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The state of hockey

Posted at 9:54 AM on April 20, 2007 by Bill Wareham (1 Comments)

I was listening to Diana Nyad on the Marketplace Morning Report discuss the sad state of hockey television viewership and have to confess some of her analysis made perfect sense, some left me bewildered.

What I understand is that interest in hockey runs deep, but not broad. That is, hockey fans really are fanatics, but once they fill up the arena there aren't a lot of them left to watch telecasts.

I'm not at all sure why that is, even as I admit my own interest in the game has waned considerably since I grew up in a family where hockey - professional, college, high school and below - competed on at least equal footing with every other sport. Basketball wasn't even in the same league for our attention.

My guess is that some combination of poor marketing, bad television contracts and competition for my attention from other sources combined to my own disinterest since the early 1990s.

But here's the one argument that has always baffled me, and Nyad raised it this morning: "...I look at the replay like six angles and I cannot see the puck. I watched it six times I had no idea where the puck was so you know how can I relate?"

Can't see the puck?! Really? I mean, I grew up watching the game on a tiny black and white TV - never too close because Mom said it would ruin my eyes - and following the game wasn't an issue. I guess it's possible that you can occassionally lose track of the actual black dot, maybe, but as you watch the movement of the players you can't help but intuit where it is. I can't contradict Nyad or anyone who shares her point of view, but it simply defies my own experience.

Comments (1)

I can't see the puck. I also can't see the golf ball. Maybe this is more of a "you see what you want to see" kind of thing?

Posted by Larissa Anderson | April 20, 2007 10:56 AM