I don’t watch a ton of sports, nor do I tend to read much about it, the exception being hockey. I’ll read some NBA stuff from time to time, and I’ll check to make sure the Lions still suck, but hockey is what I follow. Last night was a very relaxing game for me, and while I was watching it, I found myself thinking about how people talk about stars in sports. In this aspect, hockey is one of the worst. The slow degeneration of the language caused by hockey announcers on national television is amazingly depressing.

First off, I am sorry Chicago, it’s great that you’re a reemerging marking in hockey. I’m glad the Blackhawks are good again, but you do not have two super stars right now, you don’t even have one. You have a very good team, and one that I look forward to watching many times in the future, but the announcers were wrong when they said that you had two super stars. Kane and Toews might get there one day, but they aren’t there yet. This over glorification of the athletes who are merely, and I don’t want that word to be too prejudicial, are stars, is ridiculous. This happens in other sports, but perhaps because hockey is trying to mount a comeback on the U.S. sporting scene, it is much worse with the hockey announcers.

Not every team can have two superstars. The very nature of a super star is that they stand out from the other stars. They aren’t just stars, they stand out from the rest of the stars. It’s ridiculous that I have to say this. I’m not sure I’d say Detroit has a single superstar, and they are likely to win back to back cups.

This shouldn’t surprise me though. Every time you draw a linguistic Maginot Line, the sports announcers are just going to run through the Ardennes of human speech in their quest to render the English language comical through superlatives. Do you really need to say that an athlete “owns” a hard shot? Basketball was bad on that one for a while too. I understand that the job of sports reporting is a constant struggle against repeating your cliches too quickly, but it has to be better than that. Also, ESPN should hire some more editorial assistants to check the writing. It’s amazing how many mistakes get through. You know there are plenty of people available with the way that the publishing industry is these days.

This has been another “Get Off My Lawn Moment” with Ian Macleod.

Just throwing it out there…

September 10th, 2008

Portland has only one major league team, the Trailblazers. It is the 23rd largest metro area. Most pro leagues have around 30 teams. I almost want to just say, do the math. Not only does it not have a second major team, it has the Beavers, triple A baseball, and the biggest football team plays on a high school’s field. The hockey team is in the WHL, the juniors. Now, of course, I’d like there to be a bigger hockey team, something AHL maybe, or move the Panthers here. But wouldn’t some other sport want a piece of this? You could move the Coyotes out of Phoenix and give them a new name. Seriously, there are a lot of places that have NHL teams where playing hockey is crazy, but the middle of the desert has to top that list, and they have the second worst attendance*.

  • Total numbers, the Panthers have the worst as a percentage of the seats they have in the arena. Also low on the filling it out numbers? Washington. Come on D.C. residents! Don’t listen to that Crosby is best crap. You have the most amazing hockey player alive today in your city. Go and see him. He will score crazy amazing goals for you to cheer about.
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