Showing posts with label ESPN. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ESPN. Show all posts

Monday, September 30, 2013

ESPN Predicts the NHL Finish




Wow, the ESPN writers picked who they think will win the various divisions (Atlantic, Pacific, Metro, Central Divisions) and these same writers also picked who they think will end up being the Stanley Cup. I am a bit surprised there isn't more love for the Detroit Redwings, only four of the writers picked the Redwings. I also have them penciled in to win the Stanley Cup.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Does ESPN Hate the NHL?

ESPN
ESPN (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Interesting article by SI's Allan Muir… Since the NHL moved from ESPN to OLN in 2005 after the 2004-05 lockout; then Versus and now NBCSN, there has been a lot less hockey highlights on ESPN.

One of the questions that I have often asked myself is; does ESPN even need to show hockey highlights? Why would they? NHL Hockey fans know that if they want to watch the NHL in the USA, they can watch the sport on NBCSN or on your regional sports channel like FSN. Or you can do what many NHL fans do, they simply purchase the NHL package, NHL Center Ice. This one of the main reasons that I don’t watch ESPN at all anymore. The only actual hockey games that ESPN shows on the sports network, is during the NCAA hockey tourney.
Allan Muir, SI.COM --- SportsCenter likes to cover the NFL. A lot. LeBron James and Kobe Bryant and Peyton Manning got mentioned more often for crossing the street than most athletes did for making game-winning plays. They’ll throw down the adjective “elite” to describe anything from a prospect to a haircut.

Where Burns’ sacrifice starts paying off is when he examines the treatment of hockey on the program. Now we all know it is an afterthought, falling just below Tim Tebow’s dating life and just above Little League baseball and arena football. His numbers bear out that belief. Out of a total broadcast time of 23,052.75 minutes last year, SportsCenter devoted all of 459.5 to covering the NHL.

That’s a whopping 2.7 percent of its airtime.

Does that seem like a reasonable representation of the interest in the game across this great land? Of course not. And that’s why many hockey fans can’t be bothered with the show.

But relative to some other numbers, hockey has some surprising company among the other sports that are fighting for scraps of airtime.

Consider golf, a sport that boasts one of the world’s most high-profile athletes in Tiger Woods and draws decent ratings on the major U.S. networks. It earned just 3.3 percent of ESPN’s airtime. That’s more than the NHL, but given golf’s profile, the margin isn’t as great as I expected.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Sunday, July 14, 2013

ESPN vs. the Sharks on Twitter



Check out this exchange on Twitter... I couldn't agree more, show more hockey highlights on ESPN. How about show some hockey. I rarely if ever watch ESPN, unless it's for the NCAA Hockey playoffs, NFL Football, or for an occasional FCS football game. That's it.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, June 07, 2013

A Farewell to a Flagship, an interesting factoid, and an Interesting Comment by a Blowhard (RW77)

English: NHL Commisioner Gary Bettman in 2007.
English: NHL Commisioner Gary Bettman in 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Say-Oh Nara Pittsburgh

Sad day for Gary Bettman, the NHL PR office, and the city of Pittsburgh.  Their glorious flagship franchise and their face of the NHL is now hanging up their skates for the offseason.   In truth, with the exception of Matt Cooke, there isn't a lot to NOT like about the Penguins... if you forget about all the media hype and attention lorded upon that franchise for seemingly no other reason other than Sidney Crosby.

The truth is, the same thing that haunted the Pens since Crosby was drafted reared its ugly head again:  Bad Team D and spotty goaltending.  The Penguins defense simply ISN'T GOOD.  In many regards, UND fans can understand this by stating the following:  Pittsburgh plays a similar game to Minnesota Gopher hockey.  The Penguins, like the Gophers, are a slick passing, great puck handling, finesse style team that can be disrupted and handled if you can play solid D and be physical.  The Bruins are solid defensively and played very physically.  They swept the Pens.  It was that simple.

The Bruins weren't flashy.  They weren't especially fun to watch (sorry Goon and B's fans).  They were sturdy, lunch pail type players... and Gregory Campbell wins the word for Oh my Goodness fortitude.  Good grief.  They don't nearly have the hype surrounding them as the Pens do.  And the B's let the Pens keep the hype.  I'm sure the media covered the victors only because they had to while really pining to get to the Pens lockerroom to see what the Golden Child had to say.

