VERSUS’ New Year’s Eve Show: Surprisingly Worthwhile

Whenever VERSUS attempts something new, they are generally shouted down from the rooftops and told to just cover the game the way it is.  That’s why more than a few people were curious when VERSUS announced that they’d be jumping into the Winter Classic media hullabaloo and airing a New Year’s Eve show,  to not only signify VERSUS’ presence at the event, but to review the year and decade in hockey.  Truth be told, it turned out to be a pretty fun show.

Patrick, Engblom and Jones are almost never funny together, but tonight, they were like your tipsy friends on New Year’s: Loopy and loose to the point where it became endearing.  Reporters Bob Harwood and especially Charissa Thompson seemed just as in on the fun, joking with the gang throughout the not overly long-feeling 90 minutes.

The segments were all completely appropriate, and every debate was one that hockey fans have been discussing ad nauseam throughout the latter part of the year.  It was good that they got Marty Brodeur (VERSUS’ Player of the Decade) on the show, and got some other players to participate.  Bob Costas seemed like a particularly big get, perhaps playing nice for his new bosses, perhaps just being a nice guy.

Overall, very few complaints about this.  Let’s be honest, other than The Chief at A2Y, no one was excited to see Dr. John, Aaron Neville and Funky Meters.  I’d argue that the NHL fan demographic best mixes with alternative rock, mainstream rock and punk.  These events need to stop playing to the “retired Louisianan” demographics.  That said, I hope this comes back again next year, and I hope VERSUS sees fit to air more special editions of Hockey Central, and yada yada why not a nightly hockey show?

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