Friday, October 08, 2010

HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA IS BACK. WHY AREN'T PEOPLE MORE EXCITED?

Well, the NHL season is back and you know what that means in Canada -- people are obsessed with planting themselves in front of the TV to watch Hockey Night in Canada.

Not everyone, though, is so keen on the production these days. Roy MacGregor had his screed in the Globe and Mail recently, saying Hockey Night in Canada has become more about itself than about the game.

I pretty much agree with what he has to say. Hockey Night may be an institution, but it is really too caught up in building up its own mythology about the game. It seems you tune in, and it's all about these commentators you see on TV who seem to believe too heavily in their own opinions.

As well, the production seems focused on playing up hockey as Canada's game all the time, so you hear all the stories about our great Canadian boys playing around the league. All this jingoism. Plus you have this whole over-emphasis on Don Cherry - he seems like more of a fit for a wrestling ring or somewhere like that these days, with his outfits and bombast. 

A lot of people in this country noticed the tired Hockey Night in Canada coverage during the last two playoff seasons, with TSN delivering a much more enthusiastic presentation. Even NBC's production is far superior in terms of the talent they have -- Mike Emrick in particular tells you all these little tidbits about all these hockey players and where they came from. Their commentators know what they are talking about and they make sure to focus the attention all on the game. It's too bad NBC doesn't devote more time to hockey coverage, because they do a good job with it..

Also -- is it just me, but aren't you sick of CBC showing all the shots of kids at the ice rink playing minor hockey and introducing the game?! You don't see any shots of kids playing minor baseball or minor football on those broadcasts anywhere, and the reason is obvious -- kids have nothing to do with professional sports. Period.

The CBC needs to quit treating the fans at home like they're parents at the local hockey rink cheering on their boys. The National Hockey League isn't about kids or "our Canadian boys" or even the grassroots of hockey: it's about overpaid millionaires who sometimes go out on strike, and the rich owners who employ them! Who's kidding who, here, really?

And that's my rant for the day. Goodday!

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