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10-22-2013, 07:58 PM
Mike Farkas
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Originally Posted by Hardyvan123 View Post
It's only a recent phenomenon that the sports media or even home teams press has taken a critical or more subjective view on players, in past days the media room was full of free booze and food, "reporters" didn't upset the gravy train.
I'm not sure I see it that way, personally. As someone who has been a credentialed media member for hockey events and have had the privilege of being an award voter below the NHL level before.

You can tell in the coverage of NHL events though that the knowledge and understanding of the game is limited vs. what it was like in the pre-expansion era. I'd suggest that is in large part due to necessity - lack of television exposure (and prior to that, radio exposure) meant that the description of game events was disseminated by newspaper only (minus the some odd thousand patrons in attendance). Thus, the fuller explanations of events right down to the quality of the ice in some cases.

Today, it's tougher, more teams, more overlapping games, larger rosters, more advanced coaching techniques, etc. But few in the media actually have a grasp and even fewer yet are critical of players in any meaningful fashion. Some members of the media can - without context usually - identify a player who is "loafing it" or going through the motions, but they can't identify who is playing well or playing poorly without consulting the first few columns of the scoresheet you get handed to you at every intermission.

Politics are involved to...if [local beat reporter John] calls out Dion Phaneuf for his lack of hockey sense, his inability to repeat his offensive exploits for earlier in his career, for how bad he is in prolonged defensive shifts, for how much face he has to wash, etc. You think Dion is going to be eager to give him the quote needs to finish off his article? You think some of the other guys aren't going to hear about that?

Players aren't immune to criticism, but you can't sit there and grill players the way they need to be grilled sometimes. You won't be allowed in the locker room.

One of the few TV guys that actually calls it the way it is and criticizes players when they do stupid bad plays is Ray Ferraro from TSN. He's the closest thing we have to a soccer announcer...that's one of the few reasons I like watching soccer is for the color commentary, "boy, that was a bad ball and then he bailed out defensively...what a school boy *****, huh?"

It's great. You don't see that in hockey nearly enough. Mostly because the media doesn't watch nearly as much hockey and they understand even less of it. If you don't have hockey sense, you don't know if someone else does - it's the great divide between those "in the know" and those that are just staring at the game. It's responsible for a good deal of draft busts too.

You can see it in this discussion already.

But at the end of the day he wasn't a better goalscorer when they tallied them up.

I can't explain why, either.
That's usually a sign of the player in question having above the mark hockey IQ. Players that are above the sum of their parts/skill level. It keeps players in the league that otherwise wouldn't be there. Conversely, not having it keeps players that are skilled enough to be in the league out of it.

So, what happens when you combine a terrific amount of skill with an obscene level of hockey sense? You get 1000 points ahead of every other player that's ever played.


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