1.26.2007

Is ESPN losing hockey?

Yesterday, I ended my connection of listening to ESPN radio for one reason.
Here are direct quotes from 2 ESPN hosts that I formerly respected;

Michael Kay, on the score of the All-Star game: "A 12-9 game? Disgraceful."

Max Kellerman, on whether or not hockey players should be voted athlete of the year: "Hockey players don't give much effort, because they are on skates."

Michael Kay, comparing the NHL's All-Star game to other pro All-Star games: "And the NHL, well that's just ridiculous."

Max Kellerman, on a night where there was a New Jersey Nets basketball game, and a New York Rangers game: "Nobody pays attention to hockey, so everyone was watching the Nets game."

Michael Kay, on hockey's position in viewing on TV: "Hockey is in the cellar of all sports."

OH MY GOSH. I'm hearing a description of water polo, not hockey, right? I think ESPN's radio hosts are holding a grudge because we chose Versus. Oh yeah, a quote from a caller;

"Hockey obviously is ignored because I had to go all the way to channel 122 just to find a channel that showed the All-Star game. If NBC shows Ice Skating, that clearly means hockey doesn't matter."

I completely disagree. Now, I'm not saying these guys are terrible hosts or anything like that, they are truly my only connection to sports other than hockey. But to hear stuff like that is, well, almost insulting. The All-Star game is to show respect for the best players in the game, and the reason it is so high-scoring is because these players are highly skilled. To top it off, have you ever heard any other pro-sport let a player wear a microphone during the game so that he has direct contact with the announcers, and you get the feel that you're actually in the game yourself? Come on! And hockey is definitely not in the cellar of all sports! Yes, the NHL has a serious attendance problem, but have either of the 3 people I quoted ever seen an NHL playoff game? The only thing that doesn't happen in celebration is the fans streaming to the ice, and most of the time they try!
I am seriously disgusted with ESPN, and I believe the Rangers better find another network to broadcast their games, or I'm sticking with the Windsor Spitfires OHL radio network.

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