Canucks and Beyond

Hockey Players Can't Act

09/27/2007 at 2:02pm EDT

As a hockey fan, I’ll admit that I have a tendency to act morally superior to fans of all other games—as if “my” sport and “my” players are better than all others.

I’m told I suffer from Arrogant Hockey Fan Syndrome to some extent (which might be defined as: “the rabid belief that no other sport is anywhere near as fun as a hockey game” or “hockey players can do no wrong” or “everyone seems to hate us, but we know we’re better than you” etc). But who can blames us? If nothing else, the NFL, NBA and MLB certainly make it easy for an NHL fan to feel morally superior lately.

But there is one arena in which being a hockey fan really doesn’t provide one with much to brag about: acting. And nearly all related efforts at self promotion have been downright scary. Which brings me to Exhibit #1…

Over at the Sun-Sentinel’s Panthers’ blog, I spotted this today:

Yeah, that would be Olli Jokinen, Nathan Horton and Mike Van Ryn selling… bread. (For more of this type of embarrassment, you can see last year’s Panthers’ team video... sweet geezus.)I swear, every time I see Jokinen in one of these things, I keep expecting an Arnold-voice to come out of his mouth - “I’ll be back.” God, I wish it wasn’t so.Contrast that sorta thing to NFL star Peyton Manning’s appearance on SNL last year:

I guess the truth is that it’s not just bad acting skills that afflict NHL players’ appearances, but also the frightful production quality of anything they get involved in.Perhaps SNL producers could be persuaded to do some vignettes with hockey players? I mean, producer Lorne Michaels is Canadian, for godsakes—he should be ashamed of himself for not having NHL players on at least once a month. Just think about it: there’s gotta be comic-gold just waiting to be mined in a regular skit titled “Sean Avery’s Guide to Conflict Resolution” or whatever. (And lord knows, even non-hockey fans know Sean Avery; I think the guy must have his own dressing room at MTV at this point.)Anyway, I should add that some of the NHL’s own promotional adverts last year were actually pretty good. And the magic ingredient? To make sure no freakin’ acting was involved… just bad dancing.I’m a bit biased, but this was one of my favorites:

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