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Monday, January 20, 2014

MLB analyst Gammons slams hockey after Flames-Canucks brawl

I once sat next to Rod Gilbert at a goofy Father/Son Dinner. The rubber chicken looked tougher than Gilbert.

Peter Gammons, an analyst for Major League Baseball’s network and website, drew the ire of hockey fans on Sunday when he criticized the two NHL teams on Twitter for their physical game the night before.

“Calgary and Vancouver last night reiterated why the NHL is a minor sport,” said Gammons ((at)pgammo) from his verified Twitter account.

...Criticism of Gammons’ tweet came quickly after Fox Sports 1 anchor Jay Onrait—a Calgary native—retweeted the remarks with the added note “Shots fired.”

“seriously though, who is Peter Gammons? He has a puppy and flowers as his avatar,” said professional golfer Graham DeLaet of Weyburn, Sask.

...”(at)pgammo says the guy who makes his living off the dirtiest sport in the world other then maybe cycling,” said professional hockey player Mike Commodore, a native of Fort Saskatchewan, Alta., who currently plays in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League. The 11-year veteran of the NHL added the hashtag .beatitpeter to his tweet.

Less than 30 minutes later, Commodore tweeted at Gammons a second time, again referring to MLB’s struggles to prevent the use of performance-enhancing drugs: “(at)pgammo , help us out with your infinite wisdom scoops, would a good solid 25 year HGH/doping era turn hockey into a “major” sport?”

Repoz Posted: January 20, 2014 at 10:07 AM | 198 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: drops, gloves

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   1. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: January 20, 2014 at 10:22 AM (#4642505)
No, the NHL is a minor sport because most of the U.S. is in relatively warm weather climates and indifferent to a cold weather sport, and because its marketing and TV have been run for two decades by a brain-damaged monkey.
   2. Publius Publicola Posted: January 20, 2014 at 10:33 AM (#4642509)
TV ratings are poor because the product is poor. They hired Gary Bettman because he has a reputation for understanding the importance of television and cable to promoting his product. But the idiocy of how the league manages aggression turns most viewers off, women especially. Too much of the Don Cherry mentality. Why would anyone watch hockey when there is UFC around? The fights are way better.
   3. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: January 20, 2014 at 10:37 AM (#4642511)
Do you go to hockey games? I actually think the percentage of the crowd at an average hockey game that is female is higher than any other sport. (edit: Professional sport, I mean. College football wins this category easily if collegiate sports are included.)

I don't really care about fighting one way or the other, I think hockey fights are fun to watch but I'm mostly there to watch them play hockey. But hockey fights may be a relic of the pre-TV era: Live crowds invariably love seeing a fight, but viewers on TV tend to change the channel.

That's probably the best argument for outlawing fighting in the NHL. You know, if the NHL were actually on a channel people have.
   4. john_halfz Posted: January 20, 2014 at 10:37 AM (#4642512)
Hockey is very hard to televise.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 20, 2014 at 10:40 AM (#4642513)
But the idiocy of how the league manages aggression turns most viewers off, women especially.

Yeah right. They love the continuous brutality of the NFL, but a 30 second hockey fight turns them off.

Hockey's issue is that in most of the US, ice time is scarce and expensive. So, 90% of your target market never played the game at all as a kid. Whereas, 90% of young kids play baseball/football/basketball, even if it's just pick-up or school yard games.
   6. Ron J2 Posted: January 20, 2014 at 10:45 AM (#4642515)
#3 I go to a fair number of hockey games usually with 2 of my sisters. Couldn't say what percentage of the audience is female, but males obviously make up the vast majority.

The problem for the league regarding fighting is that there is a core element who might well leave without the potential for a fight and there's no certainty that they'd pick up enough others from the people who are opposed to it. IOW the people making a Gammons style argument are asking the league to reject the bird in the hand for an unknown (and probably smaller in practice) number.

They may have to make more changes though.
   7. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 20, 2014 at 10:45 AM (#4642516)
Hockey is very hard to televise.


Hockey used to be very hard to televise.
With the advent of HDTV, it's become much easier as the less familiar fan can actually see the puck in motion now (and more of the ice itself due to the widescreen viewing).
Throw in new camera angles (on top of the glass behind the nets, inside the net itself), and it's great for TV.

The issue is that the best camera operators are still working for the Canadian stations (CBC, TSN, SportsNet). All those years of working on games have given them the ability to anticipate the puck movement much better than newly-assigned camera operators.

I'll be curious to see who is operating the cameras at the Winter Olympic games. If it's really experienced guys, then those games are going to be the best hockey we've ever seen.
When it's just the usual European pool operators, it never looks as good.
   8. Davo Dozier (Mastroianni) Posted: January 20, 2014 at 10:49 AM (#4642517)
I'm from North Dakota/Minnesota, so I grew up in a place where everyone played hockey. My biggest WTF moment was going to a sports bar to watch the March Madness college basketball tournament, and showing up to see all the televisions tuned to the Minnesota high school hockey championships.

So why has the sport never connected with me? Tough to say. The biggest issue I have with it is that I'm unable to follow the action on television, to the point where most of the results seem completely random to me. One guy takes a shot, another guy deflects that shot with his stick and it gets past the goalie...I can't make out any individual skill from anyone there.

So once you take that part out of it, sports (in general) become pretty silly.
   9. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: January 20, 2014 at 10:52 AM (#4642520)
Hockey is a minor sport because Canada is a minor nation. Duh.
   10. john_halfz Posted: January 20, 2014 at 10:54 AM (#4642522)
[7] A good point that it requires experienced personnel in addition to technology. But I'm not going to hold my breath on that count. Camera operators love the closeups.
   11. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 20, 2014 at 10:58 AM (#4642526)
Hockey is a minor sport because Canada is a minor nation. Duh.


Trolling troll trolls some more. ;)

One guy takes a shot, another guy deflects that shot with his stick and it gets past the goalie...I can't make out any individual skill from anyone there.


How is that different than one guy throws a ball and another guy hits the ball with his bat?

Shooting a puck at those speeds (95-100mpg) and then deflecting the puck with your very thin stick (at a much closer distance than 60'6") requires a hell of a lot of skill.
   12. john_halfz Posted: January 20, 2014 at 10:59 AM (#4642528)
I can't make out any individual skill from anyone there.


