Some general sports bloggers are still up in arms about The Detroit Situation. For those of you living under a rock: Detroit sports fans were forced to choose between the Red Wings and Pistons, because games 1-3 of the Stanley Cup Finals and games 3-5 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals were scheduled at about the same times on the same nights.
Just for reference, here’s a quick list of the parties directly involved in the schedule making process for the Stanley Cup Finals and both NBA Conference Finals, in no particular order:
- The NHL
- The NBA
- The Palace at Auburn Hills
- TD Banknorth Garden
- Joe Louis Arena
- Mellon Arena
- Staples Center
- AT&T Center
Why is the NHL the only one taking the blame for this?
Thanks to our man in the Globe and Mail trenches, James Mirtle, we have a transcript of Gary Bettman’s traditional “State of the NHL” press conference, which he holds before Game 1 of the Finals. He’s wondering the same thing I am:
Q. Are you chagrinned or bothered by the fact that the Pistons and Celtics are going head-to-head against you both nights here and could you have gotten together with David Stern and done anything about it?
COMMISSIONER GARY BETTMAN: What’s interesting about that question is, and as I’ve watched the commentary on the subject, everybody seems to be focused on us. And I think that’s a little unrealistic and a little unfair. […]
And we, and I assume the NBA, made commitments in terms of scheduling so the networks that we’re on – and we’re on multiples in more than one language – to structure how they’re going to be programmed. Networks just can’t gut their programming schedules overnight. […]
What I think is going on – and I’m not privy to the NBA’s contractual arrangements, but I’m going to make an educated guess. TNT and ESPN, or ABC, one in the same for this purpose, schedule themselves out and they have programming, alternate programming on some nights, and then they schedule the NBA on others.
I also think, and I think I read this somewhere, that those two networks alternate who has the East and who has the West. We’re up against the NBA conference finals no matter what we do. So you’d say the logical question is: Why didn’t they just switch nights between the East and the West? And my guess is, and they were quoted as saying, it was locked in concrete over a year ago. And that’s why they didn’t switch it. Guess what, they’re not the only one who has to lock things in concrete to do business.
And so we had no choice. I’m not happy about it in terms of our fans in Detroit. But there’s nothing any of us could do.
This is par for the course. The first rule of sports writing, whether you’re a blogger or MSM writer, is this: When you need a crutch, make fun of hockey. The Sports Point reached for it last night.
ESPN reached for it last week. No burying the lede for Eric Adelson. His first paragraph puts the blame right at the NHL’s feet: “What is the NHL thinking?” Curious that a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine would be asking that question, considering that the NBA Eastern Conference finals were exclusive to, you guessed it, ESPN. He could have found the answer on his company phone list, but that would let the NHL off the hook. Wouldn’t be good for ratings.
I sent something off to Le Anne Schreiber on Adelson’s column. Let’s see if it comes up in her next update.
Thank you for simulcasting the 2008 Memorial Cup in the United States. Because of your foresight, I got to witness this live:
I am forever in your debt.
So, if a guy in his living room can rewind the Versus HD feed on his DVR, advance frame-by-frame a replay of a disputed goal call, find clear evidence of the puck crossing the line, aim his cameraphone at his HDTV, and send video to the guy next to me at Mellon Arena, what the hell is the War Room using?!
[EVGENI MALKIN has SIDNEY CROSBY, felled by his wounded ankle and the weight of The Puck, in a fireman’s carry. They are almost to the bank of the Delaware River. Suddenly, MALKIN hears a noise behind him]
The precious is ours! We wants it!
[UMBERGER jumps out from behind a parked car, and tackles MALKIN from behind. MALKIN, CROSBY and UMBERGER all tumble into an alley.]
Hey, I thought those goblins in Montreal took care of you!
Nasty goblinses couldn’t catch us. Now gives it to us!
[UMBERGER jumps on top of CROSBY.]
Junior swore to protect the precious!
[UMBERGER grabs CROSBY by the throat. CROSBY reaches up, and tries to push UMBERGER away by the face.]
[UMBERGER looks up to see that MALKIN has a beer bottle at his feet, and has his stick wound up for a slap shot.]
[MALKIN’s slap shot hits UMBERGER right between the eyes, knocking him out cold. He rolls off CROSBY.]
Come on. Let’s end this.
