Michael Hiestand Talks About Hockey. Ugh.

Two straight days of great faces to open our day.  This here is USA Today writer Michael Hiestand, and as you can tell, he does my job, but more in the sense of “General Sports”.  Also, he’s being paid.  Also, by general sports, I mean “Everything except hockey”.  He rarely ever talks about hockey, unless it’s devoting a paragraph to NBC’s opening of it’s schedule, or the Stanley Cup Finals, or how hockey’s dying, etc.

But, the Winter Classic, being such a surprisingly positive event for the NHL, cannot be ignored by Hiestand.  It’s a shame, he really should just give all his material to Kevin Allen and let him write the story.  He’s so insistently negative when he writes, well, about all sports.  He claims in his USA Today profile that he has no favorite teams (as he calls it “as neutral as Switzerland).  Why?  You’re one of the few columnists who’s allowed to have a bias!  Let it out, and say it proud!

Anyway, his report on the Winter Classic isn’t too snarky, and gives some actual tidbits of good info.

Plus, it’s the only time viewers get to see TV shots of hockey from an airplane. NBC producer Sam Flood recalls last year’s replay of a goal shot through the clouds as “too cool for words.” (We’ll just have to leave that to mimes.)

At Wrigley Field this year, Flood says, NBC will use about 25 cameras — 10 more than usual for a big game — and have a weatherman stationed amid the fans peering in from the famed rooftops across the street from the ballpark. NBC rinkside reporters will be on skates.

The mimes thing is unnecessary and unfunny.  But otherwise, cool beans.  The idea of 25 cameras shooting hockey is mind-boggling.  I’d love to see them use the cranes that are sometimes used to televise soccer, and I believe was stationed behind one of the goals last year.

Also, now Darren Pang can get on the ice and skate with players while interviewing them.  Hopefully, he’ll do that instead of wasting 4 hours telling us about how much the ice sucks ass today.  That’s Hiestand’s job.

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