Saturday, November 20, 2004

THN Poll and ABC announcers

... The Hockey News recently reported the results of their online poll asking whether or not fans would watch replacement players. The results shocked me. Of the 2,500+ fans that responded, 71.4% said they were, "prepared to watch replacement hockey." A mere 28.6% said they were, "only interested in watching the very best," hockey. I personally cannot imagine selling myself so short as to watch a bunch of replacement players masquerading as my Detroit Red Wings. Or any other NHL team, for that matter. Fans of the NHL have settled for enough falling talent for years without needing to support a pseudo-NHL. I personally will never watch some group of scabs in a NHL uniform and will find myself another sport to watch unless the world's top players are able to have a place in the NHL again. I hope and pray the League does not resort to replacement players and that if they do, fans will boycott the heck out of what would be a sorry excuse for a top professional league. ... Today, I was watching the Ohio State/Michigan game and towards the end of the first half, the two announcers began talking about the disgusting brawl that took place at the Palace at the end of the Pistons/Pacers game. I did not see the brawl live and still haven't seen the full replay because, ironically, I was watching the "Brawl in Hockeytown" on tape for the first time ever. I personally think Pistons fans should be ashamed of themselves for their behavior leading up to the fights but the players even more so. Fans can be, and usually are, complete idiots but players should keep their heads better than that. Anyway, my whole point in bringing that up is that during their discussion of the incident, the ABC announcer said something like, "I can't believe a professional athlete like Artest would charge into the crowd like that." His broadcast partner said in reply, "Yeah, unless it's hockey, I guess." Now that was completely uncalled for and is just another example of the US sports media's anti-hockey bias. It came completely out of nowhere and had no relevance whatsoever. Incidents like what happened at the Pistons game last night have not happened in hockey and to imply that they have, is a lie. Sure, hockey is a violent sport but that violence is always limited to the ice. The only incident I can remember in which a fan was attacked was when that Philly fan got into the penalty box with Domi a few years back. That was an isolated incident and was nowhere near the level last night's all-out brawl was at. I can't believe guys like that can get away with making a comment that far off. It really disgusts me.


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