Monday, February 18, 2008

Jim Hughson has a flight to catch

In the long and growing list of recent NHL trends that annoy fans, I think we need to find a place for "NHL play-by-play announcers who feel the need to act high-and-mighty when fights break out".

The most recent example is from the normally excellent Jim Hughson during Saturday's Oilers/Canucks game:

Some money quotes include:

- a disgusted "Oh, we've got more of this off the faceoff?". It wasn't quite Joe Buck-level faux outrage, but it was close.

- "They really should have just run the clock". Yes Jim, great idea, actually, if it weren't for that stupid thing... what's it called... oh yes, "the rulebook". That thing always gets in the way.

- "All this other extracurricular stuff and nonsense at the end aside...". This came right at the end, and a good thing too. I was worried that Hughson was going to violate the broadcasting code that makes at least one use of the word "nonsense" mandatory everytime an exciting brawl breaks out.

There may have been more, but I had trouble hearing Hughson's musings about how disappointing and unwanted the whole thing was, what with all that wild and enthusiastic cheering from the fans.

Serious question: Do NHL broadcasters really not understand that most fans love this stuff? Has it been so long since they've paid to see a hockey game that they've forgotten (or no longer care) what the average fan is interested in? Or do they know perfectly well what their audience likes, but feel the need to pointlessly grandstand anyways?

Ah well... Hughson probably had several thousand fans throwing their remotes at their TVs in an effort to shut him up. But he'll make Chris Zelkovich feel all tingly, and I guess that counts for something.

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