Thursday, August 21, 2008

Versus Just Doing Stupid, Stupid Things

Listen folks, if you've read me before, you know I'm a big proponent of Versus. I really want it to work between league and network. I don't want to slip back to what would essentially be a meager 40-game package on ESPN, or something even worse that I can't possibly think about. Versus is as good as we're going to get it for a while everyone. Still, in the's just released television schedule, there are just some bafflingly stupid decisions to be found within.Let's take a look at October 20th in the,'s schedule:Mon Oct 20, 2008PenguinsBruins7:00 PM ETStarsRangers7:00 PM ETPanthersCanadiens7:30 PM ETAvalancheKings10:30 PM ETNow, I'm sure many of you have looked at that and, with hands raised, said "oooh oooh, easy call. Dallas-Rangers, Avery back at the Garden". Others are probably thinking a safer bet would be the collision of young talent that is Pittsburgh and Boston. Even further down the road, it's always good to check out some late night puck, so Avs-Kings in October won't be too unbearable. But what game, in it's infinite wisdom, did Versus decide to go with?The Florida Panthers vs. Montreal Canadiens. A likely barnburner, I know.Seriously, I know there are logistics to look at when deciding these schedules. But, with the omission of the LA Kings from the Versus schedule, it's become clear: Every American team doesn't have to be on the network. So, why do the Panthers? From what ratings sense does the Panthers-Canadiens matchup make against Dallas-NY or Pittsburgh-Boston. It's not like either of those cities have a natural rivalry that could equal Sunrise, FL and Montreal, QC!A little later on in the season. December 29th. Once again, Tue Dec 30, 2008CapitalsSabres7:00 PM ETThrashersMaple Leafs7:30 PM ETBruinsPenguins7:30 PM ETCanadiensLightning7:30 PM ETBlackhawksRed Wings7:30 PM ETDevilsBlues8:00 PM ETSenatorsOilers10:00 PM ETFlyersCanucks10:00 PM ETAgain, many of you look and see some obvious choices, Caps-Sabres, Bruins-Pens. Hey, wait a second, I see a Blackhawks-Red Wings game, two days prior to that whole, uh, outdoor thingy they're doing at Wrigley Field. Well, what a grand way to promote the event by getting everyone on board with the rivalry developing between Chicago and Detroit. You know, with the Hawks only on Versus 3 times and the Wings 7 times, there's room for both. But no. What did they pick?Devils-Blues.I'm as big a Devils fan as anyone, and I get it. You want to televise Marty Brodeur's record-breaking victory without forcing yourself to televise another game. But come on Versus, I think New Jersey and St. Louis will be able to live with the fact that this game just isn't good enough for national television.It goes on like this the rest of the way. The main point I'm trying to make here is that, someone needs to just walk into the Versus offices and show them to a logic test. These aren't errors made just for ratings grabs, in fact, they're the exact opposites: They're attempts to show teams that typically don't get national television exposure. But come on, I think the fan of the team isn't that invested in what channel the game's on (Unless they, ahem, don't get Versus) and the national fan is much more interested in a bigger market matchup.There are some things this network does that makes it hard to defend as the home for hockey. See you in two weeks.Source

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