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Why Is Hockey Media Analysis So Bad?


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#1 iamkirinlemon

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 10:01 AM

When I watch basketball, baseball, and football, the other major sports in North America, I am always struck by how perceptive the announcers and commentators are in general. We see analysis of plays, diagrams, specific reasons for wins and losses, and just an overall better product.

Hockey, on the other hand, has largely atrocious coverage in the USA. I always wondered why I could never participate in truly intellectual hockey discussions. I've been following the sport for years. Basically, it's my fault that I've bought into the drivel ESPN gives us. Here is all I have learned about hockey from ESPN:

1) If the power play isn't working, keep it simple and shoot the puck.
2) Put traffic in front of the goalie.
3) Trap = clogging the neutral zone. Don't skate through.
4) Bang bodies out there and stir up your team.
5) Those guys are tired; they need a shift change.
6) Goalies shouldn't give up bad rebounds.
7) Great save ... he makes it look easy.
8) If your team is losing, change up your lines to create a spark.
...

And some player-specific expertise:

1) Sakic has a great wrist shot.
2) Giguere makes every save look easy. (I wonder why ...)
3) Brodeur is SO GOOD at controlilng the puck. (I won't tell you what he is doing; I'll just salivate over him.) Dump the puck in AWAY from him.
4) Madden is SO DANGEROUS shorthanded.
5) Cechmanek is not dependable in the playoffs.
...

I could go on, but you get the idea. Where exactly is their expertise? I could write a computer program to randomly spew out these comments. In fact, that's precisely what they do in sports video games. Anybody can make these comments. They aren't WRONG, but they are hardly insightful. It's just rehashing what every fan has already heard for years. Perhaps I am not being fair ... they have done bits on how to win faceoffs, since they decided to make such a big deal out of them. And I learned about one set play ... win faceoff to person who shoots. Yay.


Thankfully, this year I realized I knew nothing, and tried to read a lot. I learned about all the details ... how the trap works, how to beat the trap, how coaches build various set plays, how and why those set plays work, why specific line adjustments are made, how exactly to get a goalie to move around, how to make physical play work, etc etc. With a lot of these concepts getting 'name dropped' so often, you think there would be some detailed analysis to accompany it.

Some of the analysts here are not bad. I think JD is decent. My hockey knowledge has increased listening to him. Canada's analysts, even though many have already decided this series is not worth it, are noticing and finding the subtle coaching adjustments and changes, and are then telling the fans about them. I always watch the clips on TSN.ca, as well as the Coach's Corner clips on CBC.ca. Every time I watch, I learn something.

If we really want to make hockey more interesting, we have GOT to get better analysts. They are dumbing the game down. No wonder they have nothing to say and are bored (and boring) to tears.
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#2 KYdevil

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 10:10 AM

With most sports the announcers and commentators are former players/coaches. For some reason I think the Hockey commentators look at the games through a players eyes. They only give out tidbits that a player would know/want to know. Most other sports they tend to switch into the announcer role and point out how it all works, and the way its all played. they give great insight that normally average veiwers wouldnt know. These ESPN guys, I dunno....mustve been hit with the puck too many times.

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#3 HellOnICE

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 10:26 AM

I actually like ESPN's coverage. Saunders, Levy, Melrose, Pang, and Englom I really like those guys. I think JD is the best in the USA. Doc and JD were great storytellers.
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#4 FriesenKris

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 10:36 AM

Great analysis guys! Not only do we hear the same lines repeatedly, but we have to look at the same video clips & photos on the ABC & ESPN telecasts as well.

I think more hockey fans realized how poor the ESPN/ABC coverage was this season, not just Devils fans. Personally, I don't turn on ESPN to listen to their predictions. I want to hear about the nits & grits of hockey, not repeated features on the Carney triplets. The only personal story on ESPN about a Devils player was Marty's separation. It's time for this nation's largest sports network to take some responsibility for the welfare of hockey.

Here's something I found today written by Clement about the Devils:

http://www.nj.com/de...67507264970.xml

"That's the difference, there is no Broad Street to have the parade on," said ESPN commentator Bill Clement, who won two Stanley Cups with the Flyers in the '70s.

