“The Biased Canadian Media that Coyotes fans love to hate stirred the pot again Saturday night.
ESPN’s Pierre Lebrun told “Hockey Night in Canada” viewers that Jerry Reinsdorf, the Coyotes’ one-time savior in bankruptcy court, was back in the game, elbowing aside the Ice Edge investors who’ve been negotiating to buy the team from the NHL.”
So, says Brahm Resnik from Channel 12 News in Arizona. If memory serves me right, this is the second time in the last month where our MSMers have taken it on the chin from our neighbors to the south. There seemed to be the same type of claim from some in the Washington DC affiliated with the Washington Capitals. The noise about the Mike Green hit seemed to trigger a wave of blame Canada in Capital territory.
The comment from Resnik is kind of strange if you ask me. There were more Canadian press covering the bankruptcy hearings than at some Coyotes home games this year, despite the incredible play of the team on the ice. In all seriousness, why would the media here be perceived as bias against the team in Arizona. I think the issues there are pretty clear to see. Many of the comments I have seen about the situation in Phoenix have been the same. The experiment in the desert has failed. Is that a bias against them? I have said this a few times before, the NHL has failed in it’s expansion to new markets in the USA by not properly setting up the proper infrastructure, namely youth leagues. The NHL should insist that any new franchise (be it expansion or relocation) has to build x number of rinks in the local area to get kids in the area into the game. This isn’t to say that there aren’t kids leagues now in Arizona, Florida or Atlanta there are. However, had the franchises been forced to build arenas, basically subsidizing the large costs to play hockey the teams would have a fighting chance to build a core audience.
But I digress. What I find even more odd on the claim in the Coyotes article is that LeBrun is suggesting that there is renewed interest in the Coyotes. If indeed Reinsdorf is interested again (which I agree with Ice Edge is hard to believe) then isn’t that a good thing for the Coyotes? If there is only one bidder and they can’t appear to get funded, isn’t that a bad thing????? Not sure where the bias is in this case.
In general I think the bias claim is a little bit disingenuous. Lots of folks claimed that the former GM of the Blue Jays had a bias for releasing information to the the US media, which he is now a member of. Are the US media biased against the Blue Jays? When talk of teams folding years back in MLB occurred I don’t recall seeing talk of the Blue Jays being on the endangered list do you? I guess the most relevant case these days is the Toronto Raptors and Chris Bosh. The NBA media in general have written off the chances of Bosh staying here along time ago. Having said that, they haven’t written off this market have they? The team draws well both at the gate and on television. Hell the players love coming to Toronto to play and party.
Our press over covers hockey. There is no question about it. Radio, tv, print etc. They all talk hockey 12 months of the year. I lived in Miami though, I can tell you that in the dead of summer, the Miami Dolphins were headline news ahead of the Florida Marlins who were playing. The same inane talks about 3rd and 4th stringers, potential trade talk by giddy fans filled the airwaves too. When there is a new Maple Leaf player do you think the coverage is more over done than in any other market in another major sport? The difference, it says here is that south of the border, in most cities, NHL markets included, the NHL is an after thought. So, when other markets cover the NHL the way those markets cover the NFL, MLB or the NBA it seems odd, or at the very least different.
Whether they will admit it or not, ask those to whom the bias is blamed on where they would rather be covering hockey in February, Winnipeg or Phoenix. I mean no disrespect to our neighbors to the east. I still have a Jets jersey. You know what I mean though. Does the beat writer in Montreal or Ottawa, or Toronto really care where the teams are? I think it gets tired going to empty buildings, or at the very least depressing. So bias? I think if there is a bias it’s towards the sport in general not the geographic location of it’s teams. Listen or read the passion for the sport we get on a daily basis. It’s very evident. We want our game to be accepted everywhere. For some reason that is important to us. I think this claim is out of whack.
The Arizona article is http://www.azcentral.com/12news/news/articles/2010/03/21/20100321iceedge-reinsdorf-coyotes03212010-CR.html
The Yahoo! article on the Capitals is here