1. The Sid/Ovie “Debate” This is so played out. We’re exhausted by the volume and the predictability of the whole thing. Yes, we KNOW you think Sid’s a whiner. Yes, we KNOW you think he has no personality. We’ve been hearing it for YEARS. And over those years, the pro-Ovechkin party line is that he’s all awesome, all the time. Well, until the hype machine backlash swings around full circle and the dialog about these two includes a universally-accepted and equally emphatic knee-jerk response of “Ovechkin’s a raging douchebag” (which is as fact-based as the boring/whiner response to Sid), we refuse to engage. As it stands, it’s just the same old tired shit, shouted louder and louder as if the person doing the shouting thinks they’re actually contributing something new or of value to the conversation.
Pictured above, the bloggers’ representation of the league’s two-pony show.
2. The Sid/Ovie Exclusivity We would like very much for IPB’s official stance to be: “In the battle of Sid vs. Ovie, we vote Parise and Getzlaf and Richards.” Wait, are we allowed to do that? What’s this, we’re getting a memo from the league? Let’s see here… It says we have to decide if we think Sid’s a diver or if Ovie’s a showboat. There’s no option for “We’re above this?” Please.
3. Specially-Engineered Dirt That Tells You When Your Lawn Needs Water Perhaps the most mentally-consuming stupid thing we’ve seen in these playoffs is a commercial for a lawn starter thing that advertises that it is specially engineered so that the dirt changes colors to tell you when you need to water. (No, we don’t know the name of the product, or its manufacturer, or where you can see the product/commercial online. We’re bloggers, not journalists.) We ended up in a bit of a panic after we considered this product, because we suspect we may have accidentally gotten some for our own garden, when just plain dirt would have sufficed. Seriously, consider this:
That’s one of the beds in our garden, after being watered.
And that’s the one next to it, after drying out. Look at the dirt! It changed colors! This is terrible!
4. Changing The Playoff OT Format To 4-on-4 We get that NBC doesn’t like the prospect of limitless, commercial-free playoff OT. It really does fly in the face of their business model, when you think about it. But it’s also one of the best traditions in any sport. So why not, instead of jettisoning the concept of playing regular hockey until someone wins, jettison the idea of it being commercial-free? And if there is some sort of real programming NBC would like to have on in place of 3OT (man, did we get lucky during that Ducks/Wings game that it was just tape-delayed horse jumping, a fact that cracked Boomer up to no end. She kept giggling about all the little horsey tweens who were crying because they were stuck watching ugly old hockey), then slap the game over onto Versus when it runs too long. Sure, we all love to wail and beat our chests about the indignity of that Senators/Sabres game getting shunted aside for Preakness pregame drivel, but that was certainly a much smaller indignity than changing to a 4-on-4 format (a concession that starts us down the slippery slope to shootouts) just to keep our sometimes network happy.
5. Versus’s Great Hockey Moments We have been suffering the lousy broadcast standards on Versus (and NBC) since the lockout because we understand they are gearing their programming toward the elusive “new” or “casual” fan. Fine. You want to present hockey in as crappy a manner as possible because you think it might entice someone who was flipping channels? So be it. But how does that explain the deadly-dull Hockey Moments (or whatever they’re calling them) during the Versus intermissions? What MMA-starved 18-to-25-year-old non-hockey fan is going to see those and go, “Hot damn! This sport is AWESOME!”? TNT’s NBA intermission (er, halftime) show is the talk of the town and you know what it doesn’t include? Grainy footage of shit that happened forty years ago.