Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Worldwide Leader In Recycling

Hey, look - ESPN has re-posted Scott Burnside's ridiculous "Rating NHL Moves" column as if it were new. Does that give me the right to re-post my response verbatim? You bet it does! So here it is... in its entirety... ESPN-style, because that's how I roll.

[Ed. note: put the kids to bed before reading this post, as some of the language may not be suitable for younger readers.]

One of the great thing about being an unaffiliated blogger is that I can write things that the mainstream media or team-employed writers can't. For instance, you'll never see "Alexander Ovechkin has been scoring more than the sheep on 'Hurricanes fans drink free night' in Raleigh" appear on Tarik's blog. You'll never read "Steve Eminger couldn't punch his way out of a piss-soaked paper bag" on Vogel's blog. And there aren't too many places you'll read "Scott Burnside can go f..k himself."

But I can write it. In fact, I'm pretty sure I just did (well, almost anyway).

For those of you unfamiliar with Mr. Burnside's work, he was "a freelance writer based in Atlanta and is a frequent contributor to ESPN.com" (that starts him out with two strikes against him, doesn't it?) who now "is the NHL writer for ESPN.com." In his latest excremental article, he tackles franchise relocation in the NHL in light of today's news that the Penguins may not be long for Pittsburgh. In the interest of time, I'll skip straight to the "good" part which begins:
No one asked us, but if we were going to move an NHL team, there are a few we'd pick to relocate ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
We? What, do you have a turd in your pocket, Scott? Be a man and assert that what follows are your own ideas. Either that or share the byline. Anyway, you can probably see where this is going. Sure enough, the first team that should pick up and move before the Pens are "forced" to?
Washington Capitals: Let's review. Fans in the nation's capital wouldn't come out when the Capitals boasted Jaromir Jagr, the game's most exciting player. Now, they won't come out when the Caps boast one of the hardest-working teams in the NHL and one of the game's most exciting figures in Alexander Ovechkin. Maybe that's a sign. We're just guessing, but we bet fans in Houston or Kansas City, or even Waterloo, Ontario, would appreciate Glen Hanlon's squad a whole lot more.
Where to begin... How about with the fact that when Jagr was in D.C. he was not the game's most exciting player, but rather a lazy, selfish, pouting baby? Or, more importantly, the fact that fans did come out to see Jagr anyway to the tune of 17,341 (92.9% capacity) average per night in Jagr's first relatively-unproductive season? And while attendance is poor right now, it's still better than four other teams in the League and only four spots behind his beloved Thrashers.

Speaking of the Thrashers, earlier in the article Burnside chides the Devils for drawing "an announced crowd of less than 11,000 with the high-flying Atlanta Thrashers in town." If he were to check some facts, though, he wouldn't have been surprised as the Thrashers are the second-worst drawing road team in the League. How about them apples, Scottie?

But let's look at this at a more basic level:
  • Reason #1 that the Caps should not be relocated before the Penguins: they have an owner.
  • Reason #2 that the Caps should not be relocated before the Penguins: they have an arena.
I could go on (for example, I'm sure fans in Houston or K.C. would love the Caps - I know I do - but as D.C. has the fourth-highest per capita personal income of any metropolitan area in the country, as opposed to Houston (31), Kansas City (60) and Pittsburgh (54), I'm not so sure any of those cities could support a team better than D.C. potentially can - and I believe will). The point is... well... I'm not sure what the point is other than providing a cathartic rant about a biased columnist's neglect of facts and common sense. But then again, being able to write something like that is one of the great things about being an unaffiliated blogger, isn't it?

[Thanks to the folks in this thread for some of the numbers and ideas.]


Anonymous said...

Always fun to re-read a Japers classic.

BTW, now there’s a disclaimer topping the Burnside article:

"Editor’s note: The following is a Scott Burnside column that previously ran on Dec. 20, 2006. Reflecting on Tuesday’s news out of Pittsburgh, we revisit Burnside’s take of the NHL’s relocation landscape."

That was not there for the first day the re-post was live.

JP said...

You're absolutely right - that disclaimer was most definitely not there yesterday.

The Peerless said...

Let's review . . . Florida has been ranked 26th, 18th, 20th, 17th, 19th, and 22nd (this year) in attendance. Average rank: 20th. Meanwhile, Atlanta has had an average rank of 24th and has been no higher than 21st in the league in any of the past six years.

Even Washington, bad as they've been on the ice, has had an average rank of 22nd over the past six years.

He picked the wrong SE team to move.

Sig said...

How can a playoff team, one that has improved on their point total from the previous season every year, one that has the oldest players on average in the league (implies veterans), one that just acquired one of the greatest scoring Americans of all time, and one that has one of top scoring tandums in the league be ninth to last in attendance? Besides sporting some young talent, at least the Caps have some sort of excuse for not drawing fans. Atlanta has no excuses... besides being one of the worst hockey towns in America. Maybe he was just fuming from the Brashear/Vishnevski pounding?

Unknown said...

Reading ESPN for Hockey news is like watching Glenn Beck for your political commentary.

Anyway, good job on chopping up one of the mainstream mediots. This is far from the first time that ESPN has suffered from extremely poor editing and poor writing (Do they have editors?).

You want a weak market? Check out the Florida Panthers. Sure, they have a nice new arena, but it's out in the middle of nowhere. Fan support is extremely weak and it's not a healthy, growing market. How about Nashville? They have an exciting, successful team, yet very few corporations are shelling out bucks for boxes and pricey tickets.

Atlanta? They hardly support the Braves of Hawks effectively. Phoenix? oh, that's been beaten to death.

Washington isn't a great market, but it's not a bad market, either. It was doing OK before the expansion from 24 teams and will do OK in the future with an owner that cares.

Anonymous said...

How about that it is the first time I have seen anybody put the star Scottie in his proper place ,I wish more would pay attention if you realy would like to see more on the media star do google alerts under Scott Monte OR Scott Storch and learn how you could do better!