Aside from the fact that the participants are doing this on ice skates, right? Last time I looked, roughly 1 in 6 goals in the NHL were rebound goals, by the way...
   13. cardsfanboy Posted: January 20, 2014 at 11:00 AM (#4642530)
TV ratings are poor because the product is poor. They hired Gary Bettman because he has a reputation for understanding the importance of television and cable to promoting his product. But the idiocy of how the league manages aggression turns most viewers off, women especially.


That is about the most uninformed idiotic thing ever posted on this board. Women LOVE hockey.

I don't get this board at all, there is a contingent on here that thinks Soccer is actually making inroads into popularity, and yet think NHL is so far away from the rest of the sports that it shouldn't be considered a major sport. Hockey does over 3Billion in revenue a year, basketball isn't that much ahead of it.(roughly 1 billion...while Soccer is struggling to break a quarter billion)

As far as percentage of fans... Hockey probably has the most balanced percentage of male/female of the major sports that actively follow it.

sports demographics of the major sports.(and nascar)


Hockey is very hard to televise.


I don't get this either. It's easy as hell to watch, this silly meme helped create the "puck trax" thing. It's not necessary. The only thing necessary for filming/televising hockey, is the same thing necessary for all sports...DON'T DO CLOSE UPS. (Zoom button should be busted off of every camera that ever enters into a sports park)
   14. JRVJ Posted: January 20, 2014 at 11:05 AM (#4642531)
Hockey is a minor sport because they get their underwear in a bunch when some non-Hockey related person criticizes them.

(As in, who CARES if Peter Gammons doesn't care about Hockey?).
   15. MC Skat Kat kann es eigentlich kaum erwarten Posted: January 20, 2014 at 11:06 AM (#4642533)
Getting called out as a wimp by a professional golfer? Come on.
   16. Kurt Posted: January 20, 2014 at 11:06 AM (#4642534)
while Soccer is struggling to break a quarter billion


MLS might struggle to break a quarter billion; soccer sure as hell doesn't.
   17. Russ Posted: January 20, 2014 at 11:07 AM (#4642536)
[7] A good point that it requires experienced personnel in addition to technology. But I'm not going to hold my breath on that count. Camera operators love the closeups.


Not in Canada. The difference between watching games on an American network vs. a Canadian one is, frankly, startling. In my experience, I would rank them

1. CBC
2. RDS/TSN
3. Rogers


The CBC guys make each game seem like a live Sabol production.
   18. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 20, 2014 at 11:09 AM (#4642539)
Hockey is a minor sport because they get their underwear in a bunch when some non-Hockey related person criticizes them.


As opposed to baseball?
   19. john_halfz Posted: January 20, 2014 at 11:11 AM (#4642542)
The only thing necessary for filming/televising hockey, is the same thing necessary for all sports...DON'T DO CLOSE UPS.


The pool of available and competent camera operators is another factor in assessing how easy it is to televise a sport. When the action is in the attacking zone during a concerted attack, TV now does a pretty decent job, except when the puck gets stuck along the boards (and especially behind the goal line). When the puck is in the neutral zone, TV does an OK job.

But where TV tends to break down is anticipation of turnovers and likely direction of any counter attack.
   20. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 20, 2014 at 11:12 AM (#4642543)
Not in Canada. The difference between watching games on an American network vs. a Canadian one is, frankly, startling. In my experience, I would rank them

1. CBC
2. RDS/TSN
3. Rogers


The CBC guys make each game seem like a live Sabol production.


That's for actually visually broadcasting the game.
In terms of intermission and analysis, I'd rank it:
1. TSN
2. CBC
.
.
.
3. Rogers

I can't stand the Rogers analysis/talking heads, and I'm saddened that the TSN guys (Duthie and the bunch) are pretty much going to be shut out of NHL games for a while.
   21. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: January 20, 2014 at 11:14 AM (#4642544)
Hockey is a minor sport because they get their underwear in a bunch when some non-Hockey related person criticizes them.

As opposed to baseball?


That's different. Baseball is awesome.
   22. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 20, 2014 at 11:16 AM (#4642547)
TV now does a pretty decent job, except when the puck gets stuck along the boards (and especially behind the goal line).


They are loathe to switch camera angles that might reverse which end each team is defending, except to do a quick (2-second) close up of a battle along the boards (or during replays).

It would be like changing camera angles during a football play where the player changes from running left-right to right-left. It's too jarring for the viewer.
If they come up with transparent boards, then you'll see some interesting camera angles available for the viewer (like the net cam provided).
   23. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: January 20, 2014 at 11:18 AM (#4642550)
“seriously though, who is Peter Gammons?"
-Graham DeLaet of Weyburn

ROFLCOPTER
   24. zack Posted: January 20, 2014 at 11:18 AM (#4642551)
MLS might struggle to break a quarter billion; soccer sure as hell doesn't.

Let's please not have this again with cardsfanboy.

The biggest issue I have with it is that I'm unable to follow the action on television, to the point where most of the results seem completely random to me

This is true of all sports until you get familiar with them, to varying extents.


Can't wait for Olympic hockey. Does anyone know if there is a TV schedule for that (and more importantly, an online schedule?) I need to know if I have to get cable TV for February.
   25. john_halfz Posted: January 20, 2014 at 11:20 AM (#4642552)
[22] Good points, again. My experience is way more close-ups than are necessary at the expense of showing the periphery of the scrum.
   26. zack Posted: January 20, 2014 at 11:20 AM (#4642553)
If they come up with transparent boards, then you'll see some interesting camera angles available for the viewer (like the net cam provided).


You mean like these? I think they're a good idea for outdoor games (since those are now a thing), where the best seats usually have the worst views, and even the ice level seats are yards from the boards. But for indoor games, there would be way too much happening behind the boards, what with fans right there.
   27. john_halfz Posted: January 20, 2014 at 11:22 AM (#4642555)
I guess to clarify my point in [25], I often find a tendency to zoom in when I'd instead pan out...
   28. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 20, 2014 at 11:24 AM (#4642557)
[26] Oh, that looks good.

My compromise would be transparent boards, a camera track around the rink, real boards behind that (to hide the fans legs, and still have advertising).
The track wouldn't have to be very wide, and you could run the camera with a remote operator (like they do with the ones perched on top of the glass behind the nets).
   29. Greg K Posted: January 20, 2014 at 11:24 AM (#4642558)
Hockey is very hard to televise.

