Vancouver's Hockey "Media"

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Vancouver's Hockey "Media"

Postby Mondi » Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:12 am

I'm curious what posters around here think about the power of suggestion. Or the psychological impact redundant and insidious questions can have on human beings.

My view is that the new "hockey media" in Vancouver is, consciously or unconsciously, attempting to undermine the Canucks by creating an atmosphere of controversy and impending failure.

I know there are at least three classic responses to this kind of reasoning:

(1) These guys are big boys, professional athletes and they should be able to handle anything the press throws at them
(2) Players in other frenzied markets have succeeded before (Yankees, Lakers, Packers)
(3) Media is going to do whatever it takes to sell papers, gain listeners/viewers and attract hits

I would respond to each in turn, but then I will reserve that for another time or space.

What I am getting at this constant state of controversy and frenzy the local media is creating and does create around this team. Whether it is product of conscious efforts (which I think is true of Sekeras and Botchford) or systemic realities (i.e. 1040, the Province and SNP basically existing solely to cover the Canucks), I'm of the opinion that it does nothing but take away from the team's potential for success on the ice.

____________END HERE IF YOU'RE SATISFIED WITH THE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY___________________________________

I've written about this before on this site and old the Central site, but I think with the manufactured "controversy" over the goaltender I've reached a point where I've had it with the local coverage of this team. It is too immature. It is almost as if 20 years olds are covering the team.

There is no longer any support. Nor is their much responsible coverage. Just constant derision, innuendo and repetitive question asking. When Harrison Mooney provides the most thoughtful coverage of the team, I think that suggests we're getting to a point where the tail is wagging the dog. The media is creating the stories about the Canucks

Cam Cole, Iain MacIntyre and Tony Gallagher I suppose represent the old guard, but even they shift between reasoned analysis and junk journalism. And no, today I don't feel like providing citations. You might include Willis and G. McIntrye too.

Botchford, Sekeras, Pratt (formerly) and sometimes Price and Patterson provide, in my view, the lowest common denominator stuff though others contribute. And the others (Taylor, BMac, Rintoul, Moj) provide little balance to mere speculation and derision. Normally, the best they can do it preach about how this is Vancouver and it's a hockey market and people are going ask these questions, over and over. They seem to conflate notions about freedom of the press and journalistic persistence with rabid question asking.Then their are the question askers themselves, probably too numerous to name. Being "media" does not mean you need to get something controversial, it means you need to get the story whatever it may be.

Now, I am not fooling myself into thinking these guys are to hockey journalism what the New York Times is to well, journalism. And, I admit they are smart enough to know that a guy like Luongo will say something stupid if prompted enough times. After all, some hockey players just aren't the sharpest knives in the drawer.

I miss the days of balanced, passionate and heck, friendly coverage. I'm all for a little institutional bias if it helps or, and probably more likely, does not hurt the product on the ice. I'm not asking for some of the homerish American coverage you see from time to time, but more a 'friends of the team' approach. After all, as quick as he was to rip them down (and often reasonably), Tom Larschied was equally quick to get excited about their success. Heck Hughson, Robson (and the current protege) provided fair and balanced coverage, but of course their role is in-game. They didn't have to fill hours of time, nor did they have to attend pointless media scrums after practice. David Tomlinson is fair, if a bit robotic. Again, he is limited mostly in-game stuff. Same with Glen Quagmire, I mean Gary Valk--honest and insightful.

I liked what Ray Ferraro brings, but he's no longer "local". I think some national guys are quite good, others are similar to the local media. I liked the insight and intensity of Pierre McGuire, he seems to be gone too. Bob Mackenzie, Aaaron Ward, the guy from ESPN (LeBrun), they seem to cover the league like grown men should. Again, they fill 5 to 10 minute slots and think about other teams and other things.

They way I see it, if you've played team sports you know that unless Luongo is a shit teammate, there was no controversy to be had last week. This isn't NHL12, this just the NHL. The player who is playing better should play, not the goalie with 96 rating.

And, I'm not going to kid myself, the press have their job and the players have their. Some (Dan Russell) even suggest the team has the press in their pockets--that I think is foolish.

I harken for the days when the press covered the team like the men (remember Dennis Boyd) and were supporters of the team but remained honest to their craft (Lee Powel, JP McConnell). Now they seem to act like insecure "fans" who get an idea like "OMG the Canucks are like TOTALLY not tough enough" and then run with it and ask about it ad nauseum. Then they switch, to "OMG their is like TOTALLY a goalie controversy"...rinse, repeat.

