We know how you feel, Hoss.

The Indignities Never Cease

With word today coming out that ESPN3 will broadcast KHL games, if fans didn’t feel manipulated and used as leverage in this idiotic lockout, they should now. I know I do. Something about this just feels more unseemly than the usual press conference posturing of Donald Fehr and Gary Bettman.

It should all make sense- as the one of the principles, we have a league in  the KHL that is run by the seat of its pants with what can generously be considered a disregard for responsible bookkeeping and safety practices, and is notorious for trying to subvert the operations of the NHL at any turn possible, not that the NHL needs any help. As its accomplice, the KHL has found ESPN, for better or worse, tastemakers of the American sporting landscape and the most famous partner to spurn the NHL. While the KHL games will be undoubtedly on at odd times on a sister network that lacks the exposure of many of ESPN’s other outlets, the brand it carries with it is a heavy connotation. And it’s that connotation that should anger hockey fans.

ESPN, since the lockout, has had no interest in covering (and by extension promoting) the NHL or hockey as a sport in general, because it’s not its product. The NHL found other more willing, if smaller, partners for television, and the ESPN machine has rolled on without a care in the world, and we as hockey fans have moved on and accepted the sport being relegated to some of the further reaches of the media landscape, but still we follow, as evidenced by the fact that this article is even being read. But this action serves one purpose only, from both the KHL and ESPN, and that is to completely clown the NHL, which again, they don’t need any help in doing.

All of this should be expected from the KHL. It’s been a cloak and dagger operation from Jump Street, with its attempts to pry NHL talent away from North America, or retain its own homegrown talent in an inferior league. But ESPN’s contempt for you, the NHL hockey fan, is so tangible it can be smelled through computer monitors displaying stories of this agreement. After so long relegating the NHL to less than an afterthought, and trumpeting its own ratings of the programming that replaced hockey, to hop into bed with the KHL at this point absolutely reeks of hubris on their part, as this act is simply rubbing Bettman’s nose in the fact that his league is third class at best. And in the process, they’re toying with the emotions and allegiances of hockey fans simply because they can at this point, because their numbers say that hockey fans don’t matter. There’s no monetary win for ESPN in this, it’s all simply to prove a point, and once again, hockey fans are caught in the middle.

- Speaking of hubris, Kevin Paul Dupont of The Boston Globe has been on a roll lately.

I’ll just let these stand on their own merits.

  • DaveM36

    I don’t have the words to adequately describe just how much of a piece of shit Dupont is for those statements.

    • 10thMountainFire

      Dude… he works for a network. That means he’s smarter than us.

      • MySpoonIsTooBig

        Not us necessarily, just bloggers. And not just smarter, also better at life

        • 10thMountainFire

          Because he has a photo with himself in a tie and a suit. Do YOU have one of those? NO.

          • MySpoonIsTooBig

            I own ties, and I own suits, but unfortunately because I am not a professional journalist I cannot afford a camera to produce the requested photographic evidence :-(

          • 10thMountainFire

            Well I am one pathetic loser.

          • MySpoonIsTooBig

            All of us are because none of us are awesome enough to be Kevin Dupont who is clearly the awesomest

          • 10thMountainFire

            Plus, his girlfriend is a model, he drives a Corvette, and he has a lot of followers are Twitter.

  • PTHawks3

    I view this as ESPN sticking it to Bettman — which I like. Who wouldn’t? I’ll watch some KHL games online, for sure. Because I miss hockey something awful right now! Maybe this will turn the screws in the PA’s favor, putting pressure on the NHL that the superstars are playing in Europe and ESPN is covering it and fans will flock to it because we’re fed up with the NHL screwing over the talent and pissing us off.

  • MySpoonIsTooBig

    1) Kevin Dupont is a gigantic sack of shit

    2) I don’t really have any objection to ESPN broadcasting KHL games. At worst it will have absolutely no effect whatsoever on the NHL, but at best there are a couple of potential avenues through which it could serve to force the NHL’s hand in ending this lockout…

    • 10thMountainFire

      Kevin Dupont is obviously insecure about how people see him. Pointing out that you have access to country clubs and that you’re really, really a real writer betrays his massive inferiority complex.

  • Ian S Carr

    Not entirely related to the topic at hand, but the tag box gives me a gigantic sad, seeing LOCKOUT as big as NHL or BLACKHAWKS. I look forward to that not being the case. Also, Kevin DuPont is frontrunner for Tool of the Week right now.