I always find this sentiment odd. I guess it's what you're used to. Growing up in Canada hockey's just always been on TV, I find it incredibly easy to watch on TV.

Can't wait for Olympic hockey. Does anyone know if there is a TV schedule for that (and more importantly, an online schedule?) I need to know if I have to get cable TV for February.

I imagine CBC will steam it online...if you can fool your computer into thinking it's in Canada it should work!

EDIT: I'd probably agree with the earlier comments...Canadian hockey broadcasts are very well done. The American ones I've seen, less so. Though to be fair I haven't seen an American broadcast in a while.
   30. cardsfanboy Posted: January 20, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4642560)
I always find this sentiment odd. I guess it's what you're used to. Growing up in Canada hockey's just always been on TV, I find it incredibly easy to watch on TV.


I find it odd, because so many casual sports fans that I know, think hockey is the easiest to watch. It seems the only people who complain about hockey being hard to watch are generally fairly hardcore sports fans who don't watch hockey. I've never met or heard a casual sport fan that complained about hockey as being the hard sport to follow, it's always been a more active fan, and that makes it feel like they are looking for a complaint instead of any real substance behind their little whinefest.

It's by far the easiest to watch of the major sports, there isn't a random break in action every few seconds as baseball and football. It doesn't have random travelling rules or blocking rules that make it hard to understand what is going on, it's fairly simple. Get the puck, move the puck towards the goal, get a goal. Guy has the puck, stop him by force or stealing the puck. This insistence that you have to see the puck every second of the play makes no sense. In football, there is plenty of times you can't see the ball(a good play action will fool the cameras even) and nobody is complaining about that. And baseball broadcasts are so concerned with the ball, that they don't actually do a good job of showing the game.




   31. Gamingboy Posted: January 20, 2014 at 11:39 AM (#4642561)

Can't wait for Olympic hockey. Does anyone know if there is a TV schedule for that (and more importantly, an online schedule?) I need to know if I have to get cable TV for February.


Most of the games would be in the morning, so I'm a bit worried that I won't be able to see much because of work.
   32. jdennis Posted: January 20, 2014 at 11:47 AM (#4642563)
That demographic chart was a bit disheartening. Apparently all sports skew old.
   33. Esmailyn Gonzalez Sr. Posted: January 20, 2014 at 11:47 AM (#4642564)
Most of the games would be in the morning, so I'm a bit worried that I won't be able to see much because of work.

Agreed. My best calculation last week was that the Canada games would generally be at 11 AM central.
   34. Greg K Posted: January 20, 2014 at 11:48 AM (#4642565)
It doesn't have random travelling rules or blocking rules that make it hard to understand what is going on, it's fairly simple.

I agree with most of what you write here, but I would add that for an unschooled fan the offside rule can take some explaining.

I think maybe the casual/hardcore fan split you note is a product of how those types of fans watch the game. A casual fan is probably just looking for a some speed and action, the occasional amazing play that is easy to recognize without any background in the sport (a big hit, a glove save, a player stickhandling past a defender). Hockey provides easily accessible stuff like that as well as any sport.

I suspect hardcore fans enjoy sports by delving into the strategy. How did those defencemen choose to defend that rush? Was it the right choice? Which line should they put on to match up against their top line? How are they adjusting their powerplay to this penalty kill? I don't think any of these things are inherent to hockey, every sport has details that you can only learn through experience. I'd suspect that casual fans can more easily enjoy an unfamiliar sport because they just aren't worried about those details. Random (to their unexperienced eye) action isn't a problem. Whereas a hardcore fan has to put up with a learning period where the action makes frustratingly little sense, thus defeating the whole value of sport. I find almost all of my successful conversions to sport happen when I watch them with someone who knows what they're seeing. I tried many times to get into cricket, always failing, until I watched a test match a couple years ago with a big fan. Once I got a crash course in, not just what was happening, but what the players were trying to do, it suddenly became very entertaining to me.
   35. zack Posted: January 20, 2014 at 11:52 AM (#4642567)
That demographic chart was a bit disheartening. Apparently all sports skew old.


Am I reading that chart correctly, that a bigger portion of the NHL audience is black compared to the NBA audience?
   36. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 20, 2014 at 11:53 AM (#4642569)
I tried many times to get into cricket, always failing, until I watched a test match a couple years ago with a big fan. Once I got a crash course in, not just what was happening, but what the players were trying to do, it suddenly became very entertaining to me.


This.

I was completely clueless about cricket until they started broadcasting IPL Twenty20 on SportsNet.
I came into work, asked my co-worker (originally from India) about it, got a nice 30 minute lesson about the basics, and then watched it again on the weekend.
I think sabremetrically-inclined baseball fans would like the statistical breakdowns they do during the match.
It takes a while to figure out the shorthand and acronyms.
The fielding action, of course, is off the charts (imagine a harder ball and no glove).
   37. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: January 20, 2014 at 11:54 AM (#4642570)
I agree with most of what you write here, but I would add that for an unschooled fan the offside rule can take some explaining.


The puck has to cross the blue line before any offensive players, and if the puck leaves the offensive zone all players must exit before the puck can re-cross the line.

It's not that hard.
   38. john_halfz Posted: January 20, 2014 at 11:55 AM (#4642571)
that makes it feel like they are looking for a complaint instead of any real substance behind their little whinefest.


Thanks for characterizing my input as what it really is. I don't have access to Canadian television, so I can't address the notion that Canadian hockey coverage is qualitatively better. Maybe my complaint should have been that hockey is easy to follow (and, I suppose, easy to televise), but that American broadcasters fall on their asses when they actually try to televise it.

Is that whinefest sufficiently narrowly defined? I mean, I wasn't even aware that I was "complaining." I do admit that I tend to watch NCAA hockey more than NHL.
   39. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 20, 2014 at 11:55 AM (#4642572)
Am I reading that chart correctly, that a bigger portion of the NHL audience is black compared to the NBA audience?


