I've had a ridiculously busy day, and tomorrow is medal day at the World Deaf Hockey Championships, so I really don't have a ton of time to devote to writing anything tonight as I am glued to the NHL Playoffs. Honestly, is there anything better than the NHL Playoffs? From seeing the Philadelphia Flyers self-destruct to watching the soul-crushing style of play from the Ducks over the Sharks, the NHL Playoffs are the best time of year. It also raises the stakes for everyone involved in the game. Players play hurt, coaches hide weaknesses, and media outlets work hard to bring us all the stories that surround the mystique of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
However, there is something that needs to be said for reporting during this time of the year. Sure, reporters do their job throughout the year, and they, like everyone else, are human in so much that they make mistakes. Sometimes, they make them on air during live TV. Rarely, though, do you get the combination of "oops" and self-criticism like Rogers Sportsnet's Roger Millions gave us the other day.
Parents, the term Mr. Millions uses is very NSFW or not-so-good-for-children, so please be wary when you play this. Just remember that this was said on live television.
A "bit of a blooper"? Are you kidding me? That's nothing more than justification for termination, especially when said on national television. I don't blame Daren Millard, the host of HockeyCentral, for just shaking it off as a "blooper", but Millions shows exactly what not to do when one commits an error on live television. And yet Millions still has his job. Is it any wonder why TSN is leaps and bounds ahead of Sportsnet when it comes to reporting?
Speaking of being way ahead, I was watching the ESPN series preview the other day, featuring EJ Hradek and Barry Melrose. Both men were quite passionate about their picks, and I commend them for breaking down the series on ESPN.com where hockey gets as much coverage as the Westminster Dog Show.
The problem is that ESPN has as much hockey knowledge as the country of Ecuador. While I'm quite certain that the NFL is a huge money-maker for the "Worldwide Leader", it really speaks volumes as to how ignorant ESPN is of other sports. After all, when was the last time the Carolina Panthers made the NHL Playoffs?
Worse yet, they use the Florida Panthers' logo for the broadcast! It's one thing to mess up a team name, but to screw up twice at once is the epitome of ridiculous. I'm no fan of ESPN due to their arrogance when it comes to making hockey a non-sport, but to (a) not know the teams in the NHL and (b) screw up twice when speaking of the Carolina Hurricanes franchise is unforgivable.
This is yet another reason why the NHL doesn't need ESPN.
Look, I make mistakes. I even admit to them when I mess up. But in both of these cases, there was no effort in fixing the error. ESPN has pulled the video clip off their site (although I didn't check the archives). Sportsnet has Roger Millions reporting from Calgary still.
Is it any wonder why neither of these sports networks are respected by hockey fans?
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!