CBC | Hockey News

Need Tickets To The Game?

May 2008

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

« Gomez "Gets" It | Main | Gomez/Drury Analysis Part IV: Salary Cap Suicide? »

August 03, 2007



To our guest feature- do you have any suggestions as to what the NHL can do in light of your argument? I think most people-hockey fans in general- seem to think that there is something 'wrong' with the NHL (or hockey as a sport, for that matter) simply becasue the game isn't as popular as the other Big 3. We have been trying to force the NHL on potential fans for years now to no avail. In my opinion, this is not because there is something wrong with the game. The game is fine. Its the fans that are not. The game will not grow in popularity because Michael Vick gets his kicks out of watching Pit Bulls go at eachother like, well, Pit Bulls. The game will not grow because Barry Bonds has decided to take more steroids than a horse. And it certainly doesn't matter that the NBA has gone to the hands of 'Goodfellas'. If anything, it draws the fan even closer, makes them more curious. I think every baseball fan- myself included- is waiting for Bonds to bury number 755 into the seats just to see the reaction. If you think about it, maybe thats why these sports are in fact so popular and hockey is not. Maybe the NHL needs Sidney Crosby to sucker punch some chick in a local bar and get arrested. Or maybe Vinny Lecavalier should make a point to get caught driving under the influence with a kilo of coke in his pocket. I know it sounds insane, but in our culture, thats what attracts people. We had Gretzky- clean & serene to a fault- and it didn't do much for long term popularity in the U.S. Yes, the league sprouted 50 more teams in the aftermath of the Gretzky-LA experiment, but it didn't do much for TV ratings. The real issue is that hockey is not a game for the US. Like it or not, thats the truth. The game simply doesn't lend itself to participation. To play baseball, you need something round & a stick. To play basketball, you need something round & a bucket. All you need for footbal is an object to throw. When it comes to hockey, people can't relate because they cant easily play the game. Alabama isn't the ideal place to flood your backyard & freeze it over. Besides, even if you could, you would then need $300 worth of equipment- per skater. I know you might be thinking that Soccer is an example of a game that is easy to play, yet still unpopular, and you would be right. But the reason for that is- and everyone knows it- that the game is extremely boring. 95% of the game is a series of turnovers, and the only way to change that is to alter the game beyond recognition. But soccer is different than hockey. Once you leave the US, soccer is the biggest sport in the world. So frankly speaking, I don't think the game of soccer cares that we don't take to it. I submitted a post to this blog (titled 'Save Ferris') some time ago regarding this exact topic. People need to realize that there is nothing wrong with the game & accept the fact that you can't measure the growth of a sport with ratings alone. While ratings are the easiest & most available measure, they don't tell the entire picture. Baseball shares the most popular sport title in this country with football, yet when there was a strike in 1994, the league returned paralyzed and didn't recover until '98 when McGwire & Sosa went yard every night. Hockey, on the other hand, loses an entire season & comes back with stronger attendance figures than pre-lockout. Go figure. The truth is, if being popular means having alot of fans who jump ship when things aren't so good, then I don't wanna share my game with them anyway....


Moss, I was a bit tongue in cheek about the need for hockey stars to get arrested. I actually think the opposite is true. Fans of other sports are cynical, and looking for something or someone they can cheer for.

My suggestion is simple: do a reality show. How many people became hockey fans because of Youngblood? That was just a reality show of young hockey players.

The comments to this entry are closed.