That's what it seems to be saying...
   40. spike Posted: January 20, 2014 at 11:57 AM (#4642573)
back to the subject of article, I saw this clip earlier, and must confess, both sides lining up to start the game with a fight is pretty indefensible.
   41. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: January 20, 2014 at 11:58 AM (#4642574)
Reading (mostly) Americans writing about hockey is highly entertaining. I've read things here that I never imagined before:

-Women love hockey? First news (I have the Quebec bias, though. Few women like professional sports up here. Sports is mostly a guy thing, especially hockey. The women that love hockey are however passionate about the game)

-Hockey is very hard to televise? Say the people who watch golf on tv... Hockey is so easy to watch it had honestly never came to me that some people could find it hard to watch. You people can't seriously see the puck? I mean it's black. And the ice is white...

-Some of you can't make out any individual skill from anyone on the ice. Really? I did not know this was possible. To me, hockey is (with baseball) the easiest sport in that regard.

-Hockey is a minor sports. I know this is true in the US. Up here though, hockey is everywhere all the time so it's always weird for me to think that it's not the case everywhere.

That said, I don't really like hockey. I prefer baseball (obviously!) and soccer. But as a Canadian, I have seen so much hockey in my life that I feel like the game is entrenched in me and is a huge part of my identity, like it or not.
   42. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: January 20, 2014 at 11:59 AM (#4642577)
The puck has to cross the blue line before any offensive players, and if the puck leaves the offensive zone all players must exit before the puck can re-cross the line.


Unless the beaver comes out of his ice dam between the legs of a moose. Then it's okay to play on, as long as you're covered in whale blubber.
   43. john_halfz Posted: January 20, 2014 at 12:00 PM (#4642578)
[30] And no, it's not about seeing the puck. I never complained that I couldn't see the puck. I guess if I had to articulate my whinefest, I'd do it this way.

Television, in my experience, tends to love the close up. If I were at the rink, I wouldn't really care if I could see up Rick Nash's nostrils. I'd prefer at all times to know where Kreider and Stepan were, and how closely McDonagh and Girardi were trailing the action.
   44. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: January 20, 2014 at 12:01 PM (#4642579)
Hockey is a major sport in the parts of the U.S. that have long snowy winters, and a few southern cities that had hockey teams jammed down their throats. And in L.A., I guess. It's insignificant everywhere else in the U.S.
   45. john_halfz Posted: January 20, 2014 at 12:03 PM (#4642580)
I guess all I can say is, watch an NBC Sports telecast, and keep track of the percentage of goals that require after-the-fact dissection so that the crew in the truck can figure out how the play developed.

I'm sure that Hockey Night in Canada has mastered the child's play that is televising hockey with modern equipment. But I don't have the CBC.
   46. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 20, 2014 at 12:03 PM (#4642581)
Hockey is a minor sports. I know this is true in the US. Up here though, hockey is everywhere all the time so it's always weird for me to think that it's not the case everywhere.


It's also huge in Russia, Scandinavia, Switzerland, and Czech/Slovakia/Slovenia.
   47. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: January 20, 2014 at 12:03 PM (#4642582)
Hockey is a major sport in the parts of the U.S. that have long snowy winters


This isn't that complicated, is it? Hockey makes no sense to half or more Americans because if someone says "let's go out and play on the frozen lake" most of us are like, "what is wrong with you?"
   48. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 20, 2014 at 12:05 PM (#4642583)
Unless the beaver comes out of his ice dam between the legs of a moose. Then it's okay to play on, as long as you're covered in whale blubber.


You're confusing ice hockey with your redneck games.

Besides, I would have thought you toothless southerners would have bonded with hockey players over dental deficiencies.
   49. McCoy Posted: January 20, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4642587)
I went to a Capitals game the other night, second NHL game of my life, and I thought I got great seats based on my experiences with other sports. Second row right behind the penalty box and each ticket cost $100. Got there and the seats absolutely sucked. Just atrocious sight lines. We spent most of the night staring up at the video screen. Had to look through a double set of plexiglass and couldn't see anything at either end of the goal. Never do that again.

The thing that kind of sucks about hockey is that it seems most of the big teams have 20,000 fans and they all have season tickets so tickets are rarely cheap. Stubhub rarely has bargains for hockey games like baseball does.
   50. Langer Monk Posted: January 20, 2014 at 12:12 PM (#4642588)
TV schedule for the Olympics.

I don't think that chart's order is what the blurb says it is. They say 14.9% NHL fans are online 20+ hrs - which is the last column.

   51. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: January 20, 2014 at 12:16 PM (#4642589)
You're confusing ice hockey with your redneck games.


Until cousin-####### is a medal sport, those aren't redneck games.
   52. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 20, 2014 at 12:17 PM (#4642592)
Hockey isn't a minor sport, it's a nonexistent sport. I've never seen any proof that it's played by real people in real places. It's like, the national sport of Fakelandia or something.
   53. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 20, 2014 at 12:24 PM (#4642595)
Hockey isn't a minor sport, it's a nonexistent sport. I've never seen any proof that it's played by real people in real places. It's like, the national sport of Fakelandia or something.


Weak trolling. This Canadian judge gives you a score of 3.4
   54. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 20, 2014 at 12:32 PM (#4642601)
I went to a Capitals game the other night, second NHL game of my life, and I thought I got great seats based on my experiences with other sports. Second row right behind the penalty box and each ticket cost $100. Got there and the seats absolutely sucked. Just atrocious sight lines.


There are people who have seats directly behind the bench who have paid $hundreds and they spend half of it trying to look past the coaches standing in the way.

To me, the best seats are either half-way up and center ice (see the whole game), or one-third up and behind one of the nets. (You might miss something important at the other end, but the chance to watch the play that closely in your end is worth it...especially since the put the netting up.)

When I used to go to Leafs games (friend of the family was a VP for a Toronto newspaper, and gave me two tickets for Xmas during my teen years), the seats were in those two locations, or in one of the hanging corner balconies. Awesome seats.
   55. zack Posted: January 20, 2014 at 12:33 PM (#4642602)
TV schedule for the Olympics.

They're showing all the games live? Excellent. And it looks like all the 3am games are Power vs. Minnow or Minnow vs. Minnow, so thank you, Olympic schedule planner guy!
   56. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: January 20, 2014 at 12:33 PM (#4642604)
says the guy who makes his living off the dirtiest sport in the world other then maybe cycling,” said professional hockey player Mike Commodore
The fact that anyone, let alone a professional athlete, thinks that baseball is "dirtier" than football...breathtaking. Thanks, Bud.
   57. KronicFatigue Posted: January 20, 2014 at 12:34 PM (#4642605)
anecdotally, I see a lot of hockey fans going to games on my mass-transit commute, and am always impressed by how many women are into it. Very high percentage of legit-jerseys being worn.

