Greed before sport: Olympic hockey

For today’s Dayton Grassroots Daily Show we discussed the Olympics- and our feelings about the possibility of not having N.H.L. players in the international games. It seems that Gary Bettman, NHL commish, thinks that the Olympics aren’t good for the NHL- even though viewership of the Canada/USA game on Sunday had better ratings than game 7 of last year’s Stanley Cup (note, I would have been watching if it were available on broadcast).

Here’s just a bit out of the New York Times today:

Bettman, the N.H.L. commissioner, has suggested that shutting down for 15 days may be more costly to the league than the benefits it derives from having its stars showcased internationally. The league gets no revenue from Olympic telecasts, but the high viewership numbers suggest that the N.H.L. is getting more exposure from the Olympics than Bettman or anyone else expected.

via Inside the Rings – N.H.L.’s Doubts About 2014 Games Are Challenged – NYTimes.com.

Bettman thinks of the players in the league as slaves- which is what happens when you have a virtual monopoly. Look at the NCAA- same thing.

Without the fans, you have nothing – and the fans and the players still think there is something cool about national bragging rights on a global scale.

Which brings me to sports, right here in Dayton. I believe we have some core sports competencies that aren’t being exploited. This area has a history of creating some serious talent- football, basketball, track and field- while not doing as well in baseball, soccer or hockey. It’s one of the core strengths in the community- and one that is underappreciated and overlooked.

Imagine if we had regional, coordinated training programs, allowing the best players to play for the region on a much larger competitive circuit. When Commissioner Dan Foley started his sports authority process- I was hoping we’d see program coordination- instead, all we got was a pitch for convention and sports tourism business.

One of the things healthy communities do is create opportunities for all to get involved in sports as participants. Kettering has done an outstanding job of providing facilities for residents and should be considered the benchmark community. It’s time all of the region raised the bar.

Here’s our ramble for the day- enjoy:

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8 Responses

  1. Maddi Breslin February 25, 2010 / 11:58 am
    Neat program you guys!   Hockey is humming in Ohio leading up to the State Championship.
    Centerville High Hockey Team has won 2 games — playing again Saturday in Columbus at the Blue Jackets
    practice rink.  They’re playing Dublin Jerome — a tough team.  C’vlle can win this and get to the final two as they did last year.  Joe Breslin, co-captain is still scoring and assisting like crazy!  The team is gelling and the fans are yelling!
  2. Maddi Breslin February 25, 2010 / 1:49 pm
    W-A–Y  OUT in Bellbrook?   that’s a hop, skip and a jump.  There’s some great soccer all over Montgomery County for little kids, youth, high-schoolers, old fogies, and pros.  Cheerio!
  3. Stan Hirtle February 26, 2010 / 12:12 am
    Kind of a bummer that the Olympic Hockey, like more and more sports events, are all on cable. Used to be there was lots of baseball and basketball on free as well as some occasional Olympic hockey and the like. Now most sports are on cable. Baseball really blew it with generations fo fans. The Reds used to be on dozens of times. Now you never see them without cable. UD has a handful of free games. The only sport that keeps people watching their teams for free is the NFL, which is the most successful sport. Before long bowl games are going to be on cable, as is Monday night. Lots of sports are doing more on cable and less on free. Sports are cashing in but they are also losing fans.
  4. Maddi Breslin February 26, 2010 / 9:03 am
    Often High School, Middle School, Youth Leagues feature mostly FREE games or charge small fees to watch terrific kids play really good games of Hockey, Soccer, Football, Baseball, Softball, Basketball, and so forth.  You can probably see future champs and pros in some of those sports.  Some schools even have ski and snow boarding clubs.  It is terrible what has been done to professional and college sports.  Admission to live games is often exorbitant, preventing family outings so young aspiring players never get to see role models.  It never ceases to amaze me that supposedly learned people who run things don’t ever imagine that lower admission fees could bring out many fans.  Why don’t we have more FAMILY NIGHT outings where tickets would cost $5.00 a person.  That would delight many families.  Apparently many sports entities don’t believe we’re in a Recession/Depression.  They haven’t realized just how many Americans have reached the bottom of the barrel THROUGH NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN, I might add .    It is perfectly awful that exorbitant admission fees are charged for plays and musicals and entrance fees all over the County precluding the FORMERLY MIDDLE CLASS AND THE POOR from ever attending such events.  We are on a downhill slide in more ways than one .
  5. Greg Hunter February 26, 2010 / 9:25 am

    And so, after a day of braying for money in the markets, traders are winding down with curling. It is, fans say, a bit of after-market therapy. Curling is so slow and drawn out that it becomes mesmerizing.
    “It is like drinking merlot,” said Douglas A. Kass, the president of Seabreeze Partners, who got hooked on Olympic curling a few years ago via CNBC.

    David made this post a negative about the NHL but the Video was positive about the Olympics, especially the other sports.  I have grown to love the new sports added including Curling, which reminds me of Long Board that I played at the Fox and the Hound.  The Curling Finals are on tonight at 6 pm and then there is Hockey on starting at 3 pm.
     

  6. David Esrati February 26, 2010 / 10:03 am

    @Maddi – I agree completely. Going to watch Dunbar vs Marshall in hoops is 10X better than UD playing anyone. The kids play their heart out- and the ticket- is under $10.

    But- what’s a “middle class”- all we have now is the über rich, the poor – and those who work for the Government.

  7. David Lauri February 27, 2010 / 10:49 pm
    Kind of a bummer that the Olympic Hockey, like more and more sports events, are all on cable.
    The rumors are that the Winter Olympics will be cable-only next time, specifically on ESPN. Poor NBC hasn’t made enough money.

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