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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Cold Hard Rants--An All-Star Debacle

Coming to you live, once again, from the “Centre of the Universe”, Toronto Ontario, is another action-packed, exciting and dynamic, edition of Cold Hard Rants. Unfortunately, for the NHL those three words certainly could not be used in an honest manner to describe yesterday’s NHL Skills Competition as part of the NHL All-Star Weekend “extravaganza.”

Fresh off the un-mitigated disaster that was last year’s all-star weekend the NHL, to their credit, realized that the weekend needed a revamping. Unfortunately, as has become commonplace in Gary Bettman’s NHL, the purported cure was as bad as the disease, and the skills competition portion of the revamped weekend fell flatter than the terrain in Saskatchewan. (Note, I will not comment about the fact that the All-Star game was played in Atlanta, as I am not sure if the people at the event were knowledgeable enough about hockey to realize that what they were watching was in-fact a skills competition and not in actuality how all NHL games are played……hockey in the deep south, FEEL THE EXCITEMENT!)

A group of athletes who’s best selling features is their combination of size, and speed, were reduced to embarrassing themselves in ridiculous competitions like who could shoot a puck into a miniature net, and what goalie can shoot pucks the length of the ice into an empty net. The only thing the night was missing was a dog running through an obstacle course (which, by the way, I would have rather watched). As a viewer at home, the whole debacle was cringe worthy. I was half expecting the entire event to be sponsored by “Bad Idea Jeans.” (™ SNL).

Of course, just when I thought this had reached the pinnacle of debacle, the speed skating competition took the whole thing to a new level. On it’s face there is nothing wrong with a timed event to see who can skate the fastest from goal-line to blue-line, but when the freakin timers don’t work, what’s the point? The NHL couldn’t have asked to borrow a TIMEX from someone in the crowd? As I was watching at home, and saw Brian Campbell come out for the “finals” I was incredulous, as it was apparent to everyone that Campbell had LOST his heat. I don’t need a timer to tell me he lost, I saw it with my own eyes! To say that this was amateur hour is an insult to anyone who has ever been an amateur athlete. There aren’t enough adjectives in the English language for me to use to blast the NHL for how pathetic this was. Instead of it being a platform to highlight the tremendous athletes that play in the NHL, all it did was re-enforce how incompetent the Bettman era has been. Something the NHL has been all too skillful at showing the public time after time after time.

For Illegal Curve, I am Andrew M.

Ballhype: hype it up!

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