Usual Place of Abode

June 15, 2007

Just add a midseason tourney, an organ, and some cougs

Filed under: Uncategorized — misterov @ 11:41 am

With the sweep of the Cavs making the Pistons look even worse, I started thinking about that other sport Detroit tanked in and how to fix the damn thing.

 

The NHL is a complete embarrassment from what it once was.  The NHL needs to cut it losses and focus on the positives they do have: true hockey fans and those that truly love our teams….during the playoffs.  We are not going anywhere, so why not make us happy?  Give us what we want, a better quality product.  The obvious answer is to get the sport on a real TV channel and allow the gloves to drop more often, but here are some other ideas:

 

1.  Focus on hiring talented announcers – Look, hockey is hard to watch.  You can’t really tell whats going on all the time.  You don’t always know who has the puck like you  know who has the orange roundy in basketball.  Announcers that can fluidly comment on the game, while knowing the right time to start yelling and getting loud makes watching a hockey game vastly more entertaining.  I almost rather watch a big playoff game at home on my [roommate’s] sick plas than at a crowded bar.  An exciting announcer with a color guy in the likes of a Jeremy Roenick, or Don Cherry, or Mickey Redman or Brett Hull will add the true hockey knowledge that so many of us don’t have.  No one plays ice hockey growing up.  And if you did, you never saw anyone else because you were always busy, playing hockey.

 

3.  HD – Hockey was made for HD, use it to your advantage.  On this note, hockey arenas are full of  cougars, lets see ’em more often.

 

Ladies, your girl Tyra has some advice on how to “join the hunt” from urbancougar.com

 

4.  Starting lineups / Rosters – Just copy off MNF and have the players introduce themselves.  One big problem with the NHL is that nobody knows who the hell these players are, not to mention most of them don’t speak English.  If they are American, I wouldn’t mind knowing what college they went to.  It always feels good to see a professional athlete who most likely threw up in the same bars you did.  Of course, we might get some pre-school shout outs, but I wont be complaining. Not from America?  Do the Google Earth thing ESPN [I think] did for the NBA playoffs.  Also, I think broken English can be somewhat entertaining, but as Sergi says, everyone is titled in their opinion.

 

5.  Pipe Organs – Get the techno out and the pipes back in.  Your really think die hard hockey fans are down with DJ Tiesto?  Put some loud pipes in. 

 

6. Original Six Mid Season Tourney – I do not understand why the NHL hasn’t done this yet.  The Original Six are such a unique aspect of the NHL and they completely ignore it.  Its where your real hockey fans are. 

 

Have one city host the tournament, rotating among the six teams every year.  Sometime before the All-Star Game split the six teams into 2 divisions by a random draw [Say Detroit, Boston, Montreal in #1 and NY, Chicago and Toronto in #2].  Everyone in the division plays each other twice [goal differential breaks ties], and the winners of the division play one game for the championship.  Hell, you could even have the winner host the tourney the next year to have some more bragging rights.

 

Why wouldn’t this work?  The Beanpot gets pub and NOBODY outside of Boston cares about Boston  area college hockey.  Mid-season tournaments are popular in other sports [they are all over the place in soccer], will encourage fans to travel, could bring some playoff intensity to the rather dull regular season, and would restore the pride in the Original Six and their fans.  Or Mr. Bettman could just continue to sulk in the corner wishing he was David Stern.

 

         7.  Canadians – Face it, Canada might not have a lot of people but they just cant  enough hockey.  Show them some fucking love.  Nashville, Atlanta, Columbus, and Phoenix have a team but they cant find a way to get another team north of the border?  I don’t know anyone in the world who would think that is a good idea.  Well, expect for him. 

 

I love making fun of Canada as much as the next American, but honestly, Canadians are some of the most honest, kind, even-headed, genuine people I have met.  They made hockey, give them a chance to bring it back.

Hockey will be cool again.  It will make a comeback, eventually.  A sport that has such an intense playoff experience will be popular.  Why? Because I said it was like that.

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9 Comments »

  1. thank you.

