Has it come to this?
NEW YORKâ€”Flanked by Food Network president Brooke Johnson and cooking-show host Rachael Ray, Commissioner Gary Bettman announced yesterday that the NHL has opted out of its contract with the Versus cable channel (formerly the Outdoor Life Network) and has reached a long-term broadcasting deal with the Food Network starting in the 2007-08 season.
"In all my years as commissioner, I have learned that our diverse group of fans and players all enjoy food of some sort. Italian, French, barbecue, quick-and-easy 30-minute mealsâ€”you name it, one or more of them eat it," said Bettman, adding that Iron Chef French host Hiroyuki Sakai will join play-by-play announcer Mike "Doc" Emrick and analyst Brian Engblom to form a new lead announcing team for all Food Network games. "This partnership has been a long time coming. If the Food Network would have been around in 1991, we would have left ESPN in a heartbeat."
. . .
"We liked the idea of having hockey because it has two halftimes," said Food Network president Johnson, adding that the first game on the channel will feature the ceremonial dropping of an inaugural homemade Italian meatball at center ice by honorary referee Mario Batali. "Our debut coverage will include a halftime show hosted by Giada De Laurentiis, who will recap the game's events while guiding you through the preparation of Sicilian penne with swordfish and eggplant. Or, if you are in the mood for something more immediate, on-ice reporter Paula Deen will spend timeouts showing you certain tactics to enhance the flavor of your traditional southwestern dip."
http://www.theonion.com/content/news/nh ... _with_food