The Malik Report
by George Malik on 06/07/12 at 06:19 PM ET
ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun offers five potential ways for the NHL to “Reduce the Grind” of October-to-June hockey, and while I adore LeBrun, every time a MSM’er brings this suggestion up, I want to find a hammer:
2. Cancel All-Star Weekend. Well you know how I’ve felt about the All-Star Game for a long time. But the three-to-four days that the NHL pauses for this meaningless and boring event could be better used to help spread out the regular-season games. Why waste those days on an event few people care about?
He continues, of course, but this…This just pisses me off so damn much, because while yes, the All-Star Game is a glorified no-hit, exhibition-style game where—gasp!—the players are simply having fun playing with incredibly skilled peers and are trying not to get hurt, but for Monkey’s sake, the players enjoy it, the people who pay overpriced tickets to attend the skills competition and game seem to enjoy it, and, put bluntly, there is no way in frickin’ hell that the NHL is ever, ever going to cancel an event that is its best in-season opportunity to wine and dine its sponsors.
It’s not gonna happen. The All-Star Game is here to stay, and for Pete’s sake, if the media that gets paid to attend the weekend and be forced to interview superstars hates it so damn much that it continually tries to convince fans that it’s the worst event in the history of mankind, why don’t they simply ask their employers if they can take the All-Star Break off and go to Florida instead of being part of the 8.5 billion members who over-cover the event and then bitch and moan to the rest of us about how terrible it is to be chained to a job which requires them to chit-chat with Zdeno Chara or Pavel Datsyuk, watch some of the NHL’s brightest stars goof around like kids, and spend time in cushy hotels and get fed and paid for their time?
If the All-Star Game is pulling teeth for these poor, beleaguered media members, don’t go. Yeah, it’s a mixed bag, but it’s never going away, and the sooner the MSM—which, yes, does an incredibly difficult job, working against staggeringly tight deadlines and pumping out inordinate amounts of content, mostly on their own, while engaging in a grueling travel schedule—at least pulls the reins back to a gentle gallop in terms of telling us about how the All-Star Weekend is nothing less than having your toenails pulled out with a pair of pliers, maybe some of the fans who buy the concept hook, line and sinker might either choose to tune in and enjoy the game for what it is, or simply guiltlessly turn the damn TV off for the weekend and take a break themselves.
I know it’s June. I know that the media members who’ve been working since early September desperately need their summer vacation to begin as soon as humanly possible. And I completely understand that well into what has become a 10-month season for them and us, the last thing they wanted is to have to scramble to book flights and hotels and fly red-eyes to New Jersey, but this particular tale of burnout yielding a list of laments strikes me as plain old unrealistic.
Pierre, Scott Burnside and Craig Custance are absolute warhorses, never mind workhorses, in terms of their dedication to and passion for the game, but if they can’t stand going to the All-Star Game, I don’t think that ESPN’s coverage would suffer if they played rock-paper-scissors to decide which one of the trio would have to attend the game and which pair would receive a welcomed weekend off.
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.