Jump to content

The "Winter Classic"


marvin

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 55
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Quote:
Originally posted by raspberrywine:

Its a great game given that so many can identify with playing hockey outdoors as kids.

It really is THE greatest game in North America. I don't know why more Americans can't see this.
While you know I agree with you that it is the best sport on earth, the problem is a double entendre of what you just said...."Americans can't see this".

The game needs to be on free tv, not cable only, and the cable games need to be on ESPN again, not Versus. Commish Gary Bettman says "we'd rather be number one on Versus than number seven on ESPN" but that is backwards thinking.

You can thank former Commish John Zeigler for taking the game off national tv in the late 70's and 80's and giving hockey that "private club" of fans. The thought process was "don't watch us, if you don't want to, we'll survive without you", but people forgot about it! Out of sight, out of mind.

I can't tell you what I used to have to go through to see a Blackhawks road game in the 80's. Chicago was the last big city to get cable, so when the Hawks were exclusively on cable and the city didn't carry it.....we'd drive all over the suburbs looking for a bar that would put it on and wouldn't be offending some one in there that wanted something else on.

Sometimes, we'd hit ten bars in a night (this was before cell phones) just lloking for a place to see the damn game!

Couple that with the fact that the moronic owner wouldn't televise home games and it's a small wonder that hockey became a blip on the radar in this city. College sports surpassed the fan base here.

What an absolute travesty that American fans never really got to see Wayne Gretzky all those years, but hockey has only itself to blame.

I had season tickets for seventeen years, not only because I wanted them, but because I HAD to have them to see a game!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I might have an easier time getting Paulie to believe that Derek Jeter is a better player than Carlos Guillen than getting him to watch a hockey game!

Yes the tv issue is a problem for sure. In Calgary, just about every Flames road game is on tv, and many of their home games also. If you subscribe to the French sports channel (which I do), you get every Montreal game.

Every Saturday, the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) shows two hockey games - and you don't need cable to access this.

Hockey is part of the fabric of being a Canadian. Whether you're a fan or not, EVERY Canadian will admit to this being true.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote:
Originally posted by marvin:

Quote:
Originally posted by raspberrywine:

Its a great game given that so many can identify with playing hockey outdoors as kids.

It really is THE greatest game in North America. I don't know why more Americans can't see this.
While you know I agree with you that it is the best sport on earth, the problem is a double entendre of what you just said...."Americans can't see this".

The game needs to be on free tv, not cable only, and the cable games need to be on ESPN again, not Versus. Commish Gary Bettman says "we'd rather be number one on Versus than number seven on ESPN" but that is backwards thinking.

You can thank former Commish John Zeigler for taking the game off national tv in the late 70's and 80's and giving hockey that "private club" of fans. The thought process was "don't watch us, if you don't want to, we'll survive without you", but people forgot about it! Out of sight, out of mind.

I can't tell you what I used to have to go through to see a Blackhawks road game in the 80's. Chicago was the last big city to get cable, so when the Hawks were exclusively on cable and the city didn't carry it.....we'd drive all over the suburbs looking for a bar that would put it on and wouldn't be offending some one in there that wanted something else on.

Sometimes, we'd hit ten bars in a night (this was before cell phones) just looking for a place to see the damn game!

Couple that with the fact that the moronic owner wouldn't televise home games and it's a small wonder that hockey became a blip on the radar in this city. College sports surpassed the fan base here.

What an absolute travesty that American fans never really got to see Wayne Gretzky all those years, but hockey has only itself to blame.

I had season tickets for seventeen years, not only because I wanted them, but because I HAD to have them to see a game!

One of the things is that in many parts of the country there hasn't been a whole lot of exposure. Like you said the games weren't on television for ages. The NHL has only been in the Southern states for a maybe about a decade and a half now. Before that the only team in the South was the Atlanta Flames and they moved to Calgary by the 1982 season if I'm correct.

Another problem is that hockey is an expensive sport. I wanted to play as a kid but being from a big family I couldn't afford equipment and league sign up fees were costly as well. Couple that with that most practices occurred in the early A.M. hours and it makes it difficult for someone who might want to play the game to actually be able to do so. Compare that with basketball. Every high school has a gym, courts are all over the city and somebody always has a ball.

The best way to sell the game is in person. There really is nothing like seeing a game at an arena. And I think now with HD television hockey (which we agree that hockey looks fabulous on) I think the sport can position itself to grow in the 21st century.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rob you're right about hockey being an expensive game to play and to go watch in person. I very rarely go to a game, unless I get tickets given to me, because two good-seat tickets to a Flames game will cost pretty close to $300 - and that doesn't include parking or food. I'd much rather pay the cheaper cost and go see a minor league game.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote:
Originally posted by marvin:

Right now, in front of 70,000 people in Buffalo, it's the Sabres against the Penguins, OUTDOORS.

