Monday, May 21, 2007

Don't Make Me Go Lexis-Nexis On You...

I have to say that I feel like the caveman in this clip after reading the Venerable Off Wing Opinion's response to the question I asked last week. (Which of course really wasn't answered...)

Maybe I'm misreading the post but it seems to me that the VOWO is advocating MORE bench clearing brawls in the NBA and MORE on court fights.

This becomes even odder when in the original post he talks about how far the NBA has come in the 30 years since the Rudy Tomjanovich-Kermit Washington incident.

Once again I happen to think that the VOWO was dead on his in explanation of what happened in the Suns-Spurs series. The Ultimate Fighting on Ice fans are quick to point out the "thug nature/culture" of the NBA in their attempts to equivocate the NHL's thuggery. They increasingly have to point to off-the-court incidents (same for the NFL, who BTW is now severely cracking down on their player's off-the-field conduct) in order to make their case because the NBA has made it well known that on-the-court thuggery will be punished harshly, even if no actual thuggery takes place.

Furthermore the NBA worked Double OT to make sure that video of the Knicks-Nuggets brawl last year was pulled from YouTube and other video sharing websites as quickly as possible. The thug culture clearly isn't the image the NBA wants to portray and Stern's suits for scratches crusade is even further evidence of that fact in case anybody had any doubts. Mark Cuban is right, when you allow for exceptions and "spirits of the rule" to reign supreme, you take the teeth out of the rule and you end up solving nothing.

I'll also bet that every single columnist who is complaining about this strict enforcement of a clear rule has nothing but kudos to the NBA for their handling of the Knicks-Nuggets and any other brawl that has occurred in the NBA in recent years. I'll do the Lexis-Nexis searches if I have to.

People don't go to NBA games wanting or expecting to see brawls on the court. People however do that in the NHL. The NBA has a US National TV contract that pays $$$$$ upfront for the rights and is on the "Worldwide Leader" ESPN. The NHL doesn't get paid in the US for their National TV rights, isn't on the "Worldwide Leader," and most wish that they were in both instances.

BTW, that last development occurred after that "perfect storm" of March 26th, 1997. As a matter of fact, Mark Cuban suggests the NHL pull slight-of-hand tricks with their TV ratings. Tricks the NBA does not have to resort to. Who would you rather be right now? The NBA or NHL?

I think once again it is pretty clear, the NBA does not think that videos of their players brawling on the court are good for the image of the league. It is also pretty clear that videos of stick swingings and brawls on the ice aren't good for the NHL either. How anybody can argue otherwise is beyond me because my friends, the proof is in the pudding.

Considering where the NBA and the NHL are today, I have to seriously wonder about anybody who longs for the NBA to return to the days of Rudy Tomjanovich-Kermit Washington. They clearly don't have the NBA's best interests at heart.

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