Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Deadline TV

Six hours to fill, rumors, examinations of trades, mindless babbling, we got it all. Probably the most intensive day on Canadian sports television, the NHL Trading Deadline Day, reality television for the arm chair athlete.

All were prepared with their armies of experts, Sportsnet with Kypreos, Stellick, Waters and Gilmour (did he ever come out of retirement and sign with Detroit?), Paul Maurice, Joel Quennville, Mike Keenan, more ex coaches than you could find at an EI office. And way too many Darrens for one show! (I got vertigo as we passed the mic from Darren to Darren) Opinions fast and furious, fact and fiction. For the most part they did a good job, a few too many appearances by Hazel May (is she always this loud all morning, God if you had a hangover that's the last thing you would want to hear). But they had the stories and trades fast and for the most part correct. And most of all NO CURLING!!

Now not to offend the many fans of the roaring game, but interrupting your comprehensive Draft Day coverage to follow the latest rocks as TSN did, just seems rather dumb. TSN which has a rather solid stable of Hockey Experts, Pierre McGuire, Dave Hodge, Steve Simmons, Damian Cox, et al, spent far too much time chasing down the curling game, while their compatriots at Sportsnet and even The Score, were debating the breaking news of the hour. The TSN crawler at the bottom of the screen a nice attempt at keeping current, but hockey fans would have gone to where the hockey was. A poor decision by TSN, I'm sure there is a reasonable answer for their unusual broadcast day strategy, but one suspects they suffered for their choice.

The folks at THE SCORE did their best to keep current, but one always gets the impression that The Score is run like Wayne's World, I keep expecting to see Mike Myers with his Hawks sweater popping up, to discuss whether Stan Mikita was indeed the best Hawk. To their credit The Score did go live to press conferences first a lot of the times, though their scoop was quickly countered by a press conference of unending boredom. But at least they were talking about the topic at hand, not trying to fit the events in between sweeps and yells of hurry!

The Trading Day Deadline usually brings out the competitive juices in the various sports networks in Canada, there is no other event where the three use all their assets and call in their markers. It will be interesting to see which channel comes out on top when the ratings are released.

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