Thursday, November 22, 2007

Hmm, Gary! There's still some work to be done on the American footprint.

Thanksgiving Thursday, in the USA it's a day all about football. Well there’s that Turkey thing happening and family and friends too! But for the most part, from about 9:30 am to 8:30 pm here on the West Coast, American sports fans are probably watching or listening to a football game.

We tuned into the Colts and Falcons game this evening, one of the projects put on by the NFL Network, who of course employ that well known sports authority Bryant Gumbel.

Gumbel who once commented that the Winter Olympics were a waste of time, due to the nature of the sports covered and devoid of the great athletes of our time, reached into his vast winter sports knowledge kit on Thursday, with an off the cuff remark about hockey.
One which probably tells Gary Bettman more about his current invasion on heartland America than even declining attendance or meager financial returns could provide.

Gumbel was commenting on a catch made by the Colts Ben Utecht, and commented with words to the effect that “Utecht once played hockey up in Minnesota, playing goal, and playing in a state where hockey actually matters.”

Leaving some 49 other states we guess to revel in their disregard for the game. Call the travel office with a cancellation, we suspect that Gary can put aside any grand ambitions to be a guest on Real Sports anytime soon.

Gumbel's line was but a throwaway one in a football game. One probably missed by millions of fans, who had by then overdosed on turkey, beer and other groups of food and beverage.

But it’s indicative of the state of hockey these days in the USA, reduced at times to a punch line to a story filling time in a football game.

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