As for goaltending I don't know what to say about Tomas Vokoun.  I REALLY like Tomas.  I thought he was one of THE most underrated goaltenders in the entire NHL for about a 5 year stretch (until Halak stole that title from him while with Montreal).  It's sad that he's on the decline of his career and he'll have nothing to show for it.  Vokoun and Iginla (again, sorry B's fans) are two of the only players on the Pens I sympathize with.

As for Fleury, I said it before and I say it again:  Fleury is in the top 3 for most overrated goaltenders in the NHL.  The other two being Carey Price (Montreal) and Roberto Luongo (Vancouver), though Luongo is fading from this list because his career is fading as well.  I think Jonas Hiller of Anaheim may take Luongo's spot before long.  To be nicer to Fleury, though, Price is still #1 in this category.  But there's time left despite Price holding the edge in age.

Where do the Pens go from here?  To the Golf Course.

Good riddance.   Now Mr. Bettman... Now's the time to start marketting a team OTHER than your beloved.  Are you going to have the cahones to do it or are you just going to sit back in your office and sulk?

An Interesting Comment by a Blowhard

Speaking of Gary Bettman, I was listening to ESPN Radio blowhard Colin Cowherd the other day and he actually made a decent point (in between fluffing himself up as some sort of uber objective yackityyacker which only his fans actually believe is true).  He commented on the popularity of sports other than the NFL (he said that the NFL is far and away the most popular and there's no sport out there that will come close... and he's right) the NHL has a marketable product that is interesting and entertaining.  However, they don't market the product at all.  They don't make the media talk about the NHL at all.  They hide it away on a cable TV station (Versus) for a long time and then benefit by the purchase of Versus by NBC, which has the rights because they cannot wrest the rights to the NBA from the other networks.  They marketted themselves by saying "We're back" when that was outwardly foolish.

I agree.  I can't believe it but I agree with Cowherd.  ESPN doesn't care about hockey.  He says its because of this failure to make themselves marketable and in the mainstream.  That's probably most of the issue but not all of it.  ESPN's bread and butter is the NBA.  And whenever it mentions the NFL ratings go through the roof.  So, that's where they focus.  ESPN did put in a bid for the NHL TV rights but the bid was low and the priority was such that the NHL would invariably be buried or preempted if something they felt was more important was on.  I have no confidence that, outside of the NHL playoffs (provided they didn't conflict with the NBA playoffs or finals), would even appear on ESPN itself.  Mostly likely it would have been ESPN 2 or 3.  NHL Tonight, even during the years that ESPN did air NHL games, was aired closer to midnight than to primetime.  Why would Bettman, as questionable as his intelligence is at times, want that for his league?

But in truth, Cowherd is right in that the NHL does a VERY VERY VERY VERY bad job of marketting itself.  They put commercials on NBC and the NHL Network and NHL Center Ice does get some Ad time but that's it.  I bet they could find ways to get Crosby on ABC or Ovechkin on Fox Sports pushing the NHL.  I'm sure they could find storylines to push for just about every NHL team if they wanted.  But they don't.  They focus mostly on the Penguins, Crosby, and the Finals and let the rest twist in the wind.

Let's face it:  The NHL will NEVER EVER be as popular as the NFL.  I'm not suggesting they even try to compete with even COLLEGE Football.  But I'm pretty darn sure they could garner more of the viewership market than they are getting now.  Baseball is a slow, tedious, and downright boring sport to watch.  It takes FOREVER to get through a game... heck, it takes too long just for the pitcher to decide upon a pitch and then start his windup.  The NHL is fast, exciting, physical, challenging to play, and ENTERTAINING to watch.  It's time it was marketted that way.

A Final Interesting Factoid

I'll leave this rant with an interesting factoid.  Unless my research is off, if Chicago finishes off L.A., this finals will mark the first time Boston has faced Chicago in the Stanley Cup Finals.  How mindblowing that you could have two Original Six teams that have NEVER faced off since the Stanley Cup finals began (1927)
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, March 29, 2013

Epic fail by ESPNU



s/t to@cHRISTIANbRO10 ... Epic fail to @ESPNU for this screw up. Unsatisfactory, this is not acceptable. Of course ESPN wouldn't screw up Notre Dame or Boston College or even Cornell for that matter, but it's okay to disrespect North Dakota.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, January 21, 2013

Jeff Dubay of 1500ESPN answers a few questions


Jeff Dubay was a very popular sports radio talk show host on KFAN 1130 am out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. for 10 years until he was let go by KFAN on n October 24, 2008.

