Saturday, June 03, 2006

Oh, for Christ's sake.

Why do you do this do me OLN?

Why?

I mean, you have come so far.

I mocked you early on, made fun of the bull riding thing, busted your stones for that Ted Nugent reality show, and generally lamented the fact that the greatest game in the world was only available on a network that envied the Nielsens of professional bowling.

But then, you started turning it around- the legends of hockey specials, lifting live broadcasts directly from TSN, constantly re-running the gayest hockey movie of all time on nights when a playoff series wrapped up early and generally giving American fans of the game of hockey the kind of programming they've been craving for years.

10/23/06
UPDATE: The gayest poster of the gayest hockey movie of all time:




But you've been great, OLN, and the only gripe I've had with you is availability. My buddy Duben, who lives in Brewster, NY has to drive to a different town to watch hockey, and once he gets there, the chance of finding an Upstate New York bartender who has even heard of OLN, is about as good as your chance of getting him to talk you though the recipe of his favorite crepe filling in fluent, Parisian French.

But I figured with a few seasons of quality, you'd start getting some name recognition, maybe you could print up some of those free beer coasters, local bars would start getting a small but loyal following for the games, and hockey, although still a niche sport, would once again start to grow.

Then you turn around and do something like this.

For those you who don't feel like clicking that link, it's the announcement that in the fall of 2006, OLN will be changing it's name to, get ready for it, "Versus." According to the press release, "The new moniker, a culmination of a two-year network evolution, was chosen not only for its bold nature, but because it universally evokes competition."

Ahh.

You know what else it universally evokes?

Confusion.

If I can't get a local bartender to understand a three-letter anagram, asking him to put on "versus" is going to be a fucking Laurel and Hardy routine.

Me: Do you have versus?

Bartender: What?

Me: Versus. It's a channel.

BT: Verses? What is it, the poetry channel?

Me: No no, Versus- like- um, against? Uh- like Roe VERSUS Wade. Versus.

BT: We got Court TV. You buying a drink?

ME: Well, hold on- I'll buy a drink if I can watch some hockey; I just want to know if-

BT: Oh yeah- we have hockey on all the time- I'll put it on.

ME: No, it won' t be on tha-
(The bartender walks away and puts the channel on the local Fox Sports affiliate, which broadcasts Islander and Devils games. The Nets are playing. He comes back)

BT: Sorry, basketball.

Me: No, the channel is called Versus. You know... it universally evokes competition?

BT: You getting a drink or what?

Me: (heavy sigh) Red Label on the rocks.

And scene.

I understand that hockey is played indoors, but why don't they just do that thing that Kentucky Fried Chicken did, and just call themselves KFC? Screw it, they are just OLN, that's it, that's what they're called. What does it stand for? Who cares!?
I mean, does anybody even remember what ESPN stands for anymore?

Extra Sports Playing Network?
Every Sport Played Network?


I literally have no idea, and I don't think it matters. They could be the "Elephant Sized Penis Network," and I'd be none the wiser, although I guess that really wouldn't jibe with their constant coverage of Barry Bonds.

You know what I mean.

"Versus."

For crying out loud.

Screw it.

I'm getting the hockey package next year.

It's really the only way to go.

3 comments:

kristin said...

I thought I must have heard incorrectly when they announced the new name the other night. Just when OLN was putting itself on the map, it goes and picks just about the stupidest name ever. I wonder if a letter writing campaign could make them change their minds...

Just found your blog today and I'm enjoying the read!

vh2k6 said...

OLN has been solid in coverage for the most part so-long as you have the coverage. Plus...Joe Beninati.

But the fact that about 14 people have OLN nationally really puts a damper on the whole "let's make hockey popular" thing.

And Versus might be the dumbest name ever.

Why not just go with vs. or something? Dumb.

Mike said...

Eastern Sports Programming Network, if I remember my trivia correctly.

--Mike "More than just an SAT Guy" O.