Tuesday, October 6, 2009

TV On Tuesday

I had a rare night off from work without a hockey game on the agenda so I spent the evening kicking back and relaxing in front of the tv. As luck would have it, ESPN debuted their one-hour documentary, King's Ransom, about the Wayne Gretzky trade.

Now, my personal sentiment is that the deal set the NHL on the path of doom - it precipitated the first wave of expansion, which brought Bettman ... and, let's face it, he has steadily stuck the knife in the sport ever since. But that's just my opinion.

The documentary wasn't ESPN's worse work, it wasn't their best. It had that slick over-produced ESPN look to it complete with the staged overly-sentimental, well-lit shots of Gretz walking around an empty Western Forum. ESPN, being ESPN, they had full access to all the relevant archived video and all of the major players in the drama - even Glen Sather. And Sather sounded like he cared - who knew? He certainly shows no passion nowadays when it comes to Rangers. But was it me or did they make Pocklington look like the victim?

I didn't learn anything I didn't already know, but it was nice to see hockey given primetime airtime on a real network. I still don't think that viewers can fully grasp the impact that the deal had in Canada - even with the old man-on-the-street interviews - and maybe even the impact that it had here in the States. Janet was given a chance to respond to her critics but I remember as a kid hearing that she was the main reason Wayne left Edmonton, ahead of the greedy and incompetent Pocklington.

After watching the 30 in 30, I turned over to Versus to see the Flyers/Caps. Some observations:

*The Rangers don't have nearly the amount of talent that either team has, but the Blueshirt crease is better cared for by Hank than by either of their netminders. It should make for some interesting games down the line.

*Tom Poti scored a great goal. For the Flyers. Hahahahahahahahaha. And then he turned away from the puck to swing his purse at someone and the game-winner was scored in OT. I hate you Poti!!!!

*It was strange seeing Blair Betts in orange, and wearing No. 11 to boot. Damn shame he won't be donning a jersey for a month or so since he dislocated his shoulder late in the third. Get well soon Bettsy!

*Something hilarious about seeing "Welcome To Comcast Country" during the Versus broadcast.

*Nothing intentionally amusing or even redeeming about the telecast itself. I was in Newark on Monday so this was my first Versus game and the ads are constant and obnoxious and nothing I would ever, ever tune in to.

*I tuned out the intermission report. It seems that the producer told that collection of incompetent cast-offs to amp up the emotion and controversy and it certainly made them more annoying and more obnoxious - if that is even possible.

When the game ended in OT I flipped over to NHL on the Fly to watch the hilite of same game I watched in HD replayed in SD. That's sad. The NHL spent money to 'upgrade' their set (if you can call it an upgrade) but kept their same outdated equipment. Sad.


Brother P said...

I also watched the King's Ransom and I thought it was very well put together.

Anonymous said...

The person at Versus who decided to put giant banner ads on the BOTTOM of the screen during hockey games should be shot. At least a half dozen times I couldn't even see the action.

The Gretzky doc was kind of boring, although I did like when he was asked how many Cups he won with Edmonton--4 and then how many with LA--0 and then how many he thought he would have won if he stayed in Edmonton and he said probably another 4. Even if he was only half right and won two more that's crazy.