The Happy Recap: Among Fans, Not Media, is Where Enthusiasm Matters

We received a comment on the enthusiasm gap post we made today, from a guy named Gary:


The Devils have been very successful over the past 15 years (to a much greater degree than the Nets have been) but the New York media doesn’t give them as much coverage as the Rangers – so I think that helps build the rivalry. The Devils have to fight for more coverage, while the Rangers have extensive media coverage by default. The same thing happens to the Nets, but for the Devils it seems a bit more pathetic (because of the lack of acknowledgment of their 3 cups in the past 15 years)

If the Nets had as much success as the Devils, the Knicks/Nets rivalry would be much more intense. I’m not a big basketball fan, and the Rangers/Devils rivalry is much more storied – but I think a lot of the passion is due to the less popular team having playoff success. And the Rangers organization was struggling, but they always held the upper hand on the ice over the Devils.

I’m a Ranger fan, and have a bunch of friends that are Devil fans, and we all agree that even though the Devils won 3 cups – no one seems to care in the media.


While Gary’s point has some truth to it, I don’t think “The Enthusiasm Gap” was ever about the media’s coverage of the two sports.  Obviously, there is an enthusiasm gap between hockey and hoops – among our nation’s sports editors.  But this a purely fan-base based argument.  When it comes to fans, the Devils have more loyal ones.  Obviously, that comes from winning for so many years, which also breeds apathy.  But the new arena has made the Devils fans a lot more passionate about their team, while the Nets fans remain dormant in the old barn.

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Puck the Media’s NHL Tournament of Announcers, Round 1, Match 15, Dick Irvin Bracket: Kevin Quinn vs. Joe Bowen



Two more first-round matchups!  John Forslund beat Don Terhaar in our last one.  Now we have Oilers guy Kevin Quinn and Toronto/TSN play-by-play man Joe Bowen. 

24 hours.  Vote.

Two Bald Men to Stand Between Benches at Hockey Game on Baseball Field (Plus Actual “Winter Classic” Conference Call Coverage)








No, this isn’t a “Tournament of Announcers” post.  Nor is it a “This is your brain, this is your brain on drugs” t-shirt.  Now, can you honestly tell me that the average hockey fan knows which one is Pierre McGuire and which one is Darren Pang?

Well, NBC is going to give America that challenge this New Year’s Day when they televise “Winter Classic 2: Chicago Bugaloo” live from Wrigley Field at 1PM.  I have nothing against either analyst (though I’m not crazy about Panger and his insistence on not turning his mic off when he has nothing to say) but seriously, NBC, can we please mix it up with someone who’s got a little hair going on?  How about forcing one of them to wear a toupee at the game?  The possibilities are endless.

That said, here are the highlights of NBC’s Winter Classic conference call:

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How The New Pens Arena Name Reminds Me of “Meet the Spartans”

We aren’t exactly certain of the plot of “Meet the Spartans”, the critically panned 2008 “comedy” film, but we sure do not want to know.

See, some things are just plain terrible.  They aren’t good at all.  But at least they are an attempt to make something original.  But movies like “Meet the Spartans” are so called “parody” movies.  They spoof pop culture and recent films to put together a coherent movie.  Therefore, because the material is inherently unoriginal (and is so on purpose), the work needs to be of a certain quality to justify it’s existence.  Unfortunately, while “Meet the Spartans” is neither, it opened #1 at the box office, so it doesn’t really matter.

Sigh.  We worry too much sometimes.

Any way, the reason we discuss this is because something in hockey today made us.  What is so awful in the puck world that it could conjure imagery of one of the most critically panned films of all time?  Why, the newly announced name of the Pittsburgh Penguins new arena, of course.

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Colorado-Detroit THISCLOSE to Not Mattering Anymore

The Colorado Avalanche are taking on the Detroit Red Wings tonight in Hockeytown.  VERSUS is pretty excited about this.  So excited, in fact, that they’ve partnered with “The Dark Knight” DVD to promote game.  We can’t find a clip, but it’s a pretty awesome.  However, it’s a promo deserving of a much better game.

It’s time to start having a conversation for us as general hockey fans that Wings and Avs supporters have been having for a while: That Detroit-Colorado is barely, if at all, a rivalry anymore.  

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The Enthusiasm Gap in Person, Part 2: Going to Devils/Rangers after seeing Knicks/Nets

Hockey photos are awesome.  Welcome back to your normally scheduled “Puck the Media” lifestyle.  It was a rough week, and we thank all the great people that substituted for us while we were busy.  We’ll try and not let it happen again.

We celebrated the end of the week on Friday night by having a really awesome day with one of our friends.  We decided we were going to get Devils/Rangers tickets.  As broke college students, that’s really hard to do.  So we thought, and we thought, and we decided on the $10 tickets the Devils sell to 200 lucky people with nothing better to do fans two hours before each game.  The day was set.

Except, you see, when the Devils and Rangers play, both fanbases turn it up a notch.  So getting these 5PM tickets (7PM faceoff) would be a battle of wills and an argument over what time to get to the arena.  We voted 11AM.  The day was set, yet again.

I woke up at about 11:30 AM the next morning.  Annoyed that I had missed my personal deadline, we went down to the arena, and got there, and had food, by about 1PM.  There were about 15 people in line ahead of us, and the queue quickly filled up behind us.  By 3PM, we had wristbands guaranteeing us tickets to the game.

Enough, however, about our fabulous day.  Let’s get on to the game and the game experience, and how it compares to our recent trip to Nets/Knicks game.

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