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10-10-2006, 08:29 AM
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He had some valid points regarding how poorly the sport is marketed. However, he basically exposed himself, and the rest of the media for that matter, when he mentioned that it's hard to sell hockey in the U.S. when there aren't a lot of players from L.A., Chicago, or New York. Basically, the media in the U.S. has an easier time selling smoke than fire. That is to say, ESPN and other major U.S. sports media outlets will infinitely replay the highlight reels of Joe Horn pulling out a cell phone after scoring a TD, or a player doing some stupid dance after tackling a player, or the slam-dunking and chest-thumping NBA. Not to mention all the off-the-field/court stories of shootings or other brushes with the law that Americans just seem to swallow whole.

I guess the NHL, according to the media, would be much more marketable in the U.S. if, perhaps during the PK after a player whose team is playing with one less man clears the puck out of the zone, that player would lie face down on the ice and make swimming motions as a way of entertaining the American viewing audience. Or maybe if a goalie makes a wicked glove save, he can spike the puck on the ice and start dancing like Ray Lewis after a sack.

I know I'm being a bit sarcastic here, but a lot of what I'm saying about selling "showtime" in sports is true. How can an audience made up of a majority of fans who never laced up a pair of skates in their lives appreciate the technical points of the game, especially if they have no clue how hard it is to do? It's easier to sell the flashy celebrations and personal controversy than the game itself.

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