Tuesday, February 01, 2011


League at a Glance - All Star Break

The Flames are this close to being right in the middle of the pack, with as good a chance as anyone for a 5-seed. But they aren't there.

**This Lowetide blurb from last week deserves a Word, or Amen:
The Memorial Cup, The CHL top prospects game and most of the Canadian NHL games are the only items Sportsnet has in their hockey arsenal at this point in time. Rogers must pay far less money, because the talent pool heavily favors tsn and whenever there's a raid it's SN talent headed to tsn not the other way around.

I'm okay with, don't care really. But I do wish Sportsnet at least tried to make their between period experts and their play by play men world class. The fact is that many of the American pbp guys are better than the current bunch who man the mics for RSN and that's a crying shame. No disrespect, these men worked hard to get where they are today and credit where due they made it. I do wish Rogers would at least respond to the challenge, though. Maybe upgrade here and there.

I'm not really OK with it. Yes, it pales next to the serious issues of the world, but the squads and the network want us watching 100+ hours a year of local team coverage, right? And not to put too fine a point on it, but the present on-air personnel makes me measurably less likely to do so.


Word. And I suppose you heard that Mike Richards left the Fan 960 (Rogers) in Calgary for TSN Radio recently too. Bah, humbug.

See, your problem is that you actually listen to the words the announcers say.

That's completely the wrong approach.

Announcers are like arena noise -- it's all about imparting emotion, not factual information.

In fact, announcers are more than just *like* arena noise; their function is really to *amplify* arena emotion for those of us listening at home.

Harry Neale and Bob Cole is the sound of hockey to me. Not because they described the play particularly accurately (clearly not), or because they said anything insightful (practically never), but because their inflection always let me know when something exciting was happening.

The fact that Rod Phillip's inflection made even the most insignificant Tommy Salo save sound exciting is a feature not a bug. Hockey games heard on the radio invariably sound more interesting and exciting than games seen in person. This pleases me.

No matter how bad the announcers are, I still can't watch hockey games with the sound turned off. There's no juice in the game.

The trick is not to turn off the announcers, it is to listen to them properly -- that is, to ignore the words.

I'm glad to see the Flames go on a little run here. I think it's good for the Oilers if they can make the playoffs and maybe even steal a round too. Turning up the heat on Kingsway Ave is a good thing.

The trick is not to turn off the announcers, it is to listen to them properly -- that is, to ignore the words.

Is it really too much to ask for both an exciting tone and credible content?

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