Sunday, March 26, 2006

Really? That one too? Surprising.

Watching hockey games on TV can be excruciating. And I'm a big hockey fan. The new rules this season have been great and the battle for the playoffs is tight. The recent Canucks-Oilers mini-series was fantastic.

The problem? The commentators. I have many pet peeves about the commentators, but one tops the list. After a goal, there is a very good chance that you will hear the following words: "That is a goal that [the beaten goaltender] will want to have back." It may be right away, or it may be after a replay or two, but it is said far too often. Yes, we get it, the primary job of all goaltenders is to not let in any goals, so, of course, they would like to have all goals they let in back. How about during your pregame keys of the game segment, you make a blanket statement: "Now, for this entire game, you can be sure that all goals let in will be wanted back by the guilty goaltender."

Last night. Canucks vs. Oilers. Naslund takes a rare slapshot from the point and Morrison backhands in what appears to be a rebound. However, we see several replays from different angles, and it is very clear, very obvious, that Morrison stopped the puck before it reached the goaltender, pulled it to his backhand and scored. That doesn't stop one of the all-talk no-substance talking heads from remarking, right after the several replays, "now that is a rebound that Roloson will want to have back".


A few years ago, the french CBC station had labor issues and workers went on strike. The only result of this that was relevant to me was the airing of the Canadiens games with absolutely no commentating. You could hear the iceskates of the players as they carved up the ice, players talking on the bench during play, the sound level of the fans slowly increasing as a play develops. If you try hard enough, you can hear this stuff during regular CBC games, but you have to try really hard; the commentators are trying their best to drown it all out.

The ratings for the commentator-less games went way up. I'm a regular reader of Sports Illustrated, the major american sports magazine, and they wrote about the increased ratings. At the time, I had faint hope that networks, or just Sportsnet, CBC and TSN, would dump all their commentators. Why not, it would save the networks money right? The dumped commentators could find jobs on the radio, where commentating is necessary. Alas, several years later, it doesn't seem likely.

1 comment:

robedger said...