OMG, Cody Hodgson is like TOTALLY is not as good as those other guys he played with at the WJC....

OMG, the Hawks like TOTALLY struggled last year so the Canucks will TOTALLY struggle this year...

OMG, Luongo is never good in October, we should TOTALLY like ask him about that starting in training camp every season like a HUNDRED AND FIFTY TIMES...

OMG, the Canucks have a FORTY YEAR DROUGHT, this organization is like totally CURSED...

Anyways, that's my mini rant for the night. And there is another one about the Canadian hockey media always trying to spin the game (or the NHL) into a constant state of chaos, but I digress.
Last edited by Mondi on Sun Dec 04, 2011 7:14 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Vancouver's Hockey "Media"

Postby Mr.Miyagi » Sun Dec 04, 2011 6:29 am

Mondi - Excellent analysis and great post.

I absolutley agree with you 100%. Coming off of the most successful season in franchise history (individual and team success) and the stories coming out of the west were about how the Sedins are too soft and Luongo is no good when the going gets tough. Also, when we lost Hamhuis our defence was no good anymore. Kesler and Burrows dissapeared. Blah, blah, blah ...
It was a summer of dissecting and analysing the team's failure to the point where we hit the panic but every time there is a couple losses in a row.

The average hockey fan knows better, but what about the fence-sitting hockey fan that doesn't? Does this kind of knee-jerk media make him/her think otherwise? Does the atmosphere around the media make them look elsewhere for a team to follow and cheer forr? For anyone arrogant enough to think this team doesn't need new fans or non-hockey fans to become fans of this club you should give your head a shake. In order to grow the game, we need new fans constantly. I don't want to hear it.

Back to the media ... I think the team (players, coaches, management) have it figured out. They can tune out the hype and controversy machine. They can differentiate between true statements or whim statements. The fans on the other hand, may not be able to.
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Re: Vancouver's Hockey "Media"

Postby BCReefer » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:32 am

You can say the samething about all media, we wanted 24/7 news and sports and now we have it. They need to fill air time with something so if there is nothing to talk about then make something up or talk about it so people start thinking there is an issue.

To be honest, I am starting to turn off 1040 more and more because they talk about the same crap day after day and baseball is one sport I don't give a damn about so once they talk about that I prefer to listen to 60 minutes of traffic. Having the paper guys on constantly pimping out their blogs or tweets ..... yawn ..... who cares what they think, can you count how many time they mention the Province during the morning and afternoon slots?

Maybe I still have the SC hangover but so far this year I just can't get up for the games, I have flipped channels to Discovery and watch a documentry and forget to turn back and miss an entire period. Tonight's game against Calgary has more interest but Columbus/PHO or Nashville, boring.
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Re: Vancouver's Hockey "Media"

Postby Mondi » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:52 am

Mr.Miyagi wrote:I absolutley agree with you 100%. Coming off of the most successful season in franchise history (individual and team success) and the stories coming out of the west were about how the Sedins are too soft and Luongo is no good when the going gets tough. Also, when we lost Hamhuis our defence was no good anymore. Kesler and Burrows dissapeared. Blah, blah, blah ...
It was a summer of dissecting and analysing the team's failure to the point where we hit the panic but every time there is a couple losses in a row.


I think this is the nub of the issue. When the Leafs win 3 in a row the media is practically falling all over themselves congratulating Brian Burke and talking about the playoffs. And here, our media just says something about a higher standard, how nothing is important until playoffs and how we cannot get too excited about regular seasons success with this core.

The reality is that no team has had a season like the Canucks did last year in a long time. Top in GF and GA is something that just does not happen. And yet, what do we continuously hear about? Six months out, in both print and the radio? Reasons why they lost to Boston and reasons why they will not win it this season. Still talking about how the PP went dry in the Finals while it remans #1 in the NHL. Still hearing about Brad Marchand on D. Sedin when he's 3 points out of the league scoring lead. Last season is over, it can be rehashed till the cows come home, but the reality is by almost any metric it was a massive success. The media will have you think otherwise. Strange, because they still trot out 1994 as some sort of shinning success. Then again it is easy for most of these 40 and 50-somethings to glorify a time when they were younger men, partied harder, drank more beer and hard more hair and less fat.

