Thursday, February 01, 2007

A Lie Repeated Often Enough...

First of all, a hat tip goes out to On Frozen Blog for pointing me yesterday to this article from Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports about the 15th anniversary of Gary Bettman becoming Commissioner of the NHL.

Now, let me once again preface all of this by saying that I have no love for Mr. Bettman. I believe that he should have stepped down at least one year ago, maybe sooner. However, while I am no fan of his, I do believe in being fair to him.

It wasn't Gary Bettman's idea to use the infamous Foxtrack "glowing puck." That guy still works for Fox Sports and recently we learned he was the one who dreamt up the idea of putting a yellow line on the football field to designate the approximate distance of a first down. Think you can watch a football game today without that line?

Oh, and before Gary Bettman "ushered in" the "glowing puck era" the NHL hadn't had a regular season game shown on U.S. National Broadcast television since the 1970's. Sometimes, you've got to take the good with the very, very bad.

Though like most Ultimate Fighting On Ice (UFOI) fans, he bemoans the fact that Gary is going after the people who aren't in NHL arenas and pursuing the people who aren't watching the NHL on TV and tailoring the game to what they are willing to watch. Why this is a problem is beyond me because before Gary Bettman, the NHL wasn't selling every ticket in every arena and as noted wasn't on U.S. National Broadcast television. It was pretty clear that the NHL was fourth among the four major professional sports leagues and why is it a crime against humanity to want to expand the fan base? That's something the UFOI Fans refuse to answer.

He even pulls another great trick of the UFOI fans by blaming Bettman for the reduction in fighting though he explicitly does not mention the instigator rule. Folks, I've pointed out here before (I'd link it but blogger doesn't want to cooperate right now) that the instigator rule debuted in the 1986-1987 season which is more than 15 years ago. It was strengthened right before Bettman took over to include a game misconduct. (BTW, then Caps head coach Bryan Murray was a huge proponent of the instigator rule according to the (Com)Post article I dug up from Lexis-Nexis, send a nice e-mail and I'll forward it to you).

But UFOI fans are following the sage advice of Lenin by telling the lie about the instigator rule.

Wetzel also ventures into Sigafoose-retard land when he complains about the owners trying to cut down on their travel costs with the schedule format. HELLO! The NHL locked out the players because the league was losing $$$$$ hand over fist. Owners were saying that they would lose less $$$$$ without a 2004-2005 season than they would if there was a 2004-2005 season. And even today, with a salary cap and cost certainty, you still have owners losing $$$$$. But no, the owners shouldn't do a single thing to cut costs.

And could somebody please tell me why he's complaining about the lack of Toronto-Detroit battles when we get the "Battle of Alberta" 8 times a season and Ranger-Flyers 8 times as well? I would call this brain dead but that would be an insult to those who are brain dead...

But he doesn't stop right there with the rank stupidity:

[T]his is someone who surveyed the burning wreckage of the NHL and decided that what would really turn things around this time were sleek new uniforms from Reebok, which were trotted out last week.

"This is an evolution of our uniform," Bettman proudly crowed.

Of course, already fans who are carrying even a few extra pounds report that they look ridiculous in the new form fitting jerseys.

Oh why yes. This is the biggest and best reason so far to dump the new jeserys. Because the Joe Six-pack fan will look stupid squeezing one of the new form-fitting jerseys over his mullet, foo Man Chu mustache, and his 350 pound (that's 157.757 Kilos for our Canadian friends) beer gut. Heaven knows that you don't even come close to seeing anything like that at hockey games now or at any other sporting event on earth. We all know that the NFL and College Football have avoided this embarrassment of the sport of football by having nothing but thin, fit, trim, and ripped fans wear their form fitting jerseys and not having any players with any kind of gut hanging out whatsoever. No, forget that it is lighter and more flexible for the players on the ice actually playing the hockey game for a living. No, these uniforms should be dumped because fans in the stands would look stupid in them. The fans can't possibly buy a jersey one or two sizes too big, they can't be bothered to go on a diet and lose some weight, and Hades, Reebok couldn't possibly still produce the new designs in the "traditiona cut." Nope, they just gotta go.

Maybe, just maybe, it is these "fans" that need to go.



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