The View From Wisconsin
Just a random set of rants from a Sports Fan from Wisconsin.
Sunday, December 31, 2006
As a typical Predators fan, I'm always concerned with the fortunes of the team on a day to day basis. You can't be a fan of any sports team and not have this happen, I would think. There's a distinct difference, though, in the attitude when it comes to following this team.
In the past, it was a happy circumstance when they won – but you didn't expect them to go out and win games, night after night. Now, with the likes of Arnott, Kariya, Dumont, Suter, Weber and company on this team, you do expect them to win. It's only an odd situation when they don't. That is a major shift from those days of yore, when you just hoped that their hard work and tenacity would result in a lucky win. Now, it's only because something happened that took the game away from them.
That attitude change says something about this team. That and the fact they're 12-5-1 with their backup goaltender in net really tells you something.
On to other matters:
- The Milwaukee Admirals managed only their second loss in regulation for the month of December in Iowa on Saturday night. I'm not sure if it bothers me that they're taking so many games to OT, without finishing their opponents off in regulation. Still, to be where they are in the standings without their primary goaltender and without most of their firepower from the last few seasons is nearly outstanding. I honestly think that it's not a matter of if, but just when Claude Noel moves up to an NHL job – especially if he gets this team to the playoffs again.
- The execution of Saddam Hussein is not the be-all and end-all that some would hope it to be, to paraphrase the Bard. Hussein was an evil man who needed to be dealt with, yes – but his hanging is only a footnote to history, in my opinion. I also don't believe that confirmation of the death of Osama Bin Laden is going to do anything to end wars or make the world safer. One man can affect the destiny of many, but the death of one man doesn't necessarily affect the world as a whole.
- If anyone can explain to me, in plain language, what the Packers' playoff chances are, they're probably wrong. The easiest description I've heard was the quote from Steve Mariucci on NFL Network: "Every team has to win and then let the nuclear engineers figure it out." Actually, he's right – your chances drop if you don't win this week. The Packers probably aren't going to make the playoffs, of course – the Giants made sure of that Saturday night – but it's just amazing that we're still talking about their chances, even now.
- Speaking of the NFL Network, I'm not sure who's more to blame over the access issues. The NFL seems to think that their network is as good as ESPN, and should be carried like ESPN – on basic cable. What the NFL doesn't seem to realize is, ESPN got to where it was because it was in the right place, at the right time, with the right amount of content. To get to that point, the NFL is going to have to "pay their dues" by being another sports channel option, like CSTV and ESPNU. And no amount of letter writing and whining will change that. Oh, and a note to the NFL Network people: a better game broadcast would probably help your case.
- The NHL and Reebok are set to introduce their new "slimmed-down" uniforms at the All-Star Game in Dallas next month. It would behoove them to realize something about their planned product: uniforms, no matter what the sport, no matter what the occupation, are more meaningful to those who don't wear them than they are to those that do. No matter the opinions of those who own the team or who play the game – the most important opinion about what a team's players wear is those who are paying the freight: the fans. I honestly do not believe that it is a good idea to simply foist a new uniform of similar design on the fans of 30 team all at once. That isn't how it's done in other sports; uniforms have evolved over time and location, and all-at-once changes have rarely been taken with much approval.