Straight to voice mail
And you thought the Academy Awards were long-winded and boring.
At least Oscar has a payoff, even though you have to sit through three-and-a-half hours of awards for best musical score in a foreign language animated short before they get to the good stuff.
For pure tedium, self-congratulatory Hollywood has nothing on NHL trade deadline day - a dawn-'till-dusk-and-beyond exercise in speculative verbosity with little or no payoff for viewers who blister their thumbs to the bone channel surfing between Canada's four major television sports networks in the vain hope of seeing or hearing something - ANYTHING - of substance.
Even though more than three-quarters of NHL teams are American-based, trade deadline day is a non-event in the US, to the point where it rated about a minute's mention on ESPN radio this morning, after coverage of the NBA All Star game - which was played two days ago - and the Boston Red Sox' ban on beer in the clubhouse. One minute is about all it takes to summarize the interesting and relevant transactions that occured before the 3pm Monday trade deadline.
It's either a testament to Canadians' love of hockey or a gigantic miscalculation on the part of the national sports media that trade deadline day in this country got more wall-to-wall coverage than last night's Daytona 500 got in the US. Not that the two events are entirely dissimilar - they both feature frequent wrecks, albeit of a different nature.
Maybe that's the solution. Make the trade deadline coincide with the Daytona 500 every year, and have James Duthie, Bob McKenzie, Nick Kypreos et al ride shotgun and report, analyze and rumourmonger down the backstretch at 200 miles an hour. It might not be logistically practical, but considering the relative failure of conventional marketing methods, it's one way of reminding the American market than the NHL actually exists.