Wednesday, March 3, 2010
TRADE DEADLINE THEATRE
I loathe what Canadian sports television has done to NHL trade deadline day. I love the live coverage and as-it-happens reporting on major deals that could make or break a team's Stanley Cup aspirations. It's the painfully contrived way in which it's presented that bugs my white freckly caboose. I realize that having anchor men and analysts answer their cell phones live on the air as the deadline looms is supposed to give the impression of plugged-in immediacy, but to me it comes off as rude and unprofessional at best, and insultingly phoney at worst. An announcer who interrupts a broadcast to take a phone call is no less discourteous than the self-indulgent blowhard who texts or yammers away on a cellphone in a restaurant to the exclusion of the other people at his or her table. I also wonder how many of the calls are real and how many are staged for effect. Is that really Scotty Bowman talking trade scuttebutt on the other end of Pierre McGuire's Blackberry, or is McGuire asking some hapless corner store owner if he's got Robin Hood by the bag? Is Nick Kypreos actually on the line with some of his New York cronies, getting the goods on the latest Rangers deal, or is it Nick's turn to order pizza for the the gang at Sportsnet? It all adds up to a cluttered, confusing and campy package that has a tendency to alienate the audience, while information gathered OFF the air and fed to a focused anchorman whose committment is to the viewer would make for a much more polished and credible presentation. So please, keep the cell phones holstered, and spare us the theatrics. (*cell phone ring*). Hello? Yes, Pierre. Yes, as a matter of fact, my refrigerator is running. I'll do that. Bye now.