I have never watched regular season hockey, but I've gotten moderately into the playoffs the past couple of years. I think it was someone on this site who called it "Soccer on Steroids". I can't really follow what's going on, but there's a good flow to the chaos.

IMO, one thing that really hurts casual viewing are the shifts. It's the only sport where the stars play such a low percentage of the time. Finally, it's comical how much ESPN goes out of their way to bury fan-interest in the sport.
   58. Chris Fluit Posted: January 20, 2014 at 12:42 PM (#4642611)
back to the subject of article, I saw this clip earlier, and must confess, both sides lining up to start the game with a fight is pretty indefensible.


Agreed. As a huge hockey fan, I won't bother to defend it. It was ridiculous. I'm glad that John Tortorella (the Vancouver coach) is being called in for a disciplinary hearing and I hope that they don't let him off with only a fine. He needs to be suspended.

However, the reason why so many hockey fans get defensive about incidents like this is that it seems like these are the only things about hockey that get national coverage. ESPN, PTI, Peter Gammons- if they're talking about hockey, it's about the latest ugly incident.
   59. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 20, 2014 at 12:47 PM (#4642615)
This Canadian judge gives you a score of 3.4


Not possible. Canada isn't real, either. Go back to Lappland, freak.
   60. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: January 20, 2014 at 12:47 PM (#4642617)
That is a pretty good TV schedule. I guess this means all of the figure skating will be 'plausibly live' again.
   61. Joey B. is being stalked by a (Gonfa) loon Posted: January 20, 2014 at 12:48 PM (#4642618)
I'm surprised someone as old as Gammons is doesn't realize how tame hockey is now compared to 30 years ago. Obviously he either never watched a game during the '80s or he has a really short memory.
   62. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 20, 2014 at 12:51 PM (#4642623)
Agreed. As a huge hockey fan, I won't bother to defend it. It was ridiculous. I'm glad that John Tortorella (the Vancouver coach) is being called in for a disciplinary hearing and I hope that they don't let him off with only a fine. He needs to be suspended.


I assume you also mean the Calgary coach (Hartley) will get fined/suspended as well, right?

Calgary submitted their lineup first, and it was the goon squad.
What should Torts have done? Send out the Sedins to get whacked?

As for charging the dressing room between periods, that is definitely something worth fining/suspending.
(Though, if Hartley had the balls to even look at Torts before that faceoff, maybe he doesn't go looking for him after the period.)

I don't like Tortorella that much, but I think Hartley was the instigator in this incident.
   63. puck Posted: January 20, 2014 at 12:53 PM (#4642625)
As far as percentage of fans... Hockey probably has the most balanced percentage of male/female of the major sports that actively follow it.

sports demographics of the major sports.(and nascar)

Am I reading that chart correctly, that a bigger portion of the NHL audience is black compared to the NBA audience?

That's what it seems to be saying...


Does that chart get reformatted depending on your browser or something? I didn't get cardfanboys' point because I see the chart saying NHL has the lowest % of women viewers at 36.4% with MLB (41.2) and NFL (41.3) the highest.

For Black/African-American viewership, I see the NHL lowest at 8.5% (NASCAR is at 9.6%); NBA is highest at 16.4%.
   64. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: January 20, 2014 at 01:00 PM (#4642631)
I assume you also mean the Calgary coach (Hartley) will get fined/suspended as well, right?

Calgary submitted their lineup first, and it was the goon squad.
What should Torts have done? Send out the Sedins to get whacked?

As for charging the dressing room between periods, that is definitely something worth fining/suspending.
(Though, if Hartley had the balls to even look at Torts before that faceoff, maybe he doesn't go looking for him after the period.)

I don't like Tortorella that much, but I think Hartley was the instigator in this incident.


Agreed. Charging the Calgary locker room is what's going to get Tortorella suspended, but Hartley started it and behaved like a ####### coward, frankly.
   65. Tim Wallach was my Hero Posted: January 20, 2014 at 01:17 PM (#4642642)
one thing that really hurts casual viewing are the shifts. It's the only sport where the stars play such a low percentage of the time

How many at bats does Trout have every game? How many of his team's innings does Kershaw throw? Hockey stars spend between one third of the game on the ice if they are forwards and a half if they are defencemen.
   66. Paul d mobile Posted: January 20, 2014 at 01:21 PM (#4642645)
I'm just glad to hear that the NHL doesn't have a drug problem. Good to hear that things like recovering from injury, being fasterand stronger aaren't things that an NHL player would need.
   67. Greg K Posted: January 20, 2014 at 01:23 PM (#4642646)
The puck has to cross the blue line before any offensive players, and if the puck leaves the offensive zone all players must exit before the puck can re-cross the line.

It's not that hard.

I certainly don't think it is...but it never seems that easy to new fans.
   68. SoSH U at work Posted: January 20, 2014 at 01:34 PM (#4642650)
Agreed. Charging the Calgary locker room is what's going to get Tortorella suspended, but Hartley started it and behaved like a ####### coward, frankly.


I'm glad to see I wasn't alone in this. I was watching that second video on the page, and the analyst was putting the blame on Tortorella, saying the Calgary coach is free to start whomever he wants but responding with the Canucks' fourth line was the act that set everything in motion. That didn't make sense to me, so I'm glad that a couple of more knowledgeable hockey guys thought likewise.

   69. SoSH U at work Posted: January 20, 2014 at 01:38 PM (#4642653)
For Black/African-American viewership, I see the NHL lowest at 8.5% (NASCAR is at 9.6%); NBA is highest at 16.4%.