Mr.Miyagi wrote:Back to the media ... I think the team (players, coaches, management) have it figured out. They can tune out the hype and controversy machine. They can differentiate between true statements or whim statements. The fans on the other hand, may not be able to.


As for this point? I honestly and truly hope you are correct. Unfortunately, I have to disagree. I think a crew of undereducated 20 and 30-somethings are entirely susceptible to leadings questions and suggestion of the media. I really do.
Last edited by Mondi on Sun Dec 04, 2011 5:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Vancouver's Hockey "Media"

Postby ukcanuck » Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:05 pm

And yet if you are a media personality and say one thing positive for the Canucks, you are quickly accused of being in the teams pockets. Dan Russell, fat pig that he is spent a good portion of his radio show the other week to barbeque whatshisnoodle (botchford) for defending the Canucks after the dirtiest divingest most arrogant team in hockey tag that Recchi pinned them with.
As long as guys like ratfuck russell has a job in media, its always going to be the lowest common denominator

Nice rant by the way Mondi
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Re: Vancouver's Hockey "Media"

Postby RoyalDude » Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:27 pm

Great post Mondi, nice to know that I am not the only one out there sharing those same feelings regarding our local sports media.

You forgot to add Paul Chapman to the group, he is awful. Talk about stirring the pot on a so-called "goalie controversy" this guy is the worse, you can tell that Ferraro wants to tear this guy a new one. Ferraro is the only guy I can handle on 1040, after that I stop tuning in cause I find myself completely put off by these clowns.

It's a real wonder how GM's put up with these guys, Mike Gillis can barely contain his excitement from being interviewed by them. You can just tell in the tone of his voice that he has no respect for these jack asses, and rightly so. Poor Brian Burke and his fighting irish ways tried to go toe to toe with them but you can't beat the mighty pen and the media's 'last word in' positioning. David Pratts mocking of Burke's wife on public radio was nothing short of disgusting. David Pratt and Don Taylor's literal cock sucking of Ron Maclean's little dick when they got him on to take him to task for Macleans witch-hunting of Alex Burrows was pathetic. I've lost complete respect for Taylor, thank god for him he has Gary Valk or otherwise I wouldn't tune into his post game shows.

I find the ex-hockey players the most interesting cause well, they actually played the game and really know what goes on behind the scenes instead of the ramped up speculation and sensationalizing done by our local sports media figures.

But seriously, who are these guys and why do we listen? 99% of them never played the game of hockey but they talk with such wisdom, case in point - the great sage Tony Gallagher, just who the fuck is this guy? His condescending criticisms are like so above those he criticizes it's like they are doing him such a dis-service for bringing such comical anguish to his daily routine. I mean god, Tony has all the answers, it frustrates him greatly that nobody is tapping into his wisdoms on hockey.
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Re: Vancouver's Hockey "Media"

Postby dangler » Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:23 pm

got to agree with you royaldude other than Ferraro,Valk & Garret I don't put too much stock into whats being said or printed in the media.I find it astonishing how many of my fellow citizens drink that shit up though.

I used to absolutely hate Gallagher when he was only a writer,but actually find him amusing to listen to with his geeky delivery, and I even heard him complaining about the modern media the other day.
I never understood why Taylor took that radio gig $$?,it definately isn't his strong suit and has hurt his career.

If you have time to listen to Dan Russel you definately need some new hobbies.
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Re: Vancouver's Hockey "Media"

Postby Benjo » Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:57 pm

Pass It to Bulis' nerdy references and this here hockey talk message board is all I need. I have don't have time to listen to/read the rants/writings of a bunch of guys who are paid to cover the team but can only find headlines to talk about from front page of the CDC forum . These are guys that are blessed with media credentials that can ask hard hitting important questions yet they only choose to manufacture stories to create drama.
I know I'm not a strong contributor on this board but I appreciate the all of the people on this board that have unique opinions and actually research them to back them up with proof and debate. S_C, Topper, Potatoe, HW and many more continue to make this a one stop shop for all things Canuck related.

I also find if funny that the paid media has a strong dislike for bloggers, obviously see them as a threat. Except for Scott Oake who frequently uses Pass it to Bulis questions on After Hours.
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Re: Vancouver's Hockey "Media"

Postby nucksin7 » Sun Dec 04, 2011 6:58 pm

Great post Mondi. I commend you for saying what i think most of us are feeling.