When Dubay left KFAN, there was a serious college hockey void in the Minneapolis listening area.  As most of you know, Dubay went through a tough stretch, but his life has now come full circle. 

Dubay has been sober since 2011.   

Recently, Dubay was hired by 1500ESPN in Minneapolis to work the nine-noon slot with former Star and Tribune Viking beat writer Judd Zulgad.   

In case you’re wondering, you can listen to the Judd and Dubay radio show from 9 to noon weekdays on you smartphones or by logging on to the 1500ESPN website. Lastly, you can also download the podcasts from iTunes if you are unable to listen on-line or on your smart phone.

Eric Burton: You had a tough 3-4 years, and I think it’s safe to say that you have come full circle and now are back where you should be, on the Sports Talk Show talking sports, and how fitting is it that your first week back you’re talking UND vs. UMN?

Jeff Dubay: It was really fun coming back in time for the weekend series but I have to admit I may have gone a little overboard with the good natured jabs at UND on Friday's show. That's what happens when you save it all up for four years I guess.

EB: If you can briefly explain your feelings about your new job and the struggles that you went through to make it back?

JD: I'm really excited about the opportunity at 1500espn. I met with Dan Seeman over a year ago and even though I was sober I still wasn't ready for the job and he could see it. The first year of sobriety is tough on a person and a radio show would have been too much for me at the time so Dan told me to keep doing the right thing and my time would come.

I spent the next year staying clean and getting out to tell my story at treatment centers and schools as well as meeting one on one with any struggling addicts that reached out for help. Then the job came open on Judd's show and I knew my time was now. My head was clear and self-esteem restored due to the way I had been living and when I met with Dan Seeman last month he could see a pronounced difference in me and almost immediately I was offered the chance to audition on air for a week by program director Brad Lane.

The week went well enough that I was offered the job on Thursday the tenth but I was not allowed to tell anyone for 24 hours because I hadn't signed the contract yet. That was not easy for me. I'm lousy at keeping secrets and I was pretty damn excited. The next day was a blast because once I signed and they released the info officially I became the recipient of a lot of well-wishing from friends and listeners. It was a great day for me personally.

EB: Is a cooling off period good for this rivalry [between UND vs. UMN]?

JB: I wish it was only a cooling off period but personally I think it's the end of the rivalry. It will still be fun to see each other in the postseason and down the road in nonconference play but it will never be the same. The intensity will only decrease over time.

EB: Feelings on the UMN and UND series taking a hiatus?

JD: It's too bad they couldn't schedule each other right away but the schedules are made in advance and U of M policy wouldn't allow the scheduling of an opponent with the nickname controversy. Plus Lucia's immediate loyalty had to be to the other four in-state schools with d-1 programs. We should all hope for a meeting at the final five this year. The intensity in that one would be all time high.

EB: Your feelings on the B1G hockey conference?

JD: I'm not a fan of the Big Ten hockey conference but I suppose like any change in life it will eventually become routine. My fear is we will leave the format of the weekend series for random weeknight games and be at the mercy of the Big Ten network for TV coverage rather than relying on FSN for great coverage. I also hate losing all our natural rivals except Wisconsin. I would have preferred things stay the same but once Penn State started up a d-1 program no one had any choice.

EB: Impressions of this past week’s games between UND and UMN?

JD: It was a fun and competitive weekend. Even the Friday game was a one goal contest in the third when Wilcox got tested a couple times and had to come up big to keep it from getting tied up. Saturday was a bit more dramatic. I was surprised to see all the quality chances for both teams in the third period.

Usually with one team leading you would expect a slightly more defensive approach but the defense was leaking for both teams so the scoring chances were there going both ways. Wilcox wasn't sharp and got lucky on a couple pipes. Grimaldi was the best player on the ice Saturday but this North Dakota team doesn't seem as rugged as some in recent memory but they are a tirelessly working lunch pale crew with a dangerous top line that no one will want to play in the NCAA tourney.

EB: Are we going to hear more College Hockey talk now that you’re on 1500 ESPN?