Hey Marv,

Isn't that more people than usually see the Sabres all season?

Actually the Sabres have always done very well attendance-wise, and much better than your Jersey Devils.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps the game has been handicapped by its rough image - mention hockey (I've been told too many times that it is 'hockey' and NOT "ice hockey") to someone and the response will be something along the lines of 'does the person have any teeth?'.

When I played hockey a few years ago, friends were aghast - you're going to get hurt! I understand the adrenaline rush, but I also understand having little attraction to a sport where it's not uncommon to see one player repeatedly bash another player's head on the ice.

Anne

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote:
Originally posted by marvin:

Right now, in front of 70,000 people in Buffalo, it's the Sabres against the Penguins, OUTDOORS.

Hey Marv,

Isn't that more people than usually see the Sabres all season?

One of my favorite "phone nappings" was on the day of the NHL trade deadline and Marvin and I were exchanging deal info and latest rumors, excited like kids on Christmas. TOMMY broke in and said "Hockey? What are we gonna talk about next, the indoor soccer draft?"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Perhaps the game has been handicapped by its rough image - mention hockey (I've been told too many times that it is 'hockey' and NOT "ice hockey") to someone and the response will be something along the lines of 'does the person have any teeth?'.

When I played hockey a few years ago, friends were aghast - you're going to get hurt! I understand the adrenaline rush, but I also understand having little attraction to a sport where it's not uncommon to see one player repeatedly bash another player's head on the ice.

Anne

Anne you certainly make a valid point about the violence in hockey. Unfortunately it's the isoloated incidents that get replayed on the 'highlight' reel over and over, and make the headlines, instead of the many glorious and spell-binding plays like this one by the incredible Jonathan Toews of Pat's Chicago Black Hawks:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=obp8G2JFgkM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's those isolated incidents that contribute to the perception of hockey being a violent sport for uneducated brutes. I think the excessive violent acts are isolated, but yet concussions are not uncommon for collegiate players. It can be very rough.

My husband's cousin played hockey professionally, and many people were astonished that this fellow majored in economics and eventually became a lawyer. Given that this fellow was quite the aggressive player it might not be a good example, but people who didn't know his reputation were just shocked --hockey player...lawyer....what????

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I blame the concussions on the new seemless glass. They need to revert back to the old glass on the boards.

I have no problem with fighting in hockey, it's the stick work that bothers me. There seems to be a lack of respect from the players that wasn't there years ago.

Last night in the Hawks game, Los Angeles took advantage of the Hawks not having a tough guy riding shotgun for Toews and Patrick Kane. They roughed the two of them up in what looked like their game plan and now Toews is injured because of it.

Hawks tough guy David Koci went out and battled Kings enforcer Raitis Ivanans AFTER the fact, when he should have gone after Kings star Andre Kopitar the second Toews was getting roughed up. That would have ended it, but there is no mutual respect anymore.

It used to be that you'd say "uh-oh, if we mess with their star, they'll mess with ours, let's knock it off now".

A little known fact is that there have been more than double the bench clearing brawls in both baseball and basketball that there have been in hockey the last five years.

I have no problem with one on one fighting, but the stickwork needs to go!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would much rather watch hockey than football. I think one major reason why it isn't more popular here is that people find it hard to follow the puck.

Anne

Hard to follow the puck??? Now that's something I've never heard before. How about following a little white ball on a golf course?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've heard the puck line many times. Seriously - folks have trouble following it (wasn't there an attempt to use a lighted puck or to make the puck more visible in some manner for home viewers?).

It's easy to follow a golf ball --you might get bored to death before losing sight of it, tho!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

AnneG is correct. Yes, it IS very hard to follow the puck on television. This is precisely the reason they developed those computerized "Trax pucks" or whatever the Hell they were called, to make the path of the puck visible to TV viewers. (Do they even still use these pucks? It's been years since I've watched the NHL on the telly...and no, I never watch golf, but that has more to do it putting me to sleep than an inability to watch the ball.)

(NOTE: I should get my father to post on this thread, so he can make his comment about how the sport of hockey is a cross between the roller derby and pro wrestling!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah they had the 'special' puck a few years ago specifically for the U.S. viewers. Believe me, in true hockey circles, people thought that THAT was the most ridiculous move ever.

As far as the violence goes, as Pat has mentioned, there have been more brawls in baseball and basketball than there have been in hockey. The player-on-player incidents seem to be more prevalent these days, but the length of the suspensions are also increasing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Big "brawls" are few and far between in all sports. And when they happen, the other sports take strong punitive action. The fact that the NHL might have experienced less of these means virtually nothing.

The NHL allows/promotes its players to ASSAULT each other. ASSAULT IS AGAINST THE LAW. No other sport does this. When I see a clip from a game, and the players are bludgeoning each other in the head, and the referee sits back and watches, I'm completely vexed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Announcements


×
×
  • Create New...