The sports media in this town is absurd when it comes to the Canucks. They dont speak for the hockey club, they dont speak for the fans, they speak for themselves. Anytime anybody voices any displeasure with their coverage, they hide behind the excuse that these are "professional athletes", as if that makes their weak arguments & criticisms somehow valid.

I personally stopped listening to the TEAM 1040 last year during round 1 against Chicago, after they threw the team & Luongo under the bus after Game 5. It was post-game, Lu had just got lit up , the series was 3-2 Van heading back to Chicago, and I was embarassed listening to Blake Price & the idiots rip them up on air. I say embarassed because I knew, that somewhere, either in Vancouver or over the internet, Chicago fans were tuning in and laughing while our city devoured our team like the sky was falling. It makes the whole city, shit the whole of BC look bad everytime the Province's front page is another amateur column about "concern" "panic" or "worry". If only Tony Gallagher was held to the same lofty standards he has for the players everytime he writes an article, the man would of been on employment insurance 20 years ago.

Speaking purely as a fan, with no corporate interests or sponsorhsips, only the money I pay out of my pocket for tickets & beer, I enjoyed last season. From the start to, well almost finish, I enjoyed the whole ride. It was an excellent season. I look back on that club with great fondness. Everything about last season, except the bitter end, was everything you could want as a sports fan, of any team, in any sport. So why all the hate in the media? They surely dont speak for me, or my friends, or my family. All the people I know love this club.

I wish/hope that the players on the team know how much we as fans appreciate their accomplishments, no matter what all these self-righteous pencil pushing media stooges say about them.

Thanks for the thread Mondi, & giving me a chance to vent as well!


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Re: Vancouver's Hockey "Media"

Postby ESQ » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:25 pm

I agree with basically all of the sentiments in this thread. However...
Mondi wrote: SNP basically existing solely to cover the Canucks

My feeling, and what the general consensus in this thread so far seems to be, is that SNP's coverage isn't actually all that bad. I think Shorthouse is great and a worthy successor to Hughson and Robson, and that Garrett is smart enough to embrace the "Homer" label, but still provide critical colour commentary. Taylor is still one of the best highlights guys in the business, and when that's all that he's asked to do he is still great IMO.

These other melvins think that they need to convince everybody they're not homers, even though they write for the Province or have a show on the Team and clearly only watch Canucks hockey games, so they over-compensate. I would put Botchford, Gallagher, Chapman, Russell, Price, Patterson in this category. Pratt was in this category, and thank god he's gone. With Macintyre and Cole you at least can tell they still root for the Canucks, and they've seen enough to be able to ride out a 3 game losing streak.

Sekeres is my absolute least favourite (ever since he wrote that retarded "The Canucks and the Sedins are $30 million apart" article). However, he is a recent transplant to the city, I believe he is a Toronto-area native. I don't think he's over-compensating for his fandom, I think he's just a stupid twat.

I would agree with RD on the Cup hangover - my Canucks Media consumption has plummeted this year due to frustration from the SCF. No more Team, no more Province.

The hockey writers I do respect are Bob Mckenzie, Lebrun, Puck-daddy. I really, really miss Gary Mason's columns, I think he was the best sports columnist this city has had in recent memory. I also miss the original Canucks blogger for Eklund's site - I thought he was an excellent writer but after he left the site for THN I never saw his articles again. Really too bad.
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Re: Vancouver's Hockey "Media"

Postby Mondi » Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:55 pm

Yeah, I'll accept that SNP provides good coverage. You're right.

I guess SN is the video-wing of Canuck market saturation. While they do a reasonably good job, they certainly devote a tonne of time and resources which contribute to what I was describing.

Gary Mason was great, and it is no small wonder he now covers real news for the Globe and Mail (also no small wonder that Sekeras left the Globe to work in local sports radio #WTF).

I met Gary once at a talk on how the police handle in-custody accused (in the context of the Ron Paul inquiry among other things). He spoke on the role of media (social media / MSM) and is very well spoken.

