Past Sports



Past Sports from the past week.

Past sports article for the week of 4/7/08

Hockey promoters desperate for viewers

By, Cozmic

‘With the NHL, that sport of kings (and rangers, blackhawks, an avalanche, senators, hurricanes, penguins, ducks...) being treated like the red-headed stepchild of all national league sports, hockey promoters are trying desperately to get viewers to watch the play-offs, with almost whatever means possible. I say almost because the players seem less than thrilled with some of the ideas thus far, threatening to prove that fist-fighting is what hockey-players do best, they just don't show it very often, or at least not as often as the promoters would like, and the one time they are willing to prove it, they would be going up against the promoters, and what the promoters do best is add fuel to the fire in the form of bad ideas.
For instance, the idea was put forward that if the Washington Capitals make it further into the league, Russian superstar Alexander Ovechkin would play all his games in a red, white and blue tutu, something Ovechkin took extreme offense at, and for good reasons, too. Even the possibly best hockey-player of his generation would have trouble skating in a tutu and try to take himself seriously.
Another on a similar train of thought, causing the friendliest boys in the league to prove that they too have a lot of fight in them, was that goalies should replace all their padding with a huge suit in the shape of the teams mascot, since “they barely move around anyway, they just stand there.” The statement seemed to hit the Avalanche extra hard, especially since Jose Theodore and Peter Budaj both stated there was no way in hell they would dress up like a giant wave of snow, and really, who could blame them? Claiming that they just stand there proves either just how much the promoters know about the game(absolute zero), or how insanely desperate they are, or both. The mascot scheme is something even Disney weren't stupid enough to do when they owned the Mighty Ducks!
And of course, a lot of them were impressed with the attention the NHL got back in February when Florida Panthers' Richard Zednik got his throat slit open in a freak accident. Apparently nothing draws as much attention to a game as blood, and promoters are now trying to convince players this needs to happen more often, “so hockey can be seen as the extremely tough sport it is!” Most players, especially Zednik. One of the promoters was last seen arguing with Zednik about the matter, and witnesses say he used the phrase “what, it's not like you nearly died or anything” shortly before mysteriously disappearing. The NHLPA have already said that the disappearance is “tragic and totally necessary.” So far, nobody has seemed to fins this message cryptic, mainly because people care rather more for Zednik than they do for some random idiot.
An idea that might actually be good, if horribly sexist, is to borrow the women that hold up the signs during boxing matches to announce each penalty, new period, goal and whatever else, but for some reason it is very hard to find attractive women willing to walk around on ice in minimal clothing while not getting paid too much since all the players take the cash.
More down-to-earth and yet still desperate promoters have suggested a scandal with human growth hormone or steroids or something similar, since that seemed to have done wonders for baseball.
Of course, what they all seemed to have missed is that hockey isn't about scandals, or slit arteries, or really big guys just running into one another for no good reason, or really tall people jumping really high, nor is it about walking around on a giant field of grass and occasionally running after a big ball. It is about a a bunch of heavy men balancing on skates in a really cold place, hitting a flat object with a stick, sometimes getting into fights, smashing into one another in clean ways, and wearing themselves out in something like a few minutes of concentrated franticness. And people who do not realize this often end up watching something else, making hockey promoters, which do not realize this, take to desperate measures.


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