One Philadelphia parade got so boisterous that stars Bobby Clarke and Bernie Parent fled because the "roofs were caving in on their cars."

Clement said low-profile environments generally don't breed winning hockey -- nobody demands much. The Devils are an exception.

"It's a testament to the people they have inside the locker room and the management team they have there," Clement said.


:puke:
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#5 insanity_gallops

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 10:45 AM

Here is all I have learned about hockey from ESPN:

1) If the power play isn't working, keep it simple and shoot the puck.
2) Put traffic in front of the goalie.
3) Trap = clogging the neutral zone. Don't skate through.
4) Bang bodies out there and stir up your team.
5) Those guys are tired; they need a shift change.
6) Goalies shouldn't give up bad rebounds.
7) Great save ... he makes it look easy.
8) If your team is losing, change up your lines to create a spark.
...

And some player-specific expertise:

1) Sakic has a great wrist shot.
2) Giguere makes every save look easy. (I wonder why ...)
3) Brodeur is SO GOOD at controlilng the puck. (I won't tell you what he is doing; I'll just salivate over him.) Dump the puck in AWAY from him.
4) Madden is SO DANGEROUS shorthanded.
5) Cechmanek is not dependable in the playoffs.
...


BAH HAHAHAHAHA! :lol:

It's like they're hoping people will buy into their 'analysis' and create "All I Ever Need To Know About Hockey I Learned From ESPN" T-shirts.
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#6 Zamode

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 11:18 AM

I miss Doc--think of how great it would be to hear Doc yelling, "The New Jersey Devils have just won the Stanley Cup!"
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#7 Triumph

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 11:35 AM

Media analysis is so bad because ESPN has determined that most hockey viewers aren't capable of hearing good analysis.. and it's actually a legitimate point, because most Americans, myself included, didn't play organized hockey when they grew up.. so strategy still eludes me sometimes .. with baseball, football, and basketball, most viewers have had some experience playing the organized version of the game (which is why they're watching), and are capable of understanding the game better..
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#8 Nieuwy25

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 12:14 PM

That's not a bad point, Tri. When the North Stars moved to Dallas, the Stars marketing guys made a good decision to "teach" the game to the Texas viewers like me who had never watched hockey and didn't know what icing was, or offsides, or 2 minute minors, or whatever. So they had segments on "Hockey 101" stuff - really basic stuff at first. Then they brought Darryl Rheaugh in as color guy and he is really, really good at explaining what's going on as well as being entertaining. If every new market had a broadcasting team like the Stars do, the NHL ratings would be a lot better.
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#9 peteyvegas

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 02:01 PM

Sorry to bring this up, guys. But I'll take any hockey anytime. If ESPN doesn't cover us, it's sh!ts' creek. Of course, I can always watch the home teams, but for the sake of "more" I like having the other games around. As far as analysis and broadcasting goes, they're not telling me anything that I cant see; and I can tell when they're telling me something that aint happening. So, just because the Mona Lisa has a moustache, it doesn't mean its' not the Mona Lisa.
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#10 Zamode

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 02:13 PM

Posted Image



:evil:
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#11 David Puddy

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 02:56 PM

Hmmm... My best friend and his father who are huge basketball fans think basketball announcers are the worst around, so maybe it's like this for every sport...?
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#12 Zamode

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 03:04 PM

Does Thorne ruin any other sports?
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#13 westcoastdevfan

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 03:10 PM

he used to make Met games fun to watch.
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#14 Zamode

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 03:12 PM

I think all he is good for are game shows. :puke:
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#15 StarDew

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 03:52 PM

Zam...where dew you find some of these pics :lol:
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#16 Zamode

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 05:29 PM

Zam...where dew you find some of these pics :lol:

Hey Dew, I need something to back up my cheesey posts! :uni:
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#17 peteyvegas

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 06:09 PM

It is pretty remakable, Z.
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#18 Zamode

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Posted 07 June 2003 - 06:15 PM

Petey, mere homage to your post, my good man.....
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