They're all owned by CanWest. I remember flipping through the Tor Sun, read the opinion piece....that morning I flew back to Edmonton and the opinion piece was exactly the same but with a picture of a different journalist. I was shocked actually.
Wow the butt-hurt is so thick you could cut it with a knife!
Got to love a Canadian "journalist" (using that term loosely) who doesn't understand that the Big House is an iconic venue in American sports (and it's funny how he dismisses "college football fans" when a huge chunk of the US population follows college football to some degree or another), but then proposes BC Place (a veritable dump of a stadium) as some great location for an outdoor game (were it not for the weather).
That article in the Vancouver Sun lacks even basic knowledge of how sports in North America work and the purpose of the Winter Classic. Seriously, none of his points are valid EXCEPT maybe the quality of the game, but this is ALWAYS an unknown, even with great teams. Some particularly DUMB quotes:
"It falls on a Tuesday next year, so NBC will have to pre-empt The Biggest Loser to air the game, but at least it won’t have to duck the NFL again."
Are you an idiot? Do you know how television works? Even a quick Google search would have given you the reason why NBC, who is a television partner of the NFL, would not want to run the NHL game that day. (In short, NBC is not going to run a competing product against a league (NFL) whose continuing growth helps the network. Even if they would, why go head to head with the NFL? That's just asinine. Leagues try to not step all over each other when it can be avoided as well.)
"But not only is it a hike to get to, Michigan Stadium is so vast and, like the Rose Bowl, its seats so gently canted that about half the fans — those in the upper reaches and particularly in the far end zone — will need high-powered binoculars to tell which of the insects flitting about on the distant white postage stamp are fruit flies and which are no-see-ums, let alone trying to find the invisible object they all seem to be chasing."
One, Ann Arbor is not a "hike" as implied in the article (i.e. more than an hour). Depending on where you are in the greater Detroit area, its anywhere from 15-45 min away. Ann Arbor is practically a suburb of Detroit. Two, the guy has never stepped foot in the stadium, clearly, as the Big House has much better sight lines then the second venue, Comerica Park, and Michigan Stadium has already done the hockey thing before (UofM v MSU).
"but the NHL apparently wants that attendance record"
No **** Sherlock. The NHL is a gate driven league (therefore 110k is BETTER than 40k), plus, no one is going to give a crap about a game at Comerica. However, 110k+ people in a legendary stadium? Now you have more than hockey fans paying attention (aka American media).
"The whole Winter Classic thing is, it seems to me, starting to lose a lot of its lustre, anyway."
But you'd sure as hell like Vancouver in one, wouldn't ya?
"But there is nothing iconic about The Big House for most hockey fans, and not a lot of crossover audience, arguably, between those who do “get” the stadium’s aura — i.e. college football fans — and those who might reasonably be expected to seek out a televised hockey tilt that’s playing opposite a bowl game."
Americans watch more than one sport, believe it or not. And I didn't know Heinz field was so iconic for hockey fans...the long tradition of hockey in a ketchup bottle or something.
If everything goes right for the NHL, the Wolverines (college football) will be in a game NOT on the 1st.
"And let’s face it: the Leafs have been so long out of the loop as an actual hockey-playing force, it’s hard to imagine a large chunk of America’s sports viewing public turning eagerly to a match that features a team that last won the Cup when most TVs were still black and white."
He's got a point, look at all the Cups Vancouver has won. Oh, wait...
You can't sit there and demand a game with Vancouver, who has never won a Cup, and then use the fact that Toronto hasn't won one FOR A WHILE as a reason against them. Just stick with "Hey, Vancouver has been very relevant for several years. We went to seven games against Boston last year. I think Vancouver is a better quality opponent for the Wings" No one will argue that, but again, the Winter Classic is about getting butts in the seats and interest from non-hockey fans. Detroit-Toronto, two O6 franchises, in the Big House, does just that.
Vancouver should be in a Winter Classic within the next two years (against Chicago or Boston, if NBC is willing to take a non-Toronto Canadian team), but this article is just so poorly thought-out, it's embarrassing (and more than a little bitter).
I wonder how many times your average American fan will have to explain why Leafs isn't pluralized to casual or non-fans tuning in.
Yet they inexplicably accept "Sox" instead of socks?
BTW, I do know the background story as to why Boston and Chicago are called the Sox, it's just funny that you never hear it come up where as the word "Leafs", in actual fact, is considered a proper noun.