JD: I don't know if you'll hear more college hockey talk because I don't know how much there was before. Judd is an avid college hockey fan and he and I actually attended a UND-Wisconsin game at the Kohl Center together back in the Oshie-Toews years. We were in town for a Gopher-Badger football game the same weekend. There will be plenty of hockey talk. You don't have to twist Judd's arm.

EB: Do you and P.A. still keep in contact? Do you ever listen to his show?

JD: I just talked to P.A. last week and we tweet to each other from time to time as well. I stopped listening to the fan the day I was fired. Nothing personal, it was just too hard for me.

EB: During the week of your audition, I was listening to you and the co-host Judd Zulgad talk about a Vikings game, and you said that during the one game in question, that you were incarcerated during that event. What was that like? How did you make it through?  How did you keep your sanity?

JD: There's nothing worse than having your freedom taken away. It makes you feel sub-human. Having a door lock behind you is something I wouldn't wish on even my least favorite Sioux fans. ;)
I was lucky enough to meet former Viking receiver Buster Rhymes in my team at the workhouse. He's a good man and a great influence on me.

EB: Secret to staying sober?

JD: The key to my sobriety lies in how miserable my life became while using. When you get right down to it how hard is it really to stop doing something that you no longer enjoy at all and in many ways have grown to hate? The bottom line is I want to be sober and I don't want to use. I know that sounds simple but it has been for me and for that I'm very grateful.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Will UND fans cheer Holy Cross?



This past weekend, I was listening to the UND Hockey on the radio and between periods, the voice of UND Hockey, Tim Hennessy was interviewing hockey guru Jess Myers of ESPN 1500 and Jess made mention of the Holy Cross series that's coming up in January at the Ralph and joked whether UND fans would still cheer Holy Cross when they’re introduced.

So do you think that UND fans will cheer Holy Cross? Like J.B. suggested in the comments, the fans may cheer before the first game but Holy Cross will become enemy number one, once the first puck is dropped.

During the 2006 NCAA Regionals,  Holy Cross was the “giant killer”... some have likened the Crusaders to Basketball’s version of the Cinderella -- a surprise team that was supposed to have no chance of winning but somehow Cinderella finds it in their fiber to knock off that unbeatable highly ranked sending fans into a pandemonium.

This is not 2006 anymore.

The Crusaders definitely made NCAA Division I College Hockey history for their ginormous victory over the Gophers, since that day Holy Cross, has been beloved by a lot of  UND hockey fans; simply because they knocked off one of UND's most hated rivals the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Also, to this day, you still see Holy Cross shirts and jerseys in the Ralph on any given weekend. I must say that I never bought one of those shirts, but I did watch Holy Cross football when I lived in Massachusetts during the early 1990's.

This season, I don’t think UND will overlook Holy Cross and I expect UND to play hard against them. UND has an all-time record of 2-0-0 against the Crusaders, beating them during the 2004 and 2006 NCAA tourney.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

ESPN Announces NCAA Hockey Regional TV Schedule

OFFICAL PRESS RELEASE

For the ninth consecutive year, ESPN networks will present all 12 games in the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Regional and Semi-Regional rounds live from four regional sites, in addition to the Frozen Four and Championship matchups from Pittsburgh, Pa. Every game will air over ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or on ESPN3 and local syndication. The games carried over ESPN3 and syndication will also re-air on ESPNU.

As in previous years, the 2013 tournament brackets will be announced on the NCAA Hockey Championship Selection Show, slated to air Sunday, March 24 at 9 p.m. ET on ESPNU. ESPN’s 24-hour college sports network will air more than eight consecutive hours of non-stop college hockey coverage each day during Regionals – Friday, Saturday and Sunday – with a doubleheader of live action Friday and a tripleheader on Saturday. In total, ESPNU will air 30 hours of game action within a 54-hour span.
ESPN’s coverage continues in April with both Frozen Four games airing on ESPN2 and the Championship airing on ESPN. All of ESPN’s NCAA hockey coverage will also be available on computers at WatchESPN.com and on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app live.

ESPN has aired games from the men’s championship since 1980 and extended its commitment to the NCAA last year to include the airing of the entire Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship through 2024.

2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Schedule:

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tweets that give me hope that the season could be saved



I think after today developments there is some hope that a settlement could be reached or at least it's possible that both sides could agree to a new CBA. What is even more exciting is there is a chance that we could have a full 82 game NHL season. Or at least from my vantage point -- it would appear that the two sides are "finally" making some progress after the NHL owners put forward what appears to be a serious proposal now.








Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, October 05, 2012

College Hockey takes center stage


Originally posted at the Hockey Writers - Combine
Obviously, the NHL Lockout has been a major buzz kill for NHL hockey fans so far this fall and there doesn’t seem to be a solution coming anytime soon – nor does either side seem like they have any incentive to reach a deal.
For most, the NHL has become the no hockey league where both sides don’t appear to be doing what any of us would consider serious negotiating.
This afternoon, I read a tweet on twitter from a ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun that the NHL owners are strongly suggesting that the NHLPA put forth some kind of a counter proposal to the NHL Owners –  not to be outdone of course  – the NHLPA asked the owners to come up with sometime as well. I just don’t think we’re going to get any kind of an agreement in the near future.


While the NHL owners and the NHLPA continue with their childish shenanigans  – the NCAA Division I college hockey season is upon us and starting this weekend there will be quite a few NCAA teams that will be playing their exhibition games against Canadian Interuniversity Sport.
While none of these games count in the standings, it’s a good way for  head coachs to evaluate their teams. Also, these game can serve as a measuring stick for the CIS teams that want to see how their teams compare against the NCAA Division I teams. The CIS teams also have many ex-CHL’s on their rosters that play in the CIS after they are done with their junior hockey eligibility.
Bonus Hockey

Starting tomorrow night, there is also going to be three official Division I hockey games. All three games are out east,  the Maine Black Bears of Hockey East take on the Quinnipiac Bobcats of Atlantic Hockey Association at Alfond Arena, Orno Maine.

Moving down the coast and west, the Falcons of  Bowling Green plays the Niagara Purple Eagles of the Atlantic Hockey Association in Dwyer Arena in Niagara New York and finally, Merrimack College of Hockey East plays against last season’s Frozen Four team Union College of the ECAC at the Achilles Center in Schenectady, N.Y. unfortunately, none of these games are on TV this weekend.
The only game that will be on this weekend is the University of North Dakota takes on the Manitoba Bison of CIS at the Ralph Englestad Arena in Grand Forks, North Dakota – that game is on FCS you can check your local listings for the channel,  the game is also on DirecTV 626  at  7:07  PM Central Standard Time – unfortunately Fox College Sports isn’t on Dish Network.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, September 21, 2012

A decent read?


Kurt Snibbe/ESPN.com

Proposed Fighting Sue helmet logo.

Someone posted this article on Sioux Sports – I believe it was a Bison fan. If you haven’t seen this it’s worth a quick look. The reason that UND hasn’t been in March Madness is that UND just finally finished their transition to Division I in all sports, I expect that eventually UND will make the NCAA Men's and Women's Basketball tourneys as well.
Low Graduation Rates? Fine with the NCAA. Two Feathers? OMG! Over at the University of North Dakota, the state's voters recently endorsed a referendum to drop the Fighting Sioux nickname. Right now the school's teams are the -- we'll get back to you on that, as UND teams have no nickname at the moment.

The NCAA ordered the University of North Dakota to drop the Fighting Sioux nickname and cease using a Sioux head image drawn by a Native American artist. The NCAA also ordered William & Mary to cease using a two-feathers sports logo. Yet the NCAA is fine with the University of Utah's American Indian nickname, the Utes, and its two-feathers logo.

What's the distinction here? Money. The North Dakota men's basketball team has not made the March Madness event in 20 years. William & Mary has never made the men's tournament. Neither the University of North Dakota nor William & Mary provides the NCAA with the only thing it cares about: greenback dollars. The University of Utah, on the other hand, has 26 March Madness appearances, including 12 of the past 20 tournaments. Because in the case of the Utes, the American Indian imagery generates cash for the NCAA, all is well.

Since the University of North Dakota needs a new nickname, TMQ proposes the Fighting Sue, perhaps with Johnny Cash theme music.
That being said, UND is usually in the NCAA Division I playoffs for hockey every season but once (missed NCAA playoffs in 2001-02) since 1997 and last season was the first time during the span that UND didn't wear the Fighting Sioux logo during the NCAA tourney. I am not so sure that the Johnny Cash Logo would catch on either. :) I did get a good chuckle out of that one though.

I do think it’s funny sometimes how the NCAA picks certain issues like Sports Team logos over more important issues like graduation rates.
Enhanced by Zemanta