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Friday, April 20, 2012

Mainstream media bias

If you get the chance, read Jim Souhan's column in today's Star Tribune. He compares the "violence" of the NHL playoffs to a television show called Game of Thrones. I am a Souhan fan usually, but after reading this garbage, it occurred to me that he obviously has watched that program more than the playoffs he was "writing" about. Sidney Crosby has been the one to instigate, in his series against the Flyers not vice versa, as Souhan claims, in his column. Not once in his column, does he talk about how exciting, and well played this years playoffs have been. This has been the best Stanley Cup Playoffs that I can remember. This has nothing to do with the "violence" he describes. It has everything to do with how intense, competitive, and well played the games have been. The Pens/Flyers series has set an NHL record with 45 goals scored in the first four games of the series. The Blackhawks/Coyotes series is the first playoff series since the 1950's to have the first four games all go into overtime. Despite these indisputable facts, most in the mainstream media only want to talk about the "violence", and not the great games going on.

His article is typical of a non hockey fan trying to write about hockey. I do not understand why non hockey fans continually try to degrade the game in the media. His claim that maybe 12 more people will be watching now is just false, and bad journalism. The Flyers-Penguins game on NBC Sunday afternoon drew a 2.3 rating. That means roughly 2.7 million television sets where tuned into that game on a Sunday afternoon at 3pm eastern time 12pm west coast. Not exactly a prime time to watch television, for most American's. This was the highest rated NHL game on NBC since 2006. Not once, is this mentioned in his piece.I bet he

NHL ratings are up across the board on all of the networks broadcasting the games, yet ESPN will only devote time to the few unfortunate hits/melees. PTI devoted three minutes to the Penguins/Flyers game 3 on Monday. How many goals did they show? Zero. They spent the entire segment talking about the Penguins meltdown in the third period. This, coming from a network, that broadcasts the other three major sports, but does not broadcast the NHL. How dare ESPN condemn the NHL for violence, when they just one year ago ran a segment called Jacked Up on their Monday Night Countdown show. This segment involved five guys reviewing the biggest hits of the NFL from the previous Sunday. Hits that left the player concussed, or injured were joked about ,with some idiots saying "he done got JACKED UP!" How can a network excuse this, yet bash the NHL is beyond me. The NFL has violent collisions on every play! The average NFL career is 2.5 years. To say they have cracked down on concussions like Souhan says is absurd. The NFL has been trying to add two regular season games to it's schedule for the past couple of years, and it recently expanded it's Thursday night game schedule, which means more players will only get three days off between games. I don't see how adding more games and having fewer days off between games is cracking down on injuries. No one on ESPN has come out and condemned this game, I wonder why? Maybe its the billions of dollars the network pays to the NFL to broadcast it's games. Hmm.

With all this talk about "violence" and blood in the NHL how many guys are out injured because of these so called vicious hits? Two players that's how many. I repeat two. Daniel Alfredsson the Ottawa Senators Captain and Marian Hossa of the Chicago Blackhawks. Both of these players unfortunately have concussions. Alfredsson was hurt on a elbow to the head. This incident has flown under the radar. The player who hurt him was a fellow Swede, by the name of Carl Hagelin. Hagelin has been suspended for three games and rightfully so. He has also profusely apologized to his fellow countryman. The Hossa incident is another story, as he was hurt on a dirty hit, by Raffi Torres. Torres is a repeat offender, and should get the book thrown at him for his cheap shot, as he has a history of dirty play. You could say he is the James Harrison of the NHL. The only blood I've seen in the NHL playoffs has come from the L.A. Kings Dustin Brown. He was hit by a puck in the face accidentally, so I do not see how blood is a storyline in Souhan's column, but it is.

The only injury that occurred, in the "Roman orgy of violence" which was the aforementioned Pens/Flyers game was Paul Martin, who was leveled on a clean check by Brayden Schenn, and hurt his leg. He has a lower body injury so I'm assuming it is his leg. This is unfortunate, but it is part of the game. Where was this outrage when Adrian Peterson tore his A.C.L. playing in a meaningless late season NFL game?

I'm not saying the NHL is perfect. The league does need to eliminate shots to the head, and players should stop going for the head. The fact is, this is the fastest played game in the world ,and those types of hits are unfortunately hard to eliminate with the speed of today's players. But of all the hits in a typical hockey game, what percentage are to the head, or dirty? Not very many.

I, just wish the mainstream media would give the NHL a chance because it is the best game in the world, and many Americans are finding that out this year, as the huge increase in T.V. ratings suggest. Instead of coming up with false reasons to not watch the sport, I wish the Jim Souhans of the world would actually watch the game, and not just the 30 seconds of low-lights ESPN chooses to show. If people like him, would actually watch a full game they would understand this, and not write articles that prove they have no clue what they are talking about. You will not see me writing about quantum physics, after watching 30 seconds of Bill Nye the science guy, so I don't think the mainstream media has any right to bash the NHL off a 30 second clip.


  1. Great read!

    I agree this years playoffs are head and shoulders better than any year in recent memory.

    Souhan tends to take the "shock jock" approach to most of his columns. Being abrasive and controversial for no reason other than to drive reads and web hits. If he were to break down a hockey game nobody would read it because he doesn't have a clue.

    As for the "violence" this year, anyone who follows the NHL closely knew this years first round would be extremely competitive. The most physical match ups are divisional rivals. These teams see each other 6 times a year. There is bound to be some carryover.

    Yeah, some of the cheapshots seen this year have no place in the game, but when emotions are running high with the chase for the cup, sometimes primal rage takes over.

    The NFL gets a free pass from the major media outlets like ESPN mainly because they invest billions of dollars for rights to carry the games. They don't want to create controversy about the sport because it could effect their revenues.

    ESPN doesn't give a shit about showing NHL highlights on Sports Center. They don't carry any games. Why promote a sport for competing networks? Although I don't agree with this, money is the bottom line to any business. It's lame and it hurts their reputation with us non-coast sports fans, but we're not where the money is. Back when they did show NHL games they spent a lot more time with hockey. They even had NHL2night.

    Keep it up man. I'm enjoying reading your blog.

  2. Thanks man appreciate it. I agree with everything you've said