Friday, May 25, 2007

Reader Mail

Because I have been fighting cold-like symptoms (call it an upper-body injury) and just crushing boredom since I've been back from holiday, I am not really in much of a creative mood. But I feel like I should put something up today, so I'm going to meet you halfway and respond to some Reader Mail. Not that I have much of a response, but since people take the time to add comments, I will take the time to write back.

Letter #1, from someone who obviously wishes to remain anonymous, so let's just call him Chris H:

"You would still be watching if it was the Leafs and not the Sens. The Sens have been a much better and more exciting team for many years. It's about time Hockey Night in Toronto starts showing some other teams play the early half of the double header (besides when they're playing the buds). I'm still behind them. Despite the fact that the buffalo/ottawa series was 5 games, it was still good hockey, and from what i recall all one goal games, except for game 1 which had plenty of great goals.

Three short years ago, while being stuck in Ottawa during the Flames run, all of Ottawa was behind our team. There were people in the streets after the games and the bars were full. I'll give them the same courtesy and have more than a passing interest in the cup final. Much more interest than in that oiler series last year.

Beyond being a fan of the sens, i still can't believe you're not picking them to win. They have been dominant. Detroit outplayed Anaheim for at least 4 of their 6 games. Sens are due. They'll win it in 6."

First of all, I need to set the record straight - there is no way I would be watching this series if it was Toronto instead of Ottawa - I'm just not going to watch on general principle and general disinterest, not because it's Ottawa. I stopped being a Toronto Maple Leafs fan on May 2, 2004 - yes I still remember the day- when Toronto lost 7-2 to Philadelphia in Game 5 of the Eastern Semi-Final and Bryan Mcabe somehow managed to be about -18 for the game. I sat there and watched every single goal that Philly scored that night and swore I'd never go through that again - we broke up for good that night.

I totally agree with the 'Hockey Night in Toronto' comments. Toronto gets much more exposure than any other team in this country for no other reason than they're in the biggest market. They basically do nothing to warrant the coverage they get - they haven't even made the playoffs the last two seasons! Every other team in Canada has made the playoffs at least once in the last two years - except Toronto. Yet every Saturday you know for a fact who one of the two teams is going to be on Hockey Night in Canada. I totally agree that Ottawa has been a much better team than Toronto for many seasons and deserves some national exposure.

On a related note, I wonder who Bob Cole and every other Maple Leaf fanatic at the CBC will be cheering for? Will Bob actively cheer for Anaheim (or will they bring Andy Murray back to do that just like he did last year, in possibly one of the worst colour-commentating jobs in television history) - or will Bob just root against Ottawa? That right there might actually be a reason to watch this series.

I still don't really buy that people across the country are going to get behind Ottawa, like what happened with Calgary and Edmonton. But if they do here in Regina, you can bet that Rob Vanstone will have a complaint about the sudden appearance of Senator car flags (I couldn't resist).

I only said that Anaheim will win in 7 because of the last two finals: Tampa Bay in 7 and Carolina in 7 - both struggling American cities against Canadian teams. I'm just saying that it's a little fishy when you look at it - I'm not prepared to bet against the commissioner's office just at the moment. In all honesty, I hope that the Sens do win this series. I don't think I can take another American expansion city winning a cup. Tampa Bay, Carolina, Anaheim as the last three Cup, I think I'll go wander in traffic now. Plus there is no one, I repeat, no one that deserves to lift the Stanley Cup LESS than Chris Pronger. I'm generally not a vindictive person (oh wait) but he doesn't even deserve to be on the same ice as the Cup for the way he weaseled his way out of Edmonton last year. It troubles me how he was given a total pass on that one.

Wow, after writing all of that I feel a powerful need to watch the games and root very, very strongly against Anaheim.

Letter #2, from Trebor:

"I was never really a hockey fan to begin with and though I watched most of the games during the 1st and 2nd rounds not much interest anymore. Maybe it's the season finales that have been on lately, but I'm not even tuning in anymore, i go to the net to get updates on the game rather than flip to CBC. I've also noticed that the NBA has gotten really boring as well. I too watched the lottery and wow, why even put that on TV. As for the actual games, phoenix is gone, GS gone... no stories left except for how the suns got screwed. San Antonio in the finals again... how exciting. Then the east never really was exciting.. Detroit in the finals again.... guess shouldn't count out the jazz and cavs but...

If only there were some other sport to watch during the summer, something outdoors, in a park perhaps ??? Nope can't think of anything guess I'll just have to wait for football to start."

I agree with the losing interest after the 1st and 2nd rounds of the hockey playoffs. The season obviously need to be shorter. I equate hockey with the winter and as soon as the weather gets nicer outside the last thing I want to be doing is watching hockey. There doesn't really seem to be any reason for the Stanley Cup Finals to be just starting in the last week of May. I guess we're not allowed to have any days without professional sports in Canada - so the NHL and CFL seasons have to overlap with one another. I'd say the NHL playoffs should end about mid-May at the latest.

Basketball has gotten boring too I agree. It looks like we're on pace for yet another San Antonio-Detroit final. Oh joy. They have got to be the two least entertaining teams to watch in the league. Don't get me wrong, they both have tons of talent and are great teams - but the defensive style they play just puts people to sleep. Not exactly good for ratings. Unlike exciting teams like, say Phoenix - who got railroaded out of the playoffs by bogus suspensions from the commissioner's office. Just a shame all around.

And yes the draft lottery - wow, can I have my half an hour back? Why was that even a half hour T.V program. They could have just saved 10 minutes on the NBA pregame show and announced the results live on there. Given the magnitude of this draft I thought there would be some drama and suspense - but nope, there was none. Just some nerd opening envelopes and announcing the draft order. Oh well, at least the draft itself should be good - June 28th - circle the calenders.

Football season can't come soon enough - I'll even settle for the CFL.

Well that's all for now, thanks very much to those who wrote in. As always if you have questions or something to say, don't hesitate to leave a comment or send an email to the Sports As Life crew.


trebor said...

thanks for the response!

Thought I'd throw one more thing out there. Sometime in April you mentioned the trailblazers having some male cheerleaders on the squad. The days passed and I forgot about it until I got an invitation to this oil show in Weyburn in June, where I can meet and get my picture taken with the Co-ed roughrider cheerleaders. Even though the event will likely be 90% guys and 98%...rednecks, i'm sure there will be a line up but I'll do my best to get this picture and pass it on to your faithfull readers.

Also was looking through rider homepage to see which ones might be there and came across one of the 4 questions asked to trailblazer applicants: 2. What do you think makes the Riders the best team to cheer for?

Anonymous said...

I agree that the playoffs should be over by mid-may. You know no owner is going to agree on shortening the season. Why not then shorten the pre-season, and start it a little earlier? By September we get the odd snow and everyone is itching for hockey already. If the regular season started in the last third of september, instead of partway into october, plus there weren't as many needless breaks in the playoffs, we'd already have a stanley cup winner.

And i must admit, that no matter how sick i am of Hockey Night in Toronto, I can't really blame the CBC. It's not their fault that Leafs games get way better ratings than other canadian teams. It's sad how many people across this country are still carrying the torch for those bums. It's instilled by parents - kinda like christianity. Children should be able to choose on their own without being brainwashed. I'll support my children in whichever team they choose - as long as they are atheist hethens.