Announcers/Open Thread for Rangers/Hurricanes

NY Rangers vs. Carolina, 7PM
Play by Play:
John Forslund
Color: Eddie Olczyk
Reporter: Bob Harwood 

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Guess Who Acquired Rights to That New Football League?

Like this even needed a post answering it.  Our comrade John Ourand of Sports Business Daily (reg. required) has the scoop:

The soon-to-launch United Football League signed a deal to have Versus telecast a weekly game schedule starting October 8. A formal announcement is due later today. The season is scheduled to end Thanksgiving weekend in Las Vegas. All games will be produced in HD. The league currently is planning to have teams in four cities — Las Vegas, N.Y., Orlando and S.F. — and is planning to play games in at least two other cities, including Hartford and L.A. 

Exciting!  And in HD!  Who needs the NFL when VERSUS has whatever the hell this is?

Press release after the jump.

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BREAKING: Rangers-Bruins Cracks 1.0 on NBC

NBC must be super excited about having another Ranger game to air next week.  The network’s telecast of New York’s victory over Boston drew a 1.0/3 in the 12:30 timeslot, according to Sports Business Daily (reg. required).   It’s about even with the comparable Pens-Capitals telecast from last year, and should equal or beat the final 0.8 rating Pittsburgh-Washington drew a year ago.  It was tied for the third lowest-rated sports telecast of the weekend, beating out ABC’s college hoops pre-game show and NBC’s coverage of snowboarding, and tied with ABC’s Saturday college basketball coverage and it’s NBA Countdown program.

The NHL On NBC returns next Sunday with the Rangers hosting the Philadelphia Flyers.

Your Mid-Day YouTube Compulsory: It’s Cool, Guys, Don Knows What He’s Talkin’ About

8 Reasons Why We’re Purchasing the NHL Network After Free Preview Week

We went home this weekend to discover we had a free prview weekend of the NHL Network.  At the end of the weekend, we demanded a purchase be made.  Here are the reasons that led us from point A to point B:

1. Live Games

Okay, so the NHL Network’s live game coverage has some work to do (Can Judd Sirott and Bill Clement somehow be less focused on the game than NBC’s team?) but the simulcasting is a flat-out essential to why the channel is great.  American hockey fans slobber over just the idea of “Hockey Night in Canada”, and any chance I get to see it is 6 hours of my life I won’t be outdoors.

2. On the Fly

Yes, it looks like its being aired from inside a closet.  Yes, the analysis can teeter on boring and way too inside.  But, gosh darnit, it’s a hockey highlight show airing nightly on American television.  Oh Lord, how we’ve been waiting for it.  Plus, it’s got a great concept toward showing highlights too.  NO talking heads over the clips!  Just the great announcers, doing their thang, conveying the passion of puck to the masses!  Awesome stuff.

3. Don Cherry’s Grapevine

Yes, everything Grapes says lately is wrong.  The mainstream media has told you that enough.  The fact is, this 1980’s series, featuring Grapes at a fake bar on a Toronto TV studio (complete with stereotypical Irish barkeep) is classic camp, in addition to being actually informative about the history of the game.  It’s Don before he became out of touch.

4. AHL and College Games

They’re another hockey essential.  Am I the only one a little curious to watch the future of our sport live?  A suggestion to NHL Network: Add some junior games too.  I can’t get enough of it.

5. Pioneers

A more serious version of “Grapevine”, you could say.  It’s a pretty simple premise: Get legends of the game, talk about why they’re awesome.  We’ve read Phil Esposito’s book seven times, and his episode had us glued.

6. Elias in Belize/Chara in Africa

Equal bits touching and educational, the two NHL stars visit the less fortunate and not only give you some entertaining images, but show off some less-developed parts of the world.

7. Classic Games

Finally, somewhere to watch Game 3 of the ’96 World Cup Finals!

8. Well, Just Overall

I finally get the channel.  It’s a celebration of the sport.  It may be a teensy bit small on programming (Do we really need a re-air of NHL Live?) but it makes up for it in enthusiasm.  It will be a part of my viewing habits for some time.

So, Let’s Meet Everyone Who Ripped Us Off this Weekend

So, as you may remember, we broke the story on Friday that the NHL and NBC and VERSUS have agreed to swap coverage for Games 1-4 of the Stanley Cup Finals.  Hey, see that fancy blue text right there?  That, my fine feathered friends, is known as a link.  A link is something people use to back up information they have just given you, with someone else who originally reported the information.  That someone?  Me.  We’re feeling pretty annoyed at how many people posted our info without pointing to it.  So we’re gonna’ call ’em out right here.

Let’s start off with that beacon of wonderful information, “The Bleacher Report”

The Bleacher Report is the wikipedia of Sports Blogs, wherein 47,000 people contribute aimless info they found elsewhere.  Of course, that’s unkind to Wikipedia, which usually forces you to cite your craziness.  Here’s what “Ric Roberts” stated in his post:

It was announced that games one and two of the Stanley Cup Finals will be aired on NBC this year. Games three and four will be shown on Versus, and the final three games of the series, if necessary, will be back on NBC. While this may seem like a good idea at first glance, there are still problems with the NHL and the way they are marketing the league.

It was announced?  What, did this information just come out of nothingness?  Who announced it?  NBC, the NHL?  VERSUS?  Or maybe just a regular ol’ blogger.  But no, linking would take too much time.  Another difference between Wikipedia and The Bleacher Report?  Wikipedia has competent editors.

We now head over to the Associated Press, who re-printed the following information in the New York Times, Boston Herald, Raleigh News & Observer and the Detroit Free Press:

NEW YORK (AP) — The first two games of the Stanley Cup finals this year will be on NBC, giving the league’s broadcast partner a crack at weekend audiences.

Versus will show the next two before the final three, if necessary, will be on NBC.

For the past 10 years, either ESPN or Versus has shown the first two games of the best-of-seven series.

First of all, way to be succinct!  You know what’s helpful without destroying your brief little statement?  TELLING PEOPLE WHERE YOU LEARNED THAT INFORMATION!  

Finally, we have Neil Best.  We were ready to use this space to praise ol’ Neil, who did right by us by linking to the story on his “Watchdog” blog.  But when it came time to post a feature in actual newsprint yesterday called “Best of the Blog”, here’s what happened:

Speaking of NBC and the NHL, an interesting tidbit emerged this week: Rather than getting Games 3-7 of the Stanley Cup Finals after Versus shows the first two, as had been the custom, this season NBC will have Games 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7, with Versus taking 3 and 4. 

Could this be NBC’s final Cup Finals? Its agreement with the NHL is up after this season, and the league is looking for a better deal with its next contract. Good luck with that!

Emerged?  Again with the strange verbs that seem to make this news seem like it came out of someone’s ass!  We are not someone’s ass.  We may be a blogger, but we deserve the same respect as, say, something the Boston Globe reported, or something Jay Mariotti tore out of his paranoid diaries.  Tell you what, people respect us about as much as newspapers these days, too.

Back to normal posting soon.