Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sportsnet Fail

By Dan Moser

(Warning: This gon be ranty) This really started a few years ago. Back when I woke up early enough to watch sports highlights before I started my day Sportsnet was a decent option. The early edition of Sportsnet News featured mostly highlights and had an attractive host in Hazel Mae (sp?). Sean McCormick always seemed like an alright guy and the couple times I met him he was drunk off his ass and cheering hard for the Oilers. Darren Dreger was a bright spot in an otherwise unimpressive hockey staff. Since then things have just gone downhill.

Mae is off working for a network people watch I imagine, McCormick ran for political office, and Dreger is an insider (and a damn good one) on TSN.

For years TSN has owned the NHL Trade Deadline. Sportsnet always did a decent job of covering it though, until the year they really tried to "hip" it up and challenge TSN for the title. I guarantee the only result from Sportsnet's Trade Deadline Show in 2007 was a severe decline in viewers.

The had a pizza party.

They invited a faceless internet rumour monger (don't worry it's not a link to Eklund's site, just his Twitter account that features his phone number, why not use it?) who does not go by his own name. But wait you say, if he is faceless, how can he be shown on TV? Oh you sad simpleton, they used shadowing to cover his face!

Somehow, that did not deter them from doing a complete overhaul on programming. Why call the news show Sportsnet News when you could call it Sportsnet Connected?

We know everyone looks good in a suit, they make you look classy and professional, so Sportsnet decided they better make all their personalities look hip by wearing jeans with sports jackets, and believe me, nothing says hip more than a man old enough to be my father wearing a sports jacket, no tie, and designer jeans that he probably has to wear a girdle for just so he can squeeze into them.

Running into these guys in dark ally? No problem.

Let's talk about their hockey coverage for a moment. Their panel of experts is comprised of Nick Kypreos, Doug MacLean, and John Shannon.

I'm not entirely sure what Nick Kypreos' connection to professional hockey is. I've seen some youtube clips, and his hockeydb page and obviously his ring (I've never seen anyone so proud of a championship he had so little to do with). His lack of insight is amazing. He often speaks out of turn, off subject, pronounces names wrong and has unentertaining drawn out arguments with his cast members. To his credit, he was once a Whaler (respect) and he can speak quite eloquently for someone who made a living out of being a human punching bag.

Doug MacLean gives some decent insight as a former coach and GM. Unfortunately, he uses almost all of his air time to brag about the few success stories which occurred in Columbus during his tenure. It's mostly Rick Nash and Steve Mason. I will go ahead and create a swear jar for myself and every time Doug MacLean is on air and doesn't mention that he drafted Rick Nash I will put all of my pocket change in the jar. Then one day I'll either by something fancy for myself or waste it on a six pack of crappy beer.

I'm sure many of you, as was I at one time, are asking who is John Shannon. He is a a former producer of hockey programming. Even in the Sportsnet article announcing his hiring they use quotations when calling him a hockey man.....

...A flattering photo...

Their commercials for their hockey programming make me wish I could watch this YOP advertisement on a loop, it wouldn't be that bad after the 50th time or so.

The only thing I like about Sportsnet is the same thing I used to love about A-Channel and ITV, they show a $hit ton of Oilers games. Also I know it's a regional broadcast but I wish they would turn down the homerism, not every Khabibulin save is incredible and just because a Flames player gets knocked down does not mean the refs missed a penalty.

Homerism is what really brought me to this point. A few nights ago the Calgary Flames beat the Nashville Predators and Sportsnet went nuts. All of a sudden the Flames were not in 14th anymore and 5 points out of the playoffs (just going to assume they don't have tie-breakers). The coverage was all Flames to make playoffs over and over again with no mention of games played (they have the most of the non-playoff teams). Could the Flames make the playoffs? Sure. Will they? I doubt it. In my opinion, despite this hot streak, the Flames are simply a much worse team than many of the teams above them in the standings. This is like deja-vu. In December for some reason all of Edmonton was abuzz about the playoffs, how's that looking now?

It gets worse: "And coming up after the break, the Calgary Flames on the verge of hosting a playoff game after a huge win against Nashville?"

Anyway, my point is unless you are a soccer fan who thinks he is smarter than everyone else I don't knw why you would watch Sportsnet on a regular basis.

At this rate, I'm just not going to be watching any sports television pretty soon (If you don't know about me and The Score just watch this petty I know, maybe next year).

In other news, The Official Oiler Spill Podcast will be airing soon, Episode One will feature host The Real Dan Moser speaking with Montreal Canadiens Insider Etai Handman. Look out for it probably tomorrow.

A short web series is also being developed for the kids from Oiler Spill, tentative title: 10 Good Minutes.

So in closing:

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