We're assuming the order of the sports is what's in the paragraph. If there's a line indicating a different order, we're simply not seeing it:

Because what I'm seeing is the order as follows: MLB, MLS, NASCAR, the NFL, NHL and NBA

And the numbers that would correspond for African-American viewership: 10.2%, 11.2%, 9.6%, 16.4%, 11.7%, 8.5%
   70. Shredder Posted: January 20, 2014 at 01:40 PM (#4642656)
TV now does a pretty decent job, except when the puck gets stuck along the boards (and especially behind the goal line).
Aside from a lack of understanding of the rules, which can be difficult for new fans, I think new fans have a hard time following the puck on television because, for lack of a better phrase, they're doing it wrong. Granted, it takes a little experience to anticipate where the puck is going to go, but following the puck is much more about watching the players than watching the actual disk in a lot of circumstances. When someone watches baseball on TV, and a batter hits a home run or a fly ball, no one complains that they can't follow the baseball, even though for 90% of the trip it's not on TV. They know where the ball is because they're watching the fielders react to its position. You have to do the same thing in hockey.

Part of me wishes, however, that Fox would have eschewed the ridiculous aspect of the glowing puck, but fine tuned the use of the glowing puck along the near boards. That was by far the best TV innovation (besides HD) of the last 20 years. The great thing about the glowing puck was that you could see it on TV through the boards. That aspect had the potential to be as valuable as the first down line in televised football.
Second row right behind the penalty box and each ticket cost $100. Got there and the seats absolutely sucked.
For a couple of the seasons that we had mini-plans in LA, we always wanted high up (15-20 rows up in the Colonnade), and as close to center ice as possible. Seats on the glass are great when the puck is in your end, and useless when it's not. I prefer to see the whole ice so that you can see plays as they develop. Even now at the United Center I would never purchase tickets below the 300 level, regardless of the price.
   71. Boileryard Posted: January 20, 2014 at 01:40 PM (#4642657)
It's unfortunate the disastrous implementation of FoxTrax probably means that no one will try something similar any time soon. With today's technology, it is likely that the puck could be enhanced in much more subtle (and less objectionable) ways, such as by making it slightly bigger or darker. I think Fox jumped the gun back in the mid-1990s and implemented its enhanced puck before it was ready.
   72. zack Posted: January 20, 2014 at 01:41 PM (#4642658)
I'm glad to see I wasn't alone in this. I was watching that second video on the page, and the analyst was putting the blame on Tortorella, saying the Calgary coach is free to start whomever he wants but responding with the Canucks' fourth line was the act that set everything in motion. That didn't make sense to me, so I'm glad that a couple of more knowledgeable hockey guys thought likewise.


Torts is a hypocrite, though. He's been involved in three of these first-second line brawls (and was the 'instigator' in the first one). I'm not sure there's another current coach with more than one.

A good coach sends his top line out to cream the goon line, and have a good chance of being up 1-0 in the first minute. I seriously doubt the Calgary goons would have fought skill players (yes, yes, John Scott vs. the Leafs, but that almost never happens). A bad coach sends a defenseman out to take the opening faceoff with a goon line. Plus, any coach who puts Tom Sestito in 95% of his team's games reaps what he sows.

Hartley's not a saint, but Torts is trying to have and eat his cake.
   73. Shredder Posted: January 20, 2014 at 01:43 PM (#4642661)
I certainly don't think it is...but it never seems that easy to new fans.
Off-sides is pretty easy to understand, but icing is the one that's hard to explain for newbies. It doesn't help that it's called fairly inconsistently. Other things like hand passes are easy to understand, but can be hard to see at full speed. Also, if you're a referee in the NHL, you apparently don't know how to keep track of the puck when it goes over the glass by 30 feet, bounces off the netting, and back into play, off the goaltender, and into the net.
   74. Shredder Posted: January 20, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4642672)
It's also huge in Russia, Scandinavia, Switzerland, and Czech/Slovakia/Slovenia.
Regarding Scandinavia, it's always seemed weird to me that hockey is so big in Sweden and Finland (to the extent you consider Finland part of Scandivia), but Norway produces almost zero NHL talent. Wonder what it is about the national identity that makes Norway almost non-existent in hockey.
   75. Langer Monk Posted: January 20, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4642673)
They know where the ball is because they're watching the fielders react to its position. You have to do the same thing in hockey.


Concur 100%.

A good coach sends his top line out to cream the goon line


Also agree - if he doesn't want to send out the Sedins, fine, send out your second line, ignore the 4th lines instigation, and either draw a penalty (or more), and play hockey. Tortorella can't help himself though.
   76. cardsfanboy Posted: January 20, 2014 at 01:57 PM (#4642675)
Does that chart get reformatted depending on your browser or something? I didn't get cardfanboys' point because I see the chart saying NHL has the lowest % of women viewers at 36.4% with MLB (41.2) and NFL (41.3) the highest.


Not sure about that, the chart for me says NHL 41.3 %

We're assuming the order of the sports is what's in the paragraph. If there's a line indicating a different order, we're simply not seeing it:

Because what I'm seeing is the order as follows: MLB, MLS, NASCAR, the NFL, NHL and NBA

And the numbers that would correspond for African-American viewership: 10.2%, 11.2%, 9.6%, 16.4%, 11.7%, 8.5%


Examining it more, it seems likely that the order they it is probably flipped between the NHL and NBA. Everything else was in alphabetical order but those two.
   77. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 20, 2014 at 02:08 PM (#4642682)
Wonder what it is about the national identity that makes Norway almost non-existent in hockey.


Skiing wins out in Norway.

I should point out that Norway was the unofficial title holder for the Men's Ice Hockey Championship Belt from May 17, 2010 to May 1st, 2011, so they aren't really all THAT bad.
   78. cardsfanboy Posted: January 20, 2014 at 02:08 PM (#4642683)
Off-sides is pretty easy to understand, but icing is the one that's hard to explain for newbies. It doesn't help that it's called fairly inconsistently. Other things like hand passes are easy to understand, but can be hard to see at full speed. Also, if you're a referee in the NHL, you apparently don't know how to keep track of the puck when it goes over the glass by 30 feet, bounces off the netting, and back into play, off the goaltender, and into the net.


