I know my esteemed partner the great Randy Hahn usually has Randy’s Ramblings but since I have been on the road all month I am going to borrow from Partner and have a few mental ramblings of my own.
With all due respect to the hockey knowledge of Nashville GM, David Poille and the incredible talents of his defenseman, Shea Weber, I never would have matched the Philadelphia Flyers 14 year $110 million dollar contract offer.
The only reason is strictly financial. The front end loaded contract pays Weber a reported $27 million over the next 11 months and $68 million in bonus monies over the first 6 years of the deal.
Just because one team makes an over the top offer to a talented player doesn’t mean you have to match the questionable decision. Sometimes you just have to push away from the table when the money gets crazy.
My friend and Partner the Great Randy Hahn and I got a nice mention on a sports website regarding our broadcasting of Sharks games. The article noted that even though we work for the Sharks we aren’t over the top in our advocacy of the team.
When I first started I would have been tickled pink getting complimentary kudos. However as life goes on and a person gets older and hopefully wiser you let most comments role off you, good or bad.
Loving or hating a broadcaster of a sports team is so subjective. People will like you sometimes just based on how you look. That’s why Randy has so many female fans.
Other fans will hate you by the sound of your voice or the cut of your suit. Most fans love or hate you just because of which team you work for.
If you let every comment affect your mood and broadcasts you won’t last very long in the business, nor should you.
The truth about broadcasting these days from the local to national levels is that’s it is all about homerism. Local teams and broadcast partners are encouraging, (read. Demanding) a heavy home team lean. Just watch the Olympics.
I understand why. Owners put a ton of money into their teams and expect an endorsement of the on ice product. When you watch some broadcasts they are downright 3-hour infomercials.
I am glad to work for an organization that doesn’t want their broadcasters that way. That isn’t to suggest I haven’t been called to the Bosses office a few times. The Head Honchos don’t object to the veracity of my comments rather my tone, (you may have noticed I can get a tad negative!)
Anyway, I used to think the tone argument was weak until this summer. I have been having quite a few discussions…debates.. I mean arguments with my daughter and I have found myself disagreeing with and reprimanding her on her tone of voice.
A classic case of do as I say and not as I do moment. Hopefully I can remember the lesson.
I did something this past this month I have not done in 12 years, I got back out on the ice and helped coach at the Sharks Summer Hockey Schools. The great Curtis Brown who runs the show over at Sharks Ice let me get the blades back on and along with the wonderful Jonathon Cheechoo, instruct on the fundamentals of the game. It was really enjoyable because my kids were players at the camp. Fun time for a Dad.
First off, Curtis Brown and Jonathon Checchoo are two of the best people to ever wear a Sharks jersey. When you hear the word character, you should think of those two as shining examples of a word we often use but have a hard time pinpointing what it really means.
Second, a very special Thanks to Marjorie Taylor and all the other coaches who made me feel welcome and ran a great hockey school.
Third, Curtis Brown threw out a very interesting observation during the last day scrimmage. He noted that coaching and teaching the skills and fundamentals of the game have improved for minor hockey players and coaches. Unfortunately with all the private lessons, power skating and 365 day hockey camps we are creating robot players. "Hockey School Players.”
He is right on the money. There are many young players who can zip through the pylons and fire a shot top corner in a controlled drill. But put them on the ice in a game and wow things change fast. Hockey is a read and react fast game. You learn only by doing in a game. Drills, instruction and coaching will help a player be more skilled but not necessarily a better hockey player.
Curtis Brown’s solution is one I whole-heartedly agree with. You’ve got to let the kids fail at something a couple of times so they can figure it out themselves. Encourage players to make plays unafraid that a mistake will lead to some bench time or talk time with the coach. Feedback is great but too much analysis leads to player paralysis.
Coach like that you will help develop good students of the game as well as good players.
As I mentioned at the start of the blog I am traveling this month. Driving with my kids the other day they asked what are some of my pet peeves as we were stuck in traffic.
Just for fun here ya go:
Slow drivers in the left lane (I know one leads to the other)
Kids with bad or no manners (parents that is your fault)
Parents who yell at refs during their kids sporting events
Anything wrinkled (before you start my kids laughed and asked if my face was included in that. I told them I earned every one of these lines)
Men who don’t take their hats off in a restaurant.
Talking Heads on CNBC/FOX/MSNBC who just spout the party’s line and don’t answer the question.
When people use a Debit Card for a $2.95 purchase at 7/11. (Really, you don’t have five bucks?)
Those are just a few believe me I have many more.
I know I’m getting old. I’d be interested to read some of your peeves in the comments section but don’t go for the easy ‘’bald headed know-it-all hockey broadcasters”!