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Sports Guy: I love this game


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#1 betterREDthandead

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 11:08 AM

Sports Guy: I love this game

I would like this column better if Simmons didn't walk smack dab into the (mostly true) stereotype of Boston fans - namely, they're a bunch of bandwagoneers who act like their teams are God's gift to sports and soak up their teams' positions in the center of the sports world (in their eyes) as long as that team is, in fact, winning. The Bruins finally turn into a good team, just in time for Simmons to be all over that action.
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#2 Shoreline

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 11:20 AM

The same city spawned Red Sox fans, and we know how absolutely pissed off and bitter they were for years until they finally won a World Series that the teenagers/young adults can remember. Right now though Bruins fans don't really have another New England team to hate. Soon enough..

Edited by Shoreline, 19 May 2009 - 11:32 AM.


#3 auxlepli

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 11:32 AM

Bill Simmons is another in long line of ESPN idiots.

#4 Chunkylover

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 12:40 PM

While it's great that the national media is out there promoting hockey, is it really worth it to have trend-hopping media band-wagoneers touting the merits of the game while pointing out specious reasons for hockey's struggle for prominence?

Also, it's no surprise that some guy who watched Cherry coach would be attracted to his canard that Europeans have destroyed the game. Fedorov was one of the most popular players in the nineties and got many across the States interested in the game, and no one would call Ulf Samuelsson or Vladdy weak or soft.

The real problem is that too many Americans would rather follow the bandwagon sports baseball and football (gotta have something to talk about during the lunch break), and this guy is another one of them.

#5 ManLuv4Clears

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 01:04 PM

QUOTE (Chunkylover @ May 19, 2009 - 01:40PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
While it's great that the national media is out there promoting hockey, is it really worth it to have trend-hopping media band-wagoneers touting the merits of the game while pointing out specious reasons for hockey's struggle for prominence?

Also, it's no surprise that some guy who watched Cherry coach would be attracted to his canard that Europeans have destroyed the game. Fedorov was one of the most popular players in the nineties and got many across the States interested in the game, and no one would call Ulf Samuelsson or Vladdy weak or soft.

The real problem is that too many Americans would rather follow the bandwagon sports baseball and football (gotta have something to talk about during the lunch break), and this guy is another one of them.

I like Bill Simmons and he's usually a good read. Anyone that reads him on regular basis would know he does mention hockey, he just never dedicates a full column to the sport. As for the bolded, true, and if the NHL wants to try and break into the top 6 of sports again in the US it needs fans like this. Until then it will continue to be treated like a red headed step child with broadcasting rights to Versus.

#6 BlakChamber

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 01:07 PM

QUOTE (Chunkylover @ May 19, 2009 - 11:40AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The real problem is that too many Americans would rather follow the bandwagon sports baseball and football (gotta have something to talk about during the lunch break), and this guy is another one of them.

How exactly are football and baseball "bandwagon" sports? This should be good.

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#7 ManLuv4Clears

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 01:33 PM

I found it interesting that a "bandwagon fan" would say this:

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I grew up a hockey lover in Boston, and the sport's nonstop feistiness pushed it over the top for me. But I cooled on the B's after college, when owner/miser Jeremy Jacobs kept pinching pennies at the expense of Cup hopes. Other reasons: too many soft Euros; too many instigator penalties, helmets and eye shields, not enough old school. When overexpansion mortally wounded franchise feuds -- after all, the more times NHL teams play each other, the more they despise each other -- the sport's feistiness was sucked away like pus from an aching knee.

Problem was, we missed the pus. The NHL didn't get it, though. Add the ghastly trap and overpriced tickets, and it's no wonder fans trickled away. After the ruinous lockout that wiped out the 2004-05 season, hockey devolved into a niche sport, and that was that.

Or so I thought. Because, as it turns out, I really like hockey again. A boom of superskilled players helped, but not as much as the NHL's reembracing its chippy DNA. Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke admitted as much to me when we shared a panel at MIT's Sloan Sports Analytics Conference recently. All he wants from any game, he said, is for his fans to see a few goals, a donnybrook or two and, hopefully, a win.


How dare he say anything negative, albeit somewhat true about the NHL. The NHL doesn't need fans like this coming back and watching the sport, it's having better luck reaching out to a new untouched market... rolleyes.gif

Edited by ManLuv4Clears, 19 May 2009 - 01:34 PM.


#8 Valas19

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 01:48 PM

I like Bill Simmons but have had to stop reading his columns as he can't seem to write one without mentioning either the Red Sox, Celtics or Patriots.
Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

#9 betterREDthandead

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 02:03 PM

QUOTE (ManLuv4Clears @ May 19, 2009 - 02:33PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How dare he say anything negative, albeit somewhat true about the NHL. The NHL doesn't need fans like this coming back and watching the sport, it's having better luck reaching out to a new untouched market... rolleyes.gif

You're missing the point.

Sometime back, Simmons wrote an "I'm done with hockey" column. I don't remember exactly when, but it detailed his slide into hockey non-fandom, which as he mentioned again here, happened not too long after he left college. If I remember Simmons right, he graduated college in the early-mid 90s.