    Comment by sam — June 16, 2007 @ 3:06 am | Reply

  2. Two things.

    One, been watching hockey for close to 30 years. Don’t really want to see more fights. In fact, think they should outlaw fighting like it is in every other major sport. Don’t want to hear the crap about intensity, keeps players safe etc. BS. Played Football and lacrosse, which are every bit as physical as hockey. Start a fight in those sports your gone for that game and probably a couple more. It’s a complete bush league tactic for teams to be able to carry a goon with no skills whose sole job is to incite skilled players from the opposing side into fights (or collect penalties while harassing same skilled players) which they can’t according to the “rules” of hockey back down from. Utter. utter bush.

    Second they shouldn’t emphasize the O6 anymore, in fact they should de-emphasize the separation of those teams. Wirz has run the Blackhawks into the ground, Boston has been mismanaged for years and Dolan and the “famous” Blue shirts missed the playoffs for 10 years. We should somehow reward these stooges by giving them the revenue from a mid season tournament. What other major sport puts down 4/5 of it’s membership by suggesting that certain teams just by their longevity are somehow better? (Toronto, Chicago haven’t hoisted the cup in 40 years. The Bruins have won the same number of cups as Edmonton with 55 more years in the league. The Rangers went 54 years between Cup wins…we should celebrate this?) Not to mention, the reason there are an Original 6 is that the NHL was so backward and close minded for so long. Even when there were instances of interest for expansion, the BOG refused to consider it. Plus the NHL reneged on the deals in place to bring back the Maroons and Americans after WWII)

    F the Original 6

    Comment by Joe — June 16, 2007 @ 4:10 pm | Reply

  3. Couldn’t agree more on making Hiring Good Announcers #1. In particular, they need to grab some solid young American announcers a la Andrew Siciliano. When I turned on a Sabres game on NBC and saw Bill Clement, Brett Hull and Ray Ferarro doing the pre-game show, I almost threw the remote at the TV. Max one old Canadian per booth.

    Comment by James — June 16, 2007 @ 6:04 pm | Reply

  4. Well said, Joe. The Original Six was a criminal cartel run for the benefit of the Canadiens, Leafs and Red Wings. It’s nothing to be proud of. Recommended reading: Net Worth.
    The LAST thing hockey needs is more loud-mouthed shmucks. Here’s the difference between Canadian and U.S. broadcasts of the same game:
    Canadian broadcast.
    Play-by-play guy: Pronger winds up behind is own net. Feeds it up to McDonald. McDonald crosses centre ice, gains the blue line, over to Selanne. One-timer. Scores!
    Analyst: WATCHHOWMCDONALDSEESSELANNECOMEACROSSTHEBLUELINEWHEREHEFEEDSHIMFORTHESHOTTHATWASTHEMOSTAMAZINGGOALIVEEVERSEEN.
    American Broadcast
    Play-by-play guy: Chris Pronger behind his own net. Pronger was originally drafted by our own Pierre Maguire when he was GM in Hartford, the franchise that moved to Carolina and became the Hurricanes before winning the Stanley Cup in a 7-game series over the Oilers last spring, an Oilers teams that featured the very same Chris….oh he scores.
    In other words, Canadians call the game, then spaz out. Americans tell a story, often a boring one.

    Comment by cambo — June 16, 2007 @ 6:55 pm | Reply

  5. […] Just add a midseason tourney, an organ, and some cougs With the sweep of the Cavs making the Pistons look even worse, I started thinking about that other sport Detroit tanked […] […]

    Pingback by Top Posts « WordPress.com — June 16, 2007 @ 6:59 pm | Reply

  6. The announcer thing; dead on. Growing up in Pittsburgh we listened to Mike Lange with his fluid play-by-play and batshit-crazy goal exclamations (“Scratch my back with a hacksaw!!!”)
    The hardcore fans had Lemieux’s wizardry to keep them entertained, but Lange brought the casual fans in (girlfriends, kids).

    Part of the problem is that, like baseball, about 2/3 of the teams in the NHL are getting/have gotten new arenas in the past 15 years. Thus, the proliferation of techno music, blinding wraparound scoreboards, all designed to make going to the game an “experience”. Fuck that. Gimme the atmosphere of Boston Garden or Chicago Stadium. They’re making fans of the ARENAS, not the GAME.

    Comment by Jeff A. — June 17, 2007 @ 10:16 am | Reply

  7. There you go, Joe!! F the Original 6, get rid of fighting. Super ideas. By the way, what didn’t make your list? Maybe you’d like to add more faceless, finesse Europeans who only hit people from behind or with their sticks? How about trying to find a more obscure cable outlet than Vs.? Or maybe replacing the greatest trophy in sports, the Stanley Cup, with a run of the mill crystal piece?

