There’s a wee bit of wool that’s been building up in our little minds, and an off-night like tonight seems like as good a time as any to gather it.
1. Our plans for this evening didn’t include a simple, gentle woolgathering post. Rather, we were going to write a scathing open letter to MSG for what we’d heard was a bald-faced insult to the Devils organization uttered by Al Trautwig during a recent episode of “Hockey Night New York Live”. Now, we always ignore “HNL” because it’s insipid, asinine and, despite the lip service it pays to the Devils and Islanders, primarily a Rangers-centric production. Sorry, MSG, but no matter how often Trautwig unctuously assures us “this is a Devils show, too”, he can’t overcome the Rangers brand identity he’s built up after years as the Rangers broadcast studio host. Anyway, despite our disregard for the show, we were still shocked to read in the comments on Tom Gulitti’s blog that Trautwig had said, in the lead-in to a viewer email Q & A session with Ken Daneyko, “We’ll be answering emails, if there are any Devils fans.” This pretty much made our heads explode. It’s bad enough being almost openly treated like the red-haired stepchild on our own team’s home broadcasts, but to be blatantly treated as such? That was going too far. We were going to write a quivering-with-rage email to MSG, as well as forwarding hard copies of the letter to MSG and the Devils, and post it in this space, too. And we were even going to use our real names. Yeah, we were pissed.
Well, Gentle Reader, less than 24 hours later we have learned that it’s always wise to check punctuation before getting too riled up. It turns out Trautwig said, “We’ll be answering emails if there are any, Devils fans.” The comma makes a pretty big difference, no? So no angry letter from us today. Although it would probably behoove MSG to consider the fact that when you invite viewer participation, the onus does not lie solely on the viewers. You need to be providing something in which viewers would want to participate in the first place. And the “insights” that Al Trautwig and Stan Fischler have to offer are hardly a carrot for Devils fans. If there’s a dearth of emails, it’s not because no one cares about the Devils — it’s because no one who cares about the Devils cares about “Hockey Night New York Live”.