He doesn't like Jeremy Jacobs as an owner, which is funny because he was fine with Jacobs when the Bruins went to the Finals twice in three years ('88 and '90.) I somehow doubt that it's coincidence that his distaste for hockey occurred while the Bruins sucked. Meantime, he missed the Wings-Avs rivalry and a lot of good hockey that just wasn't being played in Boston. And now, we still have the instigator penalty and the league is stepping in and suspending people for "message-sending", and "soft Euros" abound in hockey, like "Looch" who he loves so much, but the Bruins are good again. And so Bill Simmons is a hockey fan again.

I like a lot of stuff that he writes, but he's also your typical bandwagon-hopping, universe-revolves-around-us Boston fan when it comes to the Bruins.
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#10 Theophany

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 02:05 PM

Interesting that he whines about Walker's punch, but then praises hitting and fighting in hockey.

Hypocrisy much?

#11 ManLuv4Clears

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 02:12 PM

QUOTE (betterREDthandead @ May 19, 2009 - 03:03PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You're missing the point.

Sometime back, Simmons wrote an "I'm done with hockey" column. I don't remember exactly when, but it detailed his slide into hockey non-fandom, which as he mentioned again here, happened not too long after he left college. If I remember Simmons right, he graduated college in the early-mid 90s.

He doesn't like Jeremy Jacobs as an owner, which is funny because he was fine with Jacobs when the Bruins went to the Finals twice in three years ('88 and '90.) I somehow doubt that it's coincidence that his distaste for hockey occurred while the Bruins sucked. Meantime, he missed the Wings-Avs rivalry and a lot of good hockey that just wasn't being played in Boston. And now, we still have the instigator penalty and the league is stepping in and suspending people for "message-sending", and "soft Euros" abound in hockey, like "Looch" who he loves so much, but the Bruins are good again. And so Bill Simmons is a hockey fan again.

I like a lot of stuff that he writes, but he's also your typical bandwagon-hopping, universe-revolves-around-us Boston fan when it comes to the Bruins.

I'll trust your opinion on this as you are on the east coast and probably have the pleasure or lack there of, of dealing with these types on a regular basis.

#12 Shoreline

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 02:15 PM

QUOTE (Theophany @ May 19, 2009 - 12:05PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Interesting that he whines about Walker's punch, but then praises hitting and fighting in hockey.

Hypocrisy much?

What he's whining about is likely that the refs didn't let Lucic wail on Walker, stepped between players, refusing to let them settle it on the ice, and that the refs are being overreacting like the NBA refs.

It's not hypocrisy really, but he wants bedlam on the ice, which is not tolerable in today's politically correct world. This ain't the UFC, but the league certainly does send mixed signals about things.

#13 betterREDthandead

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 02:51 PM

QUOTE (ManLuv4Clears @ May 19, 2009 - 03:12PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'll trust your opinion on this as you are on the east coast and probably have the pleasure or lack there of, of dealing with these types on a regular basis.

In the interest of full disclosure, my opinion on Boston fans was formed before I got here; moving here simply confirmed it. I didn't see a single piece of Bruins merchandise around here until the playoffs began this year. I sure saw a lot of "Yankees suck" t-shirts, though.

I can't blame Boston fans entirely. The media enables it. ESPN made this big deal of all three Boston teams winning on the same day a little while ago and went so far as to make a poll question of it: which Boston team was most likely to win their championship this year? I sure don't remember any such poll question whenever Detroit pulled that feat.
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#14 C-TownWing

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 02:55 PM

I actually think Simmons is an excellent writer, but it's a rarity to catch him writing about anything not spelled N-B-A, which is an unfortunate and utter waste of his talents. Even in this one, he couldn't resist a couple paragraphs of NBA commentary. He also manages to reference Rocky in just about every single one of his columns, but I don't mind that nearly as much, I like Rocky too.

#15 Shockwave180

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 03:17 PM

This is a great thing. Sure, the "soft Euros" line is stale and ridiculous, but as others have said, hockey needs fans like this to re-discover their love for the game, even if they're a bit uninformed and a touch xenophobic. Columns like this can only help the sport, and snobs who want to just call Simmons an "idiot" need to grow up and be happy that hockey's finally getting some good press from the mainstream.
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#16 C-TownWing

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 03:46 PM

QUOTE (BlakChamber @ May 19, 2009 - 02:07PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How exactly are football and baseball "bandwagon" sports? This should be good.

I actually don't think that's entirely invalid. It's beyond dispute that football and baseball have more fans (true or otherwise) in the US than hockey. But it's also true that because these sports are the most popular, tons of people who barely follow sports (or sometimes don't even follow sports at all) casually pay attention to it more or less just so they can keep up with the water cooler conversation.

I've actually been excluded from conversations recently because I don't even pretend to give a crap about what the Cavaliers are doing (not baseball or football, but the same principle). People with thinner skin might be averse to that and pay attention even if they don't REALLY care.

That may or may not have been what he was getting at, but there's my take FWIW.





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