Thursday, October 04, 2007

Russ Thaler is the Man

I don't usually tune in to watch Washington Post Live on a regular basis, mostly because they tend to spend hours on football and basketball at the expense of hockey and I'm just not interested. I've been checking it out this week, though, as Comcast continues to bombard the mid-Atlantic region with hockey talk - a welcome surprise to be sure.

Today featured a satellite interview with Gary Bettman (which leads me to ask the question, at what point does the immense technology which enables us to put a man on the moon translate into getting a satellite interview without a delay??) and a chat with TSN's Bob Mackenzie. If you ask me I thought Mackenzie was much more enlightening than dull as dishwater and overly defensive Bettman, but neither really said anything we haven't already talked about these last few weeks.

But here was the interesting part of the show for me, and it came at the end during what is called the PostScript (get it? Clever...). Russ Thaler, who seems to be among the more knowledgeable and less obnoxious anchors on the local sports channel, put out a general plea to local fans to support the Caps.

What? Seriously?

It was...stunning. In a good way, of course, but I found myself having to rewind it and watch it two or three times just to make sure I wasn't seeing things. This didn't sound like a plea for ratings, although it's very possible that's all this was - to me, though, it genuinely sounded like someone who sees a promising young team getting ignored that doesn't deserve to be ignored.

If you missed it, I've taken the liberty of transcribing it for you (and CSN, please don't sue me...):

We have talked a lot about hockey this week on the show and will continue to do so in the coming weeks and months because, well, that's what we do. (Also because we carry the Caps on this network.) But I'm wondering how many of you out there are chatting up the NHL.

The record does show that the Caps have many diehard fans, people who take the time to e-mail us about the team, ask incisive questions of our experts, and genuinely want this franchise to thrive.

Those people need your help.

Because the fact is the Washington Capitals simply need more fans. You don't have to read the blogs [Note: Yes you do...] or even pretend to be something you're not - just show some support. Go to a game, just you'll like it. Tune into a broadcast; network affiliation aside, Joe Beninati and Craig Laughlin would be entertaining and informative covering any sport.

Let me broaden the scope. There is no reason a place as great and diverse as the mid-Atlantic region can't properly support all of it's teams. You don't have to put aside your burgundy and gold, purple and black, or even your black and red in order to show some support for the red, white and blue, right?

Now we've just got to keep the faith that the Caps will give us something to cheer about this season.



jlrpuck said...

Interesting--the Caps seem really dedicated to aggressively marketing the team this season, and I wonder if this ties into that? It's a good thing (a very, very good thing), and ties in nicely the fact that the Caps were out actively marketing along 7th Street yesterday during morning rush, lunch, and evening rush.

Seeing things like this is making me even more excited about the season.

CapsChick said...

They really do seem to be carpet-bombing the city with Caps marketing, which is fantastic - when the team itself seems excited about the season, from players to coaches to the behind-the-scenes staff it makes you excited to be a fan, for sure. Great job by the Caps so far...let's hope it works!

keydet said...

I saw this last night and my jaw hit the floor. A part of me did think it was due to some nudging from the Caps PR department, however, it was VERY refreshing to hear a sports anchor in DC spew forth love, rather than disdain for the Caps.

I really loved how he mentioned the fact that you can still keep your loyalty to the skins, ravens or united, but its also worth supporting the Caps.