Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Blind Leading The Blank

SenShot talkes about Bruce Garrioch. This moved me to write this comment in reply:
I think you give Boo Boo too much credit. History has shown that there's no place in the news, sports news especially, for fair, reasoned, balanced discussion. It is all about shock value and scooping the opposition. The mere fact that you pay attention to him means that at some level his crazy antics are working. Me? I read about what he's up to when you or other 'bloggers write about him.

Admit it, if Boo Boo had been right about the Kings, it wouldn't have mattered that he'd pulled it out of his ass, he'd have looked fucking brilliant.

I think the fundamental problem is that Ottawa sports fans in general are bandwagonists -- they are there when the times are good, and absent when the times are not so good (see also the CFL and the Ottawa Lynx). The problem is that bandwagonists are also lazy fans, they look for the easy answer (Hey! That centerman keeps doing those no-look drop-giveaways!) and not the hard ones (Hey!... um.)

This is why goalies get run out of town. Everyone blames the guy in the crease, but the five guys on the ice (and/or in the penalty box as the case may be) gets a free pass for some reason. I don't think Gerber, Emery, or LeClaire were as bad as the guys in front of them made them look. (Yeah, LeClaire isn't gone yet, but if Spezza goes or July 1 passes... well I think he's next on the hit list, miracle in game 5 not withstanding.)

For a bandwagonist, sports are supposed to be about fun. And for a professional sport that you pay money to go to, "fun" means "winning", and since the home team is the one there most of the time, the home team is the one you want to win. And let's face it, if you are a casual fan who's shelling out $100 to $200 a pop for a night out (plus the required 45 minutes in the parking lot), you want some FUN for your money.

Personally I have my doubts about this team. They were streaky, and only rarely showed the depth and discipline that are needed in the playoffs. There's something fundamental missing, and I'm starting to doubt that something can be found while the current core of the team (Alfredsson, Spezza... um?) are still going to be productive. And given that, wouldn't it be better to trade them now while they have value, in exchange for longer term assets that can be built up?

I don't want to say yes, but it's Murray's job to look at hard questions like this to see if there is an answer either way, no matter who in the media is banging whatever drum.

The media's job is the same as the politician, to figure out where their audience is going and to get out in front of them. And that's all Boo Boo and his ilk are doing.