Anyhow, good discussion. I hope to hear other's views on this (terribly important) matter. 8-)
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Re: Vancouver's Hockey "Media"

Postby nucksin7 » Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:42 am

ESQ wrote:I agree with basically all of the sentiments in this thread. However...
Mondi wrote: SNP basically existing solely to cover the Canucks

My feeling, and what the general consensus in this thread so far seems to be, is that SNP's coverage isn't actually all that bad. I think Shorthouse is great and a worthy successor to Hughson and Robson, and that Garrett is smart enough to embrace the "Homer" label, but still provide critical colour commentary. Taylor is still one of the best highlights guys in the business, and when that's all that he's asked to do he is still great IMO.

These other melvins think that they need to convince everybody they're not homers, even though they write for the Province or have a show on the Team and clearly only watch Canucks hockey games, so they over-compensate. I would put Botchford, Gallagher, Chapman, Russell, Price, Patterson in this category. Pratt was in this category, and thank god he's gone. With Macintyre and Cole you at least can tell they still root for the Canucks, and they've seen enough to be able to ride out a 3 game losing streak.


So who is it that hires these guys?

I've heard, but I have no idea, that Craig MacEwen is a boss for SNP. If so he obviously gets it.

Is Barry Mcdonald the boss on the TEAM? If so, somebody's gotta shake him up.

The Province is really just a lost cause. Pure Entertainment.
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Re: Vancouver's Hockey "Media"

Postby wienerdog » Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:46 am

In Vancouver, the media across the entire bandwidth, not just sports, had become dreadfully poor. Absolute garbage. In fact, that's true of the national media as well: even the once globally-respected G&M has become frequently unreadable.

As a result, I no longer give a fuck about the media. And I refuse to get worked up about it anymore either.

As some others have pointed out, that's why alternative and home-grown outlets - like this great site here - exist. They are resources where an enlightened few can apply their own communal filter to the dreck that's being pumped out there. The Internet is the last remaining safe-haven: you can pretty much find an analogous site to this one for almost any subject you can imagine.

Truth be told, it's the fault of the population at large. Look at the fucking diarrhea that's put on TV these days: when you have a street-pizza program like Survivor being accepted by the LCD as "reality", it's no wonder the state of the media is wallowing in the cesspool. Nobody demands better and holds any of these people accountable. They just keep slurping it up. It's revolting.

FFS™, these days you can be responsible for crashing an entire global economy without paying any consequences at all.
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Re: Vancouver's Hockey "Media"

Postby dbr » Mon Dec 05, 2011 12:24 pm

BCReefer wrote:You can say the samething about all media, we wanted 24/7 news and sports and now we have it. They need to fill air time with something so if there is nothing to talk about then make something up or talk about it so people start thinking there is an issue.


God forbid they go out and find something to talk about rather than resorting immediately to muckraking if someone hasn't dropped a real story right in their fucking laps.

I don't listen to 1040 at all so I can't really speak to what goes on there, but how much coverage of Canucks prospects occurs in the Sun or Province? How much about the business side of the Canucks organization? Hell I'd take a human interest story about Corey Schneider's family dog over stuff these guys fabricate when they would be otherwise required to get off their ass and do some reporting.

wienerdog wrote:In Vancouver, the media across the entire bandwidth, not just sports, had become dreadfully poor. Absolute garbage. In fact, that's true of the national media as well: even the once globally-respected G&M has become frequently unreadable.

As a result, I no longer give a fuck about the media. And I refuse to get worked up about it anymore either.


Great post, I completely agree. Journalism is in a sorry state these days for the most part, the silver lining is that there are lots of interesting alternatives out there and hopefully teams and players continue to cut the blowhards in the press out of the equation where possible using media like twitter.

On that note, I'm not a big Burkie fan but I had a chuckle at this quip:

@LeafsBB20: I love the quote about the liars in sports. Many gainfully employed in the media.
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Re: Vancouver's Hockey "Media"

Postby Mondi » Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:14 pm

Agreement on the general state of the media. And, I applaud those who reject the dreck (1040 in particular), but my question is whether these outlets undermine the psychology of the team.

We can tune it out because we have options, lives, and aren't on the team. The players may not be as discerning.

Here, here to the comment regarding a story that constitutes anything other than a (woefully inadequate) game recap or rampant speculation. Business side of the team? Xs and Os of the league's top PP? What is happening with the Chicago Wolves? Do people attend those games? Who is playing well? Does Cory Schneider have a dog? Does it take poops in the park?

A friend of mine made a great point the other day, he said, in a text, "Burke was right, they are maggots."
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