“Bettman has only a marginal interest in the weaker teams. He only wants the NHL to make a bigger profit as a whole.” -- Dominik Hasek

May 8, 2007

Hero Watch

I just started a little series called "Crybaby Watch" in an effort to identify (and ridicule) prominent hockey columnists who needlessly whine and complain about insignificant incidents or aspects within the game of professional hockey. A bonus if they also call for sweeping rule changes as well. If they needlessly bitch about something NHL-related, I'll bitch about them.

But, sometimes, that rare columnist breaks the mold and and actually compliments the National Hockey League and the magnificent sport of ice hockey. It's rare, but it happens.

Case in point, Washington Post sports columnist John Feinstein:

One thing people should understand about overtime playoff hockey: There's nothing like it in sports. Only in hockey does the game end -- BOOM! -- in an instant. One rush, one mistake, one slip by the goalie -- and it's over. It doesn't happen that way in basketball or in football or in baseball. Oh sure, those games can end on a single play, but frequently they don't. In hockey, they ALWAYS do and you sit on the edge of your seat not knowing when that moment may come.

He even praises overtime! Oh the horror! Oh the humanity!!

So, just as I've used the title "Crybaby Watch" to label any negative hockey-related sports writing I happen to find on the Internets (it's not a dump truck!), I will use the alternative "Hero Watch" to document those who rise above the pity party and point out why hockey is in fact awesome and why the haters are full of crap.

Good work, John Feinstein. You're my very first hero.

(Thanks to Off Wing Opinion and Jibblescribbits for pointing out the article)


parker said...

I have a dream! My dream is for at least one person from each country to visit my blog and hopefully post. It will be recorded with a neocounter. Do you want to be part of the this great achievement?

..I'm copying and pasting the above image to blogs all over the world, but i stopped and read yours. I'm a huge Flames fan (great race to the post season). I'd juse like to say Sakic is my favorite player in the NHL.

hockeychic said...

Thanks for the Feinstein article. He is a great writer and says it better then I ever could about overtime. You never know when it is going to end and that is what is so great (and heart failure inducing) about it.

B_Washington said...

That's why he gets paid to write about sports, and we just do it for fun.

It's nice to see a professional writer actually write something resembling positive press on the sport. And since he is a great writer, his entire article was fantastic.

all the Hockey writers who do this day in and day out should look at that article and say "He's right. Let's stop arguing minor flaws and start pointing out the good stuff"

Dear Lord Stanley said...

Would it kill them to do a player or team profile once in a while, or an inspiring story about how a hockey player helps crippled children or even an off-season golf rivalry between one star player and another.

Hell, even some decent playoff series coverage would help. Focus on the games, focus on the players, don't focus on the sport itself.

Criticism is sometimes needed, and it never hurts to stay objective about the health (or sickness) of the league. But constant calls to change the way hockey is played just don't do anyone any favors.

Dear Lord Stanley said...

There should be a question mark at the end of the first paragraph in my comment above, by the way.

B_Washington said...

I agree, that criticism is always a good thing. You never want to fall into the "Avs announcer's trap" and be all rah-rah-rah.

As I have said before I don't think the time for criticism is now. There is plenty of time in the offseason to discuss the state of the game, and what rules need to be fixed and what rules are okay.

During the Stanley cup playoffs is NOT the appropriate time to be handing out minor criticisms. It IS the time for player profiles, game analysis and series analysis. A brief criticism is okay if it directly relates to the games itself (a paragraph on better replay equipment idon't mind. Talking about the replay that it takes away from a fantastic game is excessive).

There are valid criticisms of the league, and valid points to make. Write them down, and save them for the off-season.

B_Washington said...

Here's Another example on how to write a feature during the playoffs without being a whiny baby.

Dear Lord Stanley said...

Well, it is Sports Illustrated, and they tend to adhere to a higher level of journalism than ESPN and many other sports-oriented media outlets.

But yes, a very good example. Now I'll see if I can Photoshop Drury out of that ugly Buffaslug uniform and into an Avs jersey.

hockeychic said...

Could you add this to your hero's list? I ganked it from Off Wing opinion.


Dear Lord Stanley said...


Are you sure that's the full address? I can't get the page to load.

hockeychic said...

Sorry, I'm lame. If I could remember how to imbed links...I've forgotten my basic html.


hockeychic said...

Sorry, I can't get the full address to post here. I'm an idiot. (I know insert Wings fan comment here)

try going to this link here

Dear Lord Stanley said...

It works now. And yes, I will add it. Thanks!

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