When the NHL came out of its self-inflicted dark age, they promised us a new game, a fast, breathless, whiz-bang game. To that end, the Gary Gang made a few changes. Animatronic referees were programmed to call every tiny infraction according to the rulebook, context and judgment be damned, and brought in to replace the aging lugs we had come to know, hate and ridicule. And we, the Purists applauded wildly.
Then the Gary Gang removed the 2 line pass, and re-instituted the tag-up rule, thus restoring speed and flow to the game not seen since the days of The Rocket. And we the Purists applauded wildly.
And for their Piece-Day-Resistance, the Gang said “Let there be…SHOOTOUTS!” and we the Purists…well, didn’t do much really. We mostly held our collective nose and gritted our teeth and agreed that it would be best for the game. It would bring excitement to an otherwise brutal 1-1 New Jersey/Minnesota game played in the middle of February. Keep (American) people in the seats, keep (American) people glued to the t.v. The only proviso we the Purists had was that under no circumstances would Gary’s Gang even contemplate the merest suggestion of the thought of bringing in shootouts in the playoffs. Ever. And the Gang agreed. Until Wednesday night.
For those of you who may be unaware (and if you are unaware, just what the hell are you doing on this site), the Canucks/Stars game on Wednesday night went to overtime. Four of them to be exact. And the game was on the west coast, meaning that a game that started at 10:00pm in Ottawa (or as the NHL sees it: NEW YORK!!) finished at 3:30am in NEW YORK!! Of course, what this also means is that, in the big money markets (NEW YORK!!) all of about 8 people, six of whom are insomniacs, actually saw the end of this game.
Which means...well...this. There are SO many things wrong with Muir’s arguments that to debunk them here, one at a time, would waste way to much of my time, not to mention that they’ve already been put forward (with much passion) by the commentors on his blog. Just let it be said that I, for one, am fucking sick and tired of bending over for a “potential” market that may (probably will) never embrace the game the way Canada has. Hey Gary! WE are your bread and butter. WE are the ones keeping your game on any radar and WE are the folks that couldn’t give two rat’s asses whether Aunt Rudy in Tuscaloosa gets to see the end of the hockey game before Dancing With Washed Up Has-Beens comes on. Stop listening to your marketing cockroaches and start listening to US. We’re the real fans. Remember?? Thought not.
A Matter Of Time [SI.com]
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