    Taking fighting out of the game is the dumbest idea ever floated. Not only do you drive fans away, but stickwork would get out of hand. I can’t beleive I’m gonna quote Brett Hull, but fighting is “the most honorable part of the game.” You take the fighting out of the game, then they’ll want to take body-checking out. At that point, you might as well put the players in dresses.

    As for the Original 6, fans in new markets need to know and celebrate the history of the league. Dismissing it is akin to treating Packers or the Bears the same as the Texans or the Bucs. However, I’d like to see 10 Holiday tournaments, with 3 teams playing round robin in one biulding in 3 days. The groups would be rivals, or possible rivals. Such as, the Rangers, Islanders & Devils; Bruins, Canadians & Senators; Penguins, Flyers & Capitals; Sabres, Maple Leafs & Red Wings. You get the idea. Then rotate the location each year.

    Comment by Tom — June 17, 2007 @ 10:19 am | Reply

  8. Hey Joe,

    Two things,

    The most important thing you need to realize is that, no matter how much your statements are correct (to tell you the truth I didn’t know that shit about the O 6 – probably should of looked into that), you being right in “spirit” IS NOT what is right to fix the NHL. This post was not written to discuss how to make the NHL relevant again by admitting its past faults, this post was written on the issue of how to make the NHL popular, to basically save the NHL. So your argument of why should we be rewarding these teams is completely off base.

    The point is I think fans in Detroit, Chicago, Toronto, Boston, New York, and Montreal are better suited for a mid-season tourney [which would unquestionably generate excitement in the first half of the NHL season — something that is non-existent] than any other combination of teams in the league.

    While I will freely defer to in general hockey knowledge, I wont be betting on your to answer the following ACT question:

    What best describes the topic of the post?

    A. How a league/teams should be punished for things that happened close to, as you referenced, WORLD WAR 2?
    B. How it would be bad for the NHL if a team like BOSTON, a city that has notoriously given up on their teams for not winning a championship in long time [wink], to take home a trophy?
    C. How the Monte-Cristo from Bennigan’s might be the best meal from a nationwide chain restaurant ever?
    D. How to get fans, money, excitement, and popularity back to the NHL?

    Second thing, if you don’t like fighting, you are a pussy. Is it Bush league? Maybe, but isn’t hockey kinda bush league as a whole. Don’t get me wrong, these guys are as talented as any other professional athlete, but I don’t see a lot of missing teeth, playoff beards, and players getting charged with assault during a fucking game in any other sport. This is hockey, and so is fighting.

    Comment by misterov — June 17, 2007 @ 10:46 am | Reply

  9. If you’re looking to make hockey popular again, removing fighting is the last thing you would want to do. Look at whats on television today…violence. Its what sells. This is beyond the fact that its part of the game, part of the tradition, fighting is something the NHL should embrace, not shy away from. If the NHL put up on YouTube a Fight of the Week or something like that, it would help garner some interest in the game. For instance, go back and watch the hilights the league put up from the Sens-Sabres game in February, for instance. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9trz3X5-Eg ) the hit on Drury isn’t even there. I think everyone agrees the main storyline after that game was the hit and the ensuing brawl, yet the NHL chooses to ignore it.

    I’m not saying the league should glorify fighting, but it needs to acknowlege its part of the game and start including it in its hilight packages. After all, some of its clubs have used fighting in their marketing strategies (the Thrashers used their brawl with Washington to hype up the next game between the two teams, for example) so why isn’t the league doing something similar?

    Besides, if the aim of this post is for how the NHL can connect with its true fans again, fighting would help. I would reckon most diehard hockey fans know fighting’s place in the game and understand a scrap. If fighting was removed, the traditionalists would get mad, and the league simply can’t afford to anger its core fan base more than it has with the locked out season.

    One addition I do have to the list is to get rid of the point for an overtime loss. Losing should not be rewarded. I think a simple W-L record would help casual fans become acquainted with the game more. They’ve already done away with ties, and I think that was a good move, now just get rid of OT losses earning a team a point and I think the league could benefit.

    Comment by Alan — June 18, 2007 @ 12:34 pm | Reply


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