It’s too bad you know, Howie startes his latest blog on such a high. 42 years ago the Buds won their last cup. Howie did a very cool comparison between things in hockey (and the world) then versus now… Then, of course he found it important to shit all over the big series starting today, between the Caps and the Penguins:
“Newspapers across North America are replete the past few days with stories of how the Washington-Pittsburgh Eastern Conference semifinal match-up is a “dream come true” for the National Hockey League. Exactly what that means, I’m not sure, though I’m certain it’s a sizable amount of hyperbole. Yes, the Alexander Ovechkin/Sidney Crosby dual – their first in the playoffs – will draw more casual sports fans to the TV, as does the annual new year’s day outdoor game. So national television ratings here in the U.S. (where they only seem to matter) will probably show a spike for the games on NBC and VERSUS. In the end, however, that’s all it will amount to: A potential two-week novelty. The Ovechkin/Crosby clash will be no more of a bonanza for the NHL than a Stanley Cup final between two “small market” teams is a disaster. National TV ratings do not have a measurable economic impact on the league, nor have they ever. The NHL will continue to generate strong regional audiences on television, but will never bust into the “big three” of professional sports: Football, baseball and basketball. More than 45 years of effort has proven, unequivocally, that nothing will change this pattern, nor is it necessary to sustain franchises in strong markets”
Why bother watching it then right Howie??? Hell, why the !@#!@ are you in DC covering it??? The NHL doesn’t get to celebrate much in the USA. The one time that it may be able to, perhaps those who are actually working in the game, or in the media should do their part to at least recognize that. Berger’s comments are, like much of his league wide opinion, stupid and baseless. If you read Howies point, one would walk away with the thought that NHL shouldn’t continue to try to penetrate the USA market. Series like the one in DC and Pittsburgh, could be a huge draw for casual sports fans as even ESPN has been shining the spotlight on the series. These types of events, if built properly and carried on after can bring new, younger fans to the game. Is it guaranteed? NO, nothing is.
What should we expect from a clown like Berger when he doesn’t watch hockey games during the season other then those in which the Leafs play?? Why he is sent to cover playoffs series is beyond me. He probably hasn’t seen the teams playing more then 4-5 times this year MAX- Clearly one who is able to provide lots of good analysis and expertise!
Dipstick’s column is here