$0.02: NHL still is taking one for the team | SummitDaily.com

$0.02: NHL still is taking one for the team

DEVON O'NEILsummit daily news
Devon O'Neil

It’s weird how the human memory works better when the point to be recalled is something the rememberer has good reason to recall. Lucky for you, that’s not supposed to make any sense. But here’s the meat: Last summer I wrote a column about the NHL’s new TV deal with the Outdoor Life Network and NBC. I argued that the league hurt itself by not caving to the lower dollars ESPN was offering at the time, because the coverage and exposure that ESPN would devote to the league was worth more than a dollar-signed bottom line. (Instead of choosing ESPN, the NHL went with OLN’s richer offer.)In the days that followed, my e-mail inbox filled up with venemous cobra strikes from people I didn’t know. They said I was one of “them,” that pitiful, brainless corner of mosquitoes who bow to all that is ESPN. They ripped my integrity, called me stupid, threatened to behead my live-in turtle.I hope they’re still reading about the NHL these days. It’s not exactly a must-see right now – at least not according to the nation’s television viewers.

Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals was reportedly outdrawn by a college softball game (on ESPN2). And Game 2 of the finals was reportedly outdrawn by a rained-out baseball game (on ESPN).Don’t call it pathetic. Do call it embarrassing. …That was no seagull egg the U.S. soccer team laid on the field in front of the Czech Republic players on Monday. No, that sucker looked more like an ostrich egg. If only it were a few feet wider, the American players could’ve crawled inside it after the match. …Is it me, or does the U.S. hype surrounding this year’s World Cup team smell a lot like that which followed America’s alpine skiers everywhere they went before the Turin Olympics? …Our TV excerpt of the week comes from Trey Wingo, the usually reliable ESPN anchor who obviously knows much more about American “football” than the rest of the world’s “football.”

Leading into the first SportsCenter World Cup highlight of the tournament, Wingo explained that Costa Rica’s team is nicknamed the “Ticos” because “that’s what people from the island of Costa Rica are called.” Costa Rica, an island? (No, Trey.) …The beat goes on for Andy Roddick. Still labeled as something of an underachiever as far as U.S. tennis stars go, Roddick recently hired one of the men whose legend he chases every time he takes the court: the fiery, always entertaining Jimmy Connors. Connors’ title: “coach and mentor.” …You almost can’t help but laugh as the federal government and Major League Baseball’s investigative team battle to see who gets to bust up the game’s steroids ring. To say they’re not helping each other out is a huge understatement. …Our quote of the week comes via one of our sister papers, the Aspen Times. In a story about Betty “Hoops” Shurin, “an Aspen local known for hula-hooping while snowboarding,” the Times’ Joel Stonington reported that she recently broke her own world record for the fastest 10K hula hoop. It happened during the Bolder Boulder, which Shurin finished in 1 hour, 28 minutes.

Still, the feat had to be captured on video according to Guinness law, which presented a problem. “We actually outran the camerawoman, who sucked,” Shurin said. “We get there, and five minutes into it, she trips over her own foot and falls. Caught up with us in the first mile.”Shurin went on to say, about the way she avoided the suffocating crowds that make the race one of the biggest in the nation: “I communicated with the bubble, and the bubble communicated with me.” …In parting, if you wanted to see the one and only O.J. Simpson on Tuesday night, all you had to do was go to Downstairs at Eric’s in Breckenridge.Devon O’Neil can be contacted at (970) 668-4633, or at doneil@summitdaily.com.

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