  • slagwater

    ESPN3, unless I am mistaken can only be viewed online so while this is an attempt to slap Bettman’s face, I don’t view it as a big deal. I don’t want to watch hockey sitting at my desk looking at a computer monitor but rather relaxing on my couch with a beer. ESPN’s regular coverage of hockey is a disgrace. There are times that important games and great plays get almost no coverage on Sports Center.
    Hopefully some networks will cover some AHL games. I could care less about watching the Wolves, but as I live in a distant NW burb, this has me interested.
    Every IceHogs regular season and postseason game, home and road, can be viewed on “23 Weather Now”, channel 23.2 in the Rockford area.
    Time to put that antenna back up and aim it at Rockford and see if I ca get this channel.
    .. slag ..

    • MySpoonIsTooBig

      There are also times when ESPN does a tribute to athletes that have passed away in the previous year and completely ignores the hockey players who died…

      • pompoon

        Did they mention the Lokomotiv crash last year? I feel like I remember some kind of flap about that, that they never said anything anything during their yearly tribute, but I could be wrong…

        • MySpoonIsTooBig

          Not only did they fail to mention the Lokomotiv crash (classless, but defensible since it happened in Russia not America) they also failed to mention Boogaard, Rypien, or Belak. Not a single one of the hockey players who passed away in 2011 was mentioned in their year-end “in memory of those we lost” segment.

          • burpchelischilli

            Those fuckers.

    • Lobster

      Espn’s hockey coverage is bad, but to suggest they just did this as a slap in the face to the NHL, come on. They probably did this to make a bit of a splash among puckheads (mission accomplished), hoping more hockey fans logged onto their website, starting following their hockey writers, or at least watched the KHL games and put some advertising money in espn’s pockets.

      I have a hard time believing that espn paid much of anything for the KHL deal, so it is probably a low risk move to try and get a small number of hockey fans on the NHL page of their website or something. Definitely not something a CEO would do just to rub salt in the NHL’s wounds, their is no point in that. At worst it is to delegitimize the NHL because it is a competitor, but certainly not just to slap bettman in the face.

  • 10thMountainFire

    That photo makes me want to feed Carcillo bath salts and drive him to Raffi Torres’ house.

    • MySpoonIsTooBig

      Perhaps you should drive him to Raffi Torres’ house THEN feed him bath salts so that you don’t have to sit in a car with a drugged-up goon…

      • 10thMountainFire

        Yeah. I don’t want him chewing on my dashboard.

        • Bwana

          Or your face.

  • 10thMountainFire

    Also, McClure wins the internets today for the Departed reference.

  • adelfiacco10

    Forget his contempt for blogging for a second, how awful a person is Dupont for bragging about his charity work to begin with? I hope he’s just trolling, I really do.

  • Lobster

    Bit of an unfair comment about espn. While they crap on hockey whether it is on or off their network and clearly view it as 2nd class, they also offered the NHL a deal when their contract with VS. and NBC was up. They got outbid pretty bad (I think they made an offer worth about 3/5′s of the NBC offer) but still they clearly don’t view it as entirely significant.

    • MySpoonIsTooBig

      In fairness though, they offered the NHL a really shitty deal. Games would only ever be broadcast on ESPN2, never the flagship network. There would only be 1 game aired per week, and the playoff coverage would have been the same as what it used to be where only 1/4 – 1/2 of the conference quarterfinal and semifinal games were actually aired. Their “bid” was little more than an insult to the league and the game

      • Lobster

        Horrible bid, great decision to stick with NBC. That doesn’t mean that espn was out to get the NHL or wants to rub salt in any wound. They are all about what they feel is best for their network and they didn’t believe that the NHL would help them out a whole lot. I don’t think it is personal though, as much as hockey fans tend to make it personal.

        • MySpoonIsTooBig

          I agree that it wasn’t about ESPN wanting to hurt the NHL or being “out to get” the league, just that the bid was emblematic of the complete and utter lack of respect ESPN has for the NHL and hockey in general. They simply don’t seen the value in hockey, and while I disagree they’re certainly entitled to their opinion

  • Sapper84

    This means I can get all my hockey, WNBA, and cricket coverage at one convenient place! I see no problem with this

  • 2883

    Maybe this will help the owners realize that there are other products out there that fans might pay attention to but I doubt it. I’ll probably tune in watch some Russian hockey.. beats sitting here paying attention to lockout news

  • Accipiter

    Some good news, Hossa is back on the ice, skating/doing drills with some of the coaches,
    as per Tracey Myers.

  • 421

    You guys do realize that ESPN3 has been broadcasting KHL games for like 3 years, right?

    • http://www.facebook.com/hair.helmet Hair Helmet

      Also, everyone you’ll ever know will die.