Greetings hockey fans, and by hockey fans, I mean my buddy Duben, my brother Alec, and possibly the guys in my fantasy hockey league. Still- the greatest endeavors often come from humble beginnings, and if you're a fan of the game of hockey- well, times are humble as a motherfucker right now. I'll keep it brief, but the incontrovertible facts of the situation are these:
Hockey, already at one of its lowest points in it's history, made national headlines for:
a) An incident in which a dirty hit from behind resulted in a player with a broken neck.
b) Losing an entire season to a labor dispute, which was sad because no other sport has ever done this, but sadder because so few American sports fans missed it.
c) Having it's contract dropped by ESPN and ABC.
d) Being picked up nationally on a basic cable channel best known for Bicycle racing, "Survivor" re-runs and a reality show starring Ted Nugent.
e) A gambling scandal, notable only for it's timing, as coverage of the scandal overshadowed the Winter Olympics, a spectacle that second to the Stanley Cup finals (which they cancelled), could have stood as one of the finest showcases of the sport.
It is my passionate belief that the decline in the popularity of hockey has nothing to do with the product being put out on the ice, it is a direct result of staggeringly stupid business decisions, incompetent marketing, and a steady erosion of everything that makes hockey special and unique, all in the name of "bringing in new viewers."
I mean, for Christ's sake people, The National Hockey League, the sport of Gordie Howe, Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, Mark Messier and Raymond Bourque is now less popular in this country than cars driving in circles.
CARS DRVING IN CIRCLES!
If this keeps up- the only way we’ll keep this game on television is to start running commercials featuring rednecks rooting for the Zamboni.
I'm going to do my best to keep these posts relatively short, so I'll wrap this up with this thought.
There are educated American Hockey Fans out there, who are sick of being treated like the red haired step children of the major sports. This blog is for them.