's post? (Special thanks to my dad for passing this along as he works on becoming my next super junior reporter in the field...)

I'm not all that familiar with the author so I did a little e-archaeological dig and skimmed some of his past columns - he's mildly funny and not nearly as obnoxious as Kornheiser (although admit it, who really is?) but he's clearly not a hockey fan.

That's fine, it's the Post. The day they pay more than one hockey fan on staff is the day Ann Coulter says something intelligent.

But do you ever get the feeling that sports columnists use hockey as a go-to source when they have nothing else to write about? Football season is over, the Nationals are the Nationals, and basketball playoffs are more sleep-inducing than the Stars-Canucks series. When in doubt, pick on those funny men with sticks. Brilliant.

But that's not what I want to complain about. I'm used to columns picking on my sport, it's a way of life in DC and the bread and butter of Tony Kornheiser.

[To be fair, this column is clearly not aimed at me or at any other true fan of the sport, nor is it meant to be serious...I hope. I know the author is trying to be funny, I'm just trying to keep the pro-Sens gloating to a minimum for one day and picking apart snarky attacks on my beloved game is what I came up with. They target hockey, I target them - that's my little slow news day trick.]

So Mr. Chad suggests in his tongue-in-cheek way that the following changes should be made to save hockey on TV:

1. The game needs to be televised north-south, not east-west.
2. The game needs to eliminate one intermission.

Okay, let's pick apart #1 first - keep the cameras behind the net and film the action coming towards you. That way you can see the goals when they go in; never mind that you miss all the action that actually leads up to the goals. Please. You wouldn't watch a football game just for the touchdowns, a baseball game just for the home runs, a basketball game just for...

...okay, that last one is a bad example.

But yes, brilliant idea, let's keep the cameras on the net. Then we'll move the cameras into the end zone, focus the lens straight down at home plate, and just have a camera perched over the mouth of the basket. Sounds like good viewing, doesn't it? Wheee. Just eliminate all that pesky playmaking that gets in the way, seeing what went into the points being scored and you have got yourself the makings of a true TV sport.

On to #2.

Two 30-minute halves? Are you KIDDING me? Watch an intermission interview sometime and see how sweaty and out of breath the players are. That's after 45-60 second shifts, usually totalling no more than 10 minutes. If you think the action gets sloppy in triple overtime, wait until you see the action in the last 5 minutes of that half-hour period. Not to mention the fact that an already slushy ice surface like the one at the Phone Booth would become nothing more than a really cold pool.

If people want to flip away, they'll flip away. If the game is good, they'll come back - if they're hockey fans, they won't leave. If the game is horrible and the person isn't a hockey fan, what are the odds that they'll stick around until intermission in the first place? What, did they end up on Versus hoping to see a little fast-action bass fishing?

In all seriousness, I do have an idea for turning hockey into a televised sport - take every single person in the country to a live game. More than one. Take them to all 41 home games and throw in a few road games for good measure. Let them see Ovechkin dancing down the ice from just a few rows back; let them gasp in awe as Olie's glove hand robs the other team; let them feel the energy of overtime hockey and celebrate when the home team scores.

Then take them home, plop them down on a couch, hand them a remote and flip on a playoff game.

It can't miss.

Now if only we could find someone to bankroll this little endeavor, we'd be all set.


Chris said...

He does make a point though about Vito vs Jagr.

CapsChick said...

Well, that's not really fair...there's a LOT of things I'd rather watch than Jagr.

Grass growing.

Paint drying.

Jell-o setting.

hockeygirl said...

How about staring at a dead computer?