True, but it's still easier to understand than trying to decipher if it's a charging or blocking(or whatever it is they call it on the defense) play in basketball...If your foot is moving in direction of the rotation of the earth, and you have fewer all star game appearances then the other guy, then the penalty is against you.(however that rule works...basketball is the only sport where the number of all star game appearances you have determines how much leeway you are allowed to get....with the exception I guess of Maddux/Glavine pitching)

Hockey is vastly simpler to understand than any of the other sports. Baseball is by far the best sport(in my opinion) but it's not as easy to grasp as hockey or basketball or professional grass growing..I mean soccer.
   79. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 20, 2014 at 02:15 PM (#4642685)
Ease of understanding (easiest to hardest):

Soccer
Curling
Bowling
Volleyball
Hockey
Rugby
Tennis
Basketball
Cricket
Baseball
Football
   80. Shredder Posted: January 20, 2014 at 02:19 PM (#4642689)
I should point out that Norway was the unofficial title holder for the Men's Ice Hockey Championship Belt from May 17, 2010 to May 1st, 2011, so they aren't really all THAT bad.
They've produced seven NHLers all-time. And the only one you've probably heard of is famous only for an errant shot that killed a fan, though Mats Zuccarello seems to be having a nice season this year.
   81. Greg K Posted: January 20, 2014 at 02:22 PM (#4642690)
Regarding Scandinavia, it's always seemed weird to me that hockey is so big in Sweden and Finland (to the extent you consider Finland part of Scandivia), but Norway produces almost zero NHL talent. Wonder what it is about the national identity that makes Norway almost non-existent in hockey.

They did produce Espen "Kid-Kill" Knutsen a while back.

damn...got beaten to it.
   82. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 20, 2014 at 02:24 PM (#4642692)
They've produced seven NHLers all-time. And the only one you've probably heard of is famous only for an errant shot that killed a fan, though Mats Zuccarello seems to be having a nice season this year.


Agreed. The championship belt thing is just a fun little exercise I did.
My favourite part was finding out that France and Poland have held the belt...twice!
   83. Greg K Posted: January 20, 2014 at 02:27 PM (#4642693)
Soccer
Curling
Bowling
Volleyball
Hockey
Rugby
Tennis
Basketball
Cricket
Baseball
Football

I was thinking about this yesterday watching the NFL game. I can't even imagine coming into an NFL game blind...there was a long discussion of whether Russell Wilson was inside or outside of the imaginary tackle box for an intentional grounding call...but it got me thinking about all the other elements of the game that I don't think about. Like stepping out of bounds during certain times in the game stops the clock, the clock stops on an incomplete pass...which to an outsider could seem like an entirely arbitrary rule that has a huge influence on strategy. Certain players aren't allowed to be in certain areas of the field when certain plays are in action (ineligible lineman down field). Certain players (QBs, punters, receivers) are protected by different rules. All these rules come into being over time in a fairly rational way, so you get used to it...but coming in fresh must be a bit like jumping into a soap opera 25 years in and having someone try to explain who's wife is sleeping with who's doctor.
   84. tshipman Posted: January 20, 2014 at 02:40 PM (#4642700)
I'm just glad to hear that the NHL doesn't have a drug problem. Good to hear that things like recovering from injury, being fasterand stronger aaren't things that an NHL player would need.


Yeah, it sure seems to me that PEDs would benefit you more in Hockey than almost any other sport. Of the major televised sports, I'd put it like this:

1. NFL
2. NHL
3. Soccer
4. NBA
5. MLB

And frankly, I don't see any rational argument for the alternative. We know that steroids make you run faster and stronger.
   85. cardsfanboy Posted: January 20, 2014 at 02:41 PM (#4642701)
I was thinking about this yesterday watching the NFL game. I can't even imagine coming into an NFL game blind...there was a long discussion of whether Russell Wilson was inside or outside of the imaginary tackle box for an intentional grounding call...but it got me thinking about all the other elements of the game that I don't think about. Like stepping out of bounds during certain times in the game stops the clock, the clock stops on an incomplete pass...which to an outsider could seem like an entirely arbitrary rule that has a huge influence on strategy. Certain players aren't allowed to be in certain areas of the field when certain plays are in action (ineligible lineman down field). Certain players (QBs, punters, receivers) are protected by different rules. All these rules come into being over time in a fairly rational way, so you get used to it...but coming in fresh must be a bit like jumping into a soap opera 25 years in and having someone try to explain who's wife is sleeping with who's doctor.


To me there are two levels at looking at basic understanding the game.
1. How easy is it to grasp the fundamentals of the game. The goal, the rules that determine who has possession, how to score, etc. simpler sports like basketball, hockey and soccer is easy, (it helps that they are all basically the same game) In baseball the simplest level is still fairly complex(same with football) but you can watch baseball without knowing a lot of the specifics and same with football, but you are going to be asking questions more often than you will with the other sports.

2. Second level is the specifics of common events. This is were you are talking about icing calls, football penalties, difference between forceout and tag out requirements. This is knowledge that is required to begin to have a grasp on strategy, but not always required to watch and enjoy the game.

You can be perfectly content with watching a hockey game without ever having to learn offsides or icing, same with basketball and charging rules or soccer and their few weird rules. But baseball and football you really do have to get more of a grasp of the game just to be able to watch it.
   86. Publius Publicola Posted: January 20, 2014 at 02:47 PM (#4642703)
I think footballs easier to understand than baseball. Even if you knew nothing about it, it would be immediately obvious the team in possession of the ball was trying to advance it down the field, and the other team was trying to stop them.

But baseball? What's up with the guy with the stick in his hand standing between the two guys playing catch? If they don't do it right, is he going to try to bludgeon the one with all the padding on?

Why did he push his glove on that man sliding on the ground when the moment before, all he did was throw the ball over to that big man with the funny looking glove who was standing on that square pillow?

Why are the fans cheering when the man with the wooden stick didn't swing at the white ball, when just a moment before, they cheered when he did ?

   87. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 20, 2014 at 02:57 PM (#4642714)
What makes sports difficult to follow:

Different scoring values:
Football - 6 or 3 or 2 or 1
Basketball - 3 or 2 or 1
Cricket - 1+ or 4 or 6
Tennis - don't even get me started..

Shifting personnel:
Football - 11 for offence, 11 for defence, plus various others (special teams, etc)
Basketball - unlimited substitutions at breaks
Hockey - unlimited substitutions on the fly

Complex rules:
Football - an almost limitless set of rules to watch for on each play
Baseball - lots of written and unwritten (phantom 2nd base play) rules to track
Hockey - many rules

Equipment differences:
Hockey - that goalie uses a different stick, helmet, and pads
Baseball - that catcher uses a different glove, a helmet, and padding



   88. cardsfanboy Posted: January 20, 2014 at 02:59 PM (#4642715)
I think footballs easier to understand than baseball. Even if you knew nothing about it, it would be immediately obvious the team in possession of the ball was trying to advance it down the field, and the other team was trying to stop them.


