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Stuff, stuff and oh, I don’t know, some more stuff

January 4, 2011

Lots of little things today.

– I admit to watching a fair amount of the World Juniors over the past week-and-a-half. The games have been entertaining and well worth my time. However, the ads shown during the game broadcast have been incredibly disappointing. The “Ovechkin head in a bowling ball bag” terrifies me. Who is the creative director that thought a disembodied Russian head made a good ad? And this ad is repeated at least three times per game, so it’s disturbing in triplicate.

Ad over-repitition seems to be a key theme on NHL Network. I’m pretty sure that I am very close to being able to recite the AHL promotional ad and the USA Hockey “Hockey Weekend Across America” ads. Speaking of the latter ads, Ryan Miller and Patrick Kane manage to cram about 30 kinds of awkward into their :30 ad. (Go to this USA Hockey page, and flip to the second video to watch Miller & Kane.) Miller is nervous and “reading” the ad (and strangely dressed like he’s going to a costume party as a low rent Danny Zuko), while Kane just mumbles his way through the entire thing.  Compare these two Awkward McGee’s to the stellar performance turned in by Zach Parise. Parise is a natural in front of the camera, almost like he memorized the script and practiced it in his bedroom mirror.

I know that the ad repetition occurs because it is difficult to convince companies to buy ad time on a network that appears on a premium tier in a lot of homes. I understand why it is on a premium tier, as most of the nation has no interest in hockey, but at the same time, the network can’t be expected to grow if all it is running is ads from current league or program sponsors.

– Can someone explain to me why tonight’s pre-game story on WGR has the tag of “disaster_accident, sports“? Is it an auto-tag based on the use of the word “Avalanche?” Is WGR hoping that the Sabres meet an untimely end in Colorado? Do they know something the rest of us don’t?

– I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the play of Marcus Foligno during the WJC’s. Dude has played like he is playing for an NHL contract, which in a way, I suppose he is. I would be really happy to see him and Kassian win a gold medal in this tournament. If the USA can’t win it, might as well be the team with the guys that are “ours.” (Sidebar: when I was in college and working summer orientation, Marcus’ older sister was a part of the freshman class that we were orientating and her father accompanied her to orientation. It was hilarious watching the parents of these incoming freshman freaking out that Mike Foligno was in their midst and had a kid their kid’s age.)

– Only in Buffalo does a tweet by a mascot get included in a recap of a hockey game.

– Also, only in Buffalo does a quarterback’s grooming habits warrant coverage on the 5 o’clock news…and not in the sports report. I will say that Fitz’s beard was probably the best part of the Bills season. I haven’t been that impressed with a beard since Scott Niedermayer’s playoff beard a couple of years ago.

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