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The National (that nation being Canada) Hockey League



I’m amazed the NHL can’t get so much as a shift televised on ESPN.  They cover bowling, that spelling bee, dog show’s and pool.  And we can’t work out a deal to get a Capitals / Penguins game on ESPN 2 out of prime time?  Who’s doing the marketing for the NHL, the PBA?  They seems to be the only people benefitting from the NHL’s relative (inter)national obscurity.

ESPN would have to contribute zero to the process, just show the games.  Every single NHL game is televised somewhere, covered and commentated.  I bet you could sell these pre-packaged games to ESPN and the major networks, if only by re-opening dialogue on options for the 2009-2010 season. 

It’s official, they can no longer hold the lockout against us.  Baseball has had one, plus everyone seems to be catching that unfortunate bug in the air, steroids (wear a SARS mask).  The NFL can’t keep it’s players out of jail during the season (top stories: Michael Vick strangling dogs and Pacman Jones being photographed in more jumpsuits than an ’80′s workout tape).  The first 3 quarters of NBA games are as exciting as beige and Stephon Marbury’s attitude isn’t that far of an outlier from the common NBA demeanor.  I’m not saying it’s the best sport to watch, but I am emphatically saying it’s better than a substantial portion of what ESPN covers.

I bet the NHL could get ESPN to commit to a couple games in an email if they stated their case.  The quality of the game is up, fan interest is up, and it’s a tough era for ticket sales.  The problem lies in the stagnancy of the NHL leadership.  The US government is seeing change in policy with new leadership, and the NHL needs it too.  You know interest is under-represented in the US when I just spent 2 full months on the couch with a busted jaw staring at my idiot box, and the only thing I know about the NHL is Barry Melrose got fired and Ovechkin is sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet.

So!  That plan of attack.  Bettmann get’s the boot.  Who do we hire? (Put your hand down Melrose)  Is Brian Engblom’s hair available?  It seems to have things in order.  The new trend seems to be black guys.  Obama runs the country, Steele runs the Republicans and Tiger runs the PGA.  Should we call Jorges Laraque?  Who wouldn’t listen Gorgeous Jorges?  Hell, get Mark Cuban, I just want somebody with a little fire.  Bettman looks like a cross-breed between Droopy-Dog and Ziggy.  I’m just sayin, on the heels of a “hope and change” campaign in the US, I’m hopeful there can be change in the coverage of my beloved NHL.


Completely random tangent:  For those of you who grew up and made enough money to not eat Kraft Dinner anymore, I suggest “going college” one day and giving it another go (and I’d buy stock in Kraft and Campbell’s; dinner for 2 bucks can’t be all bad in our doom and gloom-conomy).  I had it today and man, was it good.  I even measured the proper amounts of stuff.  On the flipside, I’ve barely eaten solid food for two months, so a lunch review from me is like restoring the vision of a blind guy and asking him to describe the drive home.  I’m pretty sure the review  reads “5 stars!”.


Another random note: I found the picture of the bunny I wanted in my blog Every Blog Has It’s Day.  He’s second down, and loves garnish.


6 Responses to “The National (that nation being Canada) Hockey League”
  1. Neil says:

    So true. It’s confusing that certain things still get air-time but the NHL is treated like lacrosse.

    I don’t see Bettman going anywhere any time soon because he’s doing what he was brought in to do: represent American owners. I don’t think it’s a nationalist conspiracy or a “screw you Canada”, it’s just numbers: 26 teams are from the US, only 6 from Canada, and the Canadian ones tend to gush cash. There’s a little leverage there but not enough (I think that’s actually written on the Canadian coat of arms).

    At the same time, it blows my mind every time I catch up with you and slowly realize that you don’t follow the NHL because there’s no TV coverage. I truly don’t understand how the league has gone from “major sport” to ” less interesting than bowling and poker” in the same ten years that it’s gotten more exciting with more skill and speed.

    How can anyone blame Americans for being uninterested in a sport that even avid fans have a hard time finding coverage for?

  2. Travelchic59 says:

    RE: EPSN – during the lockout it started to carry poker and a few other non traditional “sports” in hockey’s time slot. And a weird thing happened, ESPN’s ratings actually went UP and so did Ad sales. So when the NHL option came up for renewal it was a no brainer for them to decline. They were making more money WITHOUT the NHL. As we all know money talks. I still hope sometime in the future the league finds a way to get back on ESPN. Though in reality the NHL needs ESPN more than ESPN needs the NHL. Sad but true.

  3. Andrea says:

    Not sure if you’ve seen this, but thought you’d like it.
    Once logged into facebook, type The “real” Manlaw into the search box.

  4. Ben says:

    ESPN is not the “world wide leader in sports”. They’re the world wide leader in sports they carry. They have become obsessed with marketing. Why do you think they talk so much about basketball and all of a sudden care about Neckcar? The NHL should have given them the rights for free just so they would show some highlights on sportscenter.

  5. Howie says:

    The Kraft Dinner was key when my jaw was un-wired. The one box cuisine that helped me put the sixty lost pounds back on was the Hamburger Helper. Great stories, just became a huge fan of your work. I can relate to much of this on a personal level, and its always good for a few laughs.

  6. jtbourne says:

    Thanks man, glad you like. So far i’ll claim popcorn, red meat and ice cream as my mistresses. Preferably seperate.

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