Agree, baseball requires a pretty high level of understanding the game to understand it. Football is more or less the same game as basketball/hockey/soccer/jai alai etc just with some weirdness added to it that makes it much more start and stop than the others.
   89. Shredder Posted: January 20, 2014 at 03:00 PM (#4642716)
Football seems to exist on a continuum where at point of the spectrum, it's fairly easy to grasp and follow, but at the other, it's incredibly complex. It's pretty easy to sit down and watch a football game and know what's going on even if you haven't had that much exposure to it. You try to move the ball across a goal line by either throwing it or running it. You have to get to a certain point in four plays, or the other team gets the ball and does the same thing. I think you can pick that up pretty quick.

But I've been watching football for pretty much my whole life and I couldn't tell you what a two deep zone is, or any number of different offensive and defensive line calls, etc. I never played it organized, so that's part of it. On a passing play, it's easy to watch and say "the big guys are trying to keep the other guys from getting the quarterback". But you can watch for years and never really know the intricacy of blocking schemes. I'm sure there are people that get that stuff and understand it on a different level than I do, but for me, I already get enough enjoyment out of it. I don't think baseball ever really gets that complex, though it's harder for the novice to understand.
You can be perfectly content with watching a hockey game without ever having to learn offsides or icing, same with basketball and charging rules or soccer and their few weird rules.
I disagree with this when it comes to hockey a little bit. In basetball, when there's a charge or block, at least there's contact and you know someone did something wrong (even if the refs can't really tell who it is) which made the ref blow the whistle. I think I'd get frustrated watching hockey if they kept blowing the whistle and facing off and I never really understood why.
   90. Swedish Chef Posted: January 20, 2014 at 03:05 PM (#4642718)
My considered opinion about Hockey is that it is high time that Gamingboy submitted an Olympics thread.
   91. TerpNats Posted: January 20, 2014 at 03:10 PM (#4642722)
My compromise would be transparent boards, a camera track around the rink, real boards behind that (to hide the fans' legs, and still have advertising).
If Roger Ailes ran the NHL, all the boards would be transparent, and cute blondes in suntan pantyhose would occupy most of the front-row seats.
   92. Joe Bivens, Minor Genius Posted: January 20, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4642728)
Live crowds invariably love seeing a fight, but viewers on TV tend to change the channel.


Who told you that, Zeth?
   93. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 20, 2014 at 03:24 PM (#4642729)
basketball/hockey/soccer/jai ala


I think you might be thinking of a different sport.
Jai alai is more like squash and racquet ball (1v1, enclosed area, against a wall) than basketball/hockey/soccer (team vs team, open field of play).
   94. Rusty Priske Posted: January 20, 2014 at 03:28 PM (#4642732)
Let me preface by saying that I am not much of a hocket fan, despite being Canadian.

Maybe that is because I came from a part of the country that does nto freeze over in the winter... I don't know.

Having said that, I can't udnerstand why ANYONE could say the game is hard to follow. In fact, it is the perfect game for the ADHD generation because it is moving all the time. (Which is probably why I prefer baseball... but that is just me... I don't understand why anyone would want the game to go much faster...)

It is FOOTBALL that doesn't make a whole lot of sense (right down to the name...)
   95. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 20, 2014 at 03:29 PM (#4642733)
But you can watch for years and never really know the intricacy of blocking schemes. I'm sure there are people that get that stuff and understand it on a different level than I do, but for me, I already get enough enjoyment out of it.


I agree. This is where the presentation of the sport is crucial. If you have a good announcing crew that does more than talk for the sake of hearing themselves, they'll point out WHY that was a good blocking scheme, and who did what and where.

The same with constant action sports like hockey, basketball, and soccer.
Passing systems, defensive alignments, movement away from the ball/puck...if you can present that information properly to a new viewer, they'll be much more likely to catch on and enjoy what they are watching.

If you just babble on about how teams are "willing themselves to victory", or how a player "wanted it more", or the coach "knows how to handle the intangibles", then a viewer will never learn.
   96. Tracy Ringolsby Posted: January 20, 2014 at 03:43 PM (#4642740)
Not agreeing or disagreeing with what Peter said, but I will note that I've known Peter since I started covering baseball in 1977.
1.He did at one point cover the Bruins.
2. He loves hockey, almost as much as he loves baseball.
3. There are things he has questioned in baseball, too.
   97. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: January 20, 2014 at 04:03 PM (#4642744)
The funniest part of this entire bit is the "how is Peter Gammons" noise from hockey people whom no one outside of Western Canada has ever heard of.
   98. cardsfanboy Posted: January 20, 2014 at 04:09 PM (#4642747)
I think you might be thinking of a different sport.


probably, I was thinking of the sport where you put the ball through the wall.

Not agreeing or disagreeing with what Peter said, but I will note that I've known Peter since I started covering baseball in 1977.
1.He did at one point cover the Bruins.
2. He loves hockey, almost as much as he loves baseball.
3. There are things he has questioned in baseball, too.


I have no problem with people not liking hockey or whatnot. My only beef is claiming it's a minor sport, and drawing the line between hockey and basketball.... Basketball is MUCH closer to the NHL in minor leagues than it is to the MLB as a major sport. NFL at nearly 10bil, baseball at nearly 8bil, while NBA struggles to break 4 bil, and NHL at 3bil.... You can't be a dissing hockey as a minor sport while supporting basketball.
   99. Flynn Posted: January 20, 2014 at 04:12 PM (#4642749)
One guy takes a shot, another guy deflects that shot with his stick and it gets past the goalie...I can't make out any individual skill from anyone there.


As a hockey nut and ball hockey goalie, I can tell you that much, much less of hockey is random chance/luck than you think. That little puck/ball can go a lot faster into much smaller holes than you'd think, and by and large, really good players absolutely do know what they're doing when they shoot at a little tiny hole on the glove side, or hang out their stick and deflect a puck.
   100. villageidiom Posted: January 20, 2014 at 04:14 PM (#4642750)
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