Thursday, January 04, 2007


Flames Game Day

The Flames host the Florida Panthers tonight, 7PM MT on Flames PPV. I haven't yet decided whether to order up Millions & Simmer; I think I still have a free one in my account thanks to Mrs. Matt's follow-up of that December fiasco.

As I noted Tuesday night, I figured out what bugs me about Roger Millions.

It's not the verbal quirks. Sure, Rog has his annoying pet phrases (the puck doesn't have a handle, dammit!), but Play-by-Play Guy is a difficult job. I couldn't do it, and if I tried, I'd repeat myself and/or say dumb things with much greater frequency than he does. He certainly does not stand out among his peers in this regard, good or bad.

It's not the homerism... not exactly, anyway. I've written before that I don't care if an announcer favours one of the two teams: as long as it doesn't manifest itself as (A) apologies/excuses for the home squad, or (B) blatant lies about what is happening in front of my own two eyes, I think there might even be an upside to an announcer acknowledging his preferences.

Yeah, it can be annoying to listen to the other team's guys call a game, because everything seems to be broken down from the other team's perspective, but as long as their assessment is "fair" and substantially in line with what you're seeing yourself, it's not that bad. Rephrased: if Millions wants to characterize Flames scoring chances as "Flames scoring chances" and Canucks scoring chances as "Flames defensive breakdowns", I don't find this to be a real problem.

What it is, is, the shmozzle that is the sum total of his comments on officiating. Because of the word I'm using, this sounds like more of an insult than it's intended to be, but I think he needs to speak on the topic with more integrity. In the sense I'm intending it, integrity means having a set of beliefs or values and then speaking/behaving in accordance with those values, all the time.

I pretty much despise politics, and party politics in particular. Jay convinced me to stop voting a year or two ago, and I haven't regretted it since, even momentarily. Party politicians -- even the basically honest and sincere ones -- lack integrity. They speak and behave in ways that run counter to their freely-stated principles.

When there's a scandal in your own party, the opposition is dangerously distracted from the important issues at hand; when there's a scandal in the opposition party, well, this is serious, heads must roll, they'd do the same thing to us! The opposition party panders; my party makes necessary compromises, let's look at the big picture here!

Anyway, Roger Millions reminds me too much, too often, of a party politician. He says, quite frequently, that the ticky-tack calls are pointless and possibly harmful to the game. But when an opposition player does something that could reasonably be construed as a penalty under the new standards -- hey, that was called in the first period! -- he just can't let it slide. I'm pretty sure it was the last PPV game where he stated on three separate occasions that Jarome Iginla was "hog-tied", none of which were particularly egregious acts of obstruction.

Playing both sides of the argument makes Millions sound like he lacks integrity; if he really believes that the dinky calls are unwise, then why can't he just run with that? And regardless, does anyone like a constant complainer? I wish he would just decide what he cares about, or believes in (a sort-of personal Unified Theory of Hockey), and then just act and speak that way at all times.

There's not a problem with pointing out (once or twice) that the officiating appears to be favouring one team, or that as a whole the refs are letting everything go, or nothing. That's his job, or at least part of it. But this constant "Well THAT could have been a penalty!" has got to stop. It's exhausting, and occasionally infuriating.

The Flames are generally pretty solid against the bottom tier of the league, and that's where Florida resides. I'm looking for a convincing victory tonight. Apparently the 4-0 prediction is bad luck, so I'll go with Calgary 4 (Iginla, Yelle, Phaneuf, Lombardi) Florida 1 (Roberts, natch). Go Flames.


John Garrett does the same thing during the local Vancouver broadcasts. I think it's one of the marks of a bad colour guy. I'm not sure if this applies to Million's, but the other thing that drives me nuts about Garrett is how he consistently references 'bad luck' and 'unfairness'. Personally, I would rather the colour guy just stick to the facts, and leave gray areas, such as luck, out of the broadcast. It would be less offensive if he applied it equally to both teams, but he doesn't. A bad bounce and a goal for the opposing team is 'unfair' or 'unlucky', and bad bounce and a goal for the Canucks is 'a product of hard work'.

And regardless, does anyone like a constant complainer?

Aw, I like Grabia alright.

Well first of all, if you are going to listen to Jay Jardine, that I think your credibility is shot right off the top :-) And I'm not just talking about the political stuff... he's a Sens fan living in Vancouver for cryin' out loud!

I don't care if an announcer favours one of the two teams: as long as it doesn't manifest itself as (A) apologies/excuses for the home squad, or (B) blatant lies about what is happening in front of my own two eyes, I think there might even be an upside to an announcer acknowledging his preferences.

Tom Larscheid and John Shorthouse are commentators for Canucks radio and they do a good job. Blatant Canuck homers to be sure, but they will call a bad play by the Canucks a bad play, and a good play by the opposition a good play, and give credit where credit is due.

Matt, what are you thoughts on Bob Cole and Harry Neale?

Once in a while Neale will make a pretty funny joke but as the saying goes, every dog has his day...err...10 seconds.

They are both well past it, ridiculous announcers (Neale is either a homer if you are anti-Leafs or anti-Leafs if you are a Leaf fan), and should be put out to pasture in favour of someone better...or different.

p.s. I wouldn't listen to Jay either.

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