Archive for the ‘Good Point’ Category

Media trends are fascinating. In the 21st century where there are constant innovations in how to bring a message forth to your audience, the way the best of the best opt to tell a story is very interesting when you’re cognizant of what’s going on.

Sports media is inherently compelling. Covering an intrinsically emotional topic does half the job for you whereas, for example, captivating North Americans with the story of how Blackberries are still super popular in Indonesia requires a little bit more tact. You have to create that tie and set it alight.

The problem of a lockout affecting the major player in a sport is obvious. You lose that natural bond between an outlet and its readership by scorching the middle ground. And coupling that with an audience that is confused by what it wants under the circumstances only serves to exacerbate the difficulties.
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Winston Churchill once proclaimed himself to be an optimist. Why? Because “it does not seem to be much use being anything else.” That Winnie. Always had a line up the ole sleeve.

Many people have spiralled into a level of depression so deep after yesterday’s whatever-the-hell-that-was they would be fitting of a place in Dante’s follow up to Inferno — 700 years in the making! — which I say will catalogue sadness. Those folks are likely around the fourth level of the pit and gradually sinking deeper and deeper. Not good.

However, as somebody who decided he was going to be positive today — Context: I’m probably the closest thing to a real life Charlie Brown you know — I’m happy to put my own spin on things. I suspect yesterday was all posturing. I suspect a deal gets done. And we can all rejoice knowing that many players will have years added to their careers because they had time to rest fairly serious concussion issues.
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Hockey Canada is set to announce its selection camp roster today for the 2013 World Juniors. Soon to follow that will be a careful dissection of each name, every possible lineup iteration and much talk over whether or not they will break “the slump” this year. Nothing out of the ordinary for a Team Canada squad, but this year the hype machine will be turned up to 11.

The 2004 lockout afforded Canada its best WJHC team ever. A top line of Crosby – Bergeron (who was coming off a solid rookie season) – Perry up front and a top pairing of Weber – Phaneuf in the back were the tip of the iceberg. Four lines deep, and three pairings strong, they were a menace. The guy who really sticks out as “never making it”? Jeff Glass, the goaltender. He plays for Sibir Novosibirsk in the KHL, and not because there’s a lockout in North America.

The 2013 World Juniors will draw the inevitable comparisons to this lockout bolstered squad. They will be expected to head off to Russia and win the first gold medal in three years. I pity every single player who has to wear that jersey this year. They are about to walk into national bedlam.
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Announcers are the unsung heroes

This cartoon served as Mel Blanc’s obituary

On November 29, the sports world lost one of its most prolific public address announcers as David Courtney passed away. He had been the Kings PA man for 25 years in addition to his work with the LA Clippers. Courtney also served as the announcer of the Houston Rockets, Astros, Pac-10 basketball tournament, USC football, UCLA basketball, the USFL’s Gamblers, the Raiders, Lakers, Dodgers at various points in his career. For many people, several sports memories are tied to his voice.

It’s remarkable how something as simple as that voice filling in the atmosphere can add so much to a sporting event. Be it in a stadium, on the radio, on television or now, on a computer, that vocal interpretation of the events before us add a whole new layer of emotion in victory or defeat.

David Courtney didn’t wear a jersey or have linemates. He didn’t do post game pressers or pre game warmups. He did, however, finish his career as a Stanley Cup champion. A fitting accomplishment for a voice that impacted many, and one of many voices who have shaped our memories as fans.
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It wasn’t that long ago — roughly a year — that the rough and tumble side of hockey was in a public state of crisis. Strong terminology, but fair. After the deaths of active and former players Derek Boogaard, Wade Belak and Rick Rypien — which many tied directly to their propensity for fisticuffs — we’ve all had to take a long hard look at the role of fighting in hockey.

There certainly doesn’t appear to be any strong movement to abandon fighting outright. Many folks have been vocal in their criticisms, but it appears as though the NHL and NHLPA may be unified in one way — neither party wants to oust fighting. Yet, the status quo won’t do much to ease the concerns generated by fighting in the first place.

Luckily for the pro ranks, the Ontario Hockey League may have done the solving for them.
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I’m not one to go back on a promise, but it feels fairly important that I do, because there seems to be a growing misconception over how and why this lockout is happening. It may be publicly pitting NHL against NHLPA, but in reality, the NHLPA is a necessary opponent, not a genuine one. Though I swore I was done talking about the lockout, it feels necessary to point this out.

This isn’t about Gary Bettman or Donald Fehr. This isn’t about player salaries or hotel room thread counts. This isn’t even about which teams are viable and which teams are not.

This is about owners trying to find a way to trust each other.
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We’ve hit November, and what would the month of November be without some manufactured hockey outrage? Grab your pitchforks kids, it’s time for a mutiny.

Now that we live in an NHL-free world, we must turn to other leagues to give us our daily dose of vitriol. As many of you are now avid AHL fans, several will be aware that Leafs prospect and current Toronto Marlies forward Leo Komarov has just about had his fill of the AHL during this lockout and wouldn’t mind heading back to the KHL. 11 games just about did the trick, and now he’s working with the Leafs to get back home and ensure he has the option to come back after the lockout.

Strike up the narratives.
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