Once again, Twitter, Slashdot’s most maniacal anti-Microsoft troll, beats on the truthout.org dead horse. Of course, Twitter and Marc Ash are cut from the same cloth. They both believe that they are so noble, and their causes so righteous, that they can freely stoop to any depth, and engage in whatever underhanded behavior they please.
Marc Ash was caught spamming totally unrelated Yahoo! Groups by joining and blasting emails through group addresses.
Twitter threadjacks a story, then shills his comment with three of his army of sockpuppets, including two accounts that are impostors of his critics.
And Slashdot does nothing.
Instead, Rob Malda posts this gem to the front page, claiming that Microsoft “prefers” Flash to Silverlight because Microsoft doesn’t have some super-special-secret transmogrifier that could spontaneously transform each and every Flash animation on each and every web site Microsoft owns into Silverlight content, and didn’t use it the very minute Silverlight 1.0 was released to the public.
Slashdot has turned reason and common sense and honesty against its own readers.
Delete your bookmarks, people. Redirect slashdot.org to 127.0.0.1 in your hosts file, in case you get the urge to go back. There’s no point.
There are plenty of places where advocacy of Free and Open Source software is done without the community being exploited. Slashdot is no longer one of those places. Their hatred of Microsoft has become all-consuming, and they’re proud of it. Time to leave them shouting into empty space.
[SIDNEY CROSBY is watching TV in his room at MARIO LEMIEUX’S house. MARIO and the family are visiting their parents back in Montreal, so SIDNEY has the house to himself. SIDNEY hears somebody coming down the hall. Suddenly, GARY ROBERTS rushes into the room.]
Is it secret? Is it safe?
The puck! Where is the puck?
Up here on this shelf. But I don’t know what you want with…
[ROBERTS produces a pair of barbecue tongs from his coat, and snatches the puck from SIDNEY’S hand.]
Hmm… yes. It is as I’ve feared. Do you know where this puck came from?
Mario told me he found it behind the shed at Bob Errey’s house. Mario, Bibs, and Rex were shagging pitching wedges in the back yard…
Mark Recchi was there? Then it is true. This is the One Puck.
The One Puck? You mean Tugnutt’s Bane?
Yes. You see those marks there? Left by Keith Primeau’s stick. This was the puck that ended the Penguins’ five-overtime game against the Flyers in ’99. This is the first time we’ve faced the Flyers since that series. If this puck is still hanging around, it could jinx the whole thing.
And it’s been on my shelf the whole time?! We gotta get rid of this thing!
Whaddya mean, “We?” You know what I’m capable of now. Could you imagine what I could do with this puck?
So what do I do?
[Before ROBERTS can respond, he hears something outside the window. Grabbing a hockey stick from the corner of the room, he opens the window, jabs the butt-end of the stick at the ground, and hits somebody. ROBERTS grabs the person and, in one motion, hoists him through the window and slams him down on the table.]
Sorry! Sorry! I didn’t mean any trouble. I was just doing some gardening…
A bit late for trimming the verge, eh?
[aside] Trimming the verge?
What did you hear?
Nothing. Nothing. Just something about a puck, and the end of playoffs. That’s all. You aren’t going to hurt me, are you?
[arches an eyebrow] No…
[RYAN MALONE stands before an army of 17,132 yinzers at the Valley Forge exit of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. At the front of that army stand GARY ROBERTS, MAXIME TALBOT, MARC-ANDRE FLEURY, KRIS LETANG, and TYLER KENNEDY.]
Men of Squirrel Hill! Of Blawnox! My brothers!
I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me.
A day may come when our contracts expire, when we become unrestricted free agents and sign long term contracts with the Islanders. But it is not this day.
An hour of woe, of trading deadlines, when we are sent to Atlanta for some prospects and a pick in next year’s draft. But it is not. This. Day.
This day, we fight!
By all that you hold dear on this good ice, [raises stick] I bid you STAND, PENS OF THE WEST!
Ne’er thought I’d die fightin’ side-by-side with a goalie.
What about side-by-side with a friend?
Aye. I could do that.
PAUL HOLMGREN (whispering voice only MALONE can hear):
Malooooone… weee haaaave rooommm unnnnderrr the saaalaryyyy caaaaaaap…
[looks back at teammates] For Sidney…