It’s really sad that the NHL is completely off the radar screen of most American sports fans. Leaving ESPN was a catastrophic blunder by Gary Bettman and the league’s myoptic owners . Their bottom line might be getting better, but the sport in the Lower 48 is now right up there with Arena Football and AAA baseball.
(Only other way to get revved about the NHL playoffs)
We worked in hockey as a broadcaster for six years, so no one wants the sport to succeed in the States more than us, but it really, truly is dead to us so long as the league doesn’t get nightly distribution on ESPN. As much as we disdain the WWL on many fronts, we admit that they make the rules - and decide which fringe sports deserve major league consideration.
So right now, one of the main things helping the NHL hang on for us is the media trainwrecks who cover the sport.
Larry Brooks of the NEW YORK POST going nuts on Bettman & Co. on a bi-weekly basis is always good for a chuckle.
And in the past couple days we’ve had some fun with some other sh– stirrers:
Mark Kiszla, a general sports columnist for the DENVER POST, has this about the Minnesota Wild (as reprinted in the MINNEAPOLS STAR-TRIBUNE today):
• “Minnesota, the land of 10,000 dead car batteries, has an inferiority about this hockey team. The Wild’s style of play is as ugly and obnoxious as the uniforms, which look as if designed by a toddler who randomly pulled two crayons from the box of 64 and began scribbling.”
The land of 10,000 dead car batteries? God, we wish we’d thought of that. Now that the NHL playoffs are underway, Kiszla is fulfilling his role as columnist writing expressly for reax from the opposing city. If only we were rolling tape on Minny morning radio today! Drat!
No word if Kiszla’s already gotten his W-9 in the mail to the Avalanche yet.
Also, Tim Panaccio of the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER has more fun with postseason press-boxed observers
It was probably bad enough that NBC analyst Mike Milbury referred to the Washington Capitals during Sunday’s telecast as the “Crapitals.” … According to fellow analyst Pierre McGuire, whose verbal sparring with Milbury has been nothing short of classic theater during recent games, Milbury apologized to Capitals owner Ted Leonsis for the “Crapitals” remark. “He misspoke,” McGuire said yesterday.
Why is he apologizing? Milbury will always have a job in the NHL. That’s more of what the NHL needs, some crazy off-ice intrigue. We need our own Don Cherry down here. Then we’d start paying attention.