Dear Versus, You Suck

Dear Versus,

Can you tell me what the hell you were thinking?

If your broadcast of tonights Sharks vs. Avalanche game was a tryout for my Drunken Hockey Blog idea, you may have won the top slot in the lineup.

There were two main problems with the game:

1) The look.
At the start of the game, the ice was blue. Everything white was blue. Then it was yellow. It didn’t get better until the third period. Maybe it’s just that I haven’t seen that many games from San Jose, but it was very distracting. Maybe it was good that I was distracted, because I was getting a headache from what I thought was a shaky cameraman. Then I figured out that the game looked pixelated. Did you see how the boards looked on an angle? It made Blues Clues look Hi-Res. Parts of the ice looked like it was in a heat wave. If you need any pointers on how hockey should look, call the CBC, NESN, or even Altitude.

2) Your Announcers.
Could your announcers even act like they care about the game? Stories, anecdotes, everything but calling the game. The only time they called plays in the first, and most of the second, was when the crowd reacted to something. Want an example? Between TV timeouts in the first period, the play started off talking to John-Michael Liles and his dad. Fine, that’s OK, but it kept going and kept going, then the on air team talked about other stuff until Peter Budaj made a huge save, which got a small mention, and then they talked about other stuff until the next TV timeout. One save is it for an entire segment of play. Doesn’t that seem a little sparse to you? If your on air team doesn’t care about the game, how are we supposed to care? They don’t sound engaged in the game, they sound like they want to be at the bar talking hockey. They couldn’t even pronounce the player’s names (Wolski is pronounced with a V, Stastny is not Stostny). And someone tell John Vanbiesbrouck he needs to let the other guy talk some.

You guys are supposed to be the pros, and tonight you looked terrible. Your camera work has improved considerably, and you fixed whatever was wrong with your audio from last season. But tonight, you took a few steps back in other areas. The good news is the situation is fixable. The bad news is, you will not entice any new viewers with the performance you showed tonight.

Considering how important you are to the sport of hockey and the NHL, please take this as a reminder that hockey fans do care about the job you do,



  1. The pitiful play-by-play (half of last night’s broadcast team) you are referring to is John Ahlers, regular caller for the Ducks.

    In other words, welcome to my world.

  2. I thought the ambient sound on last night’s game was atrocious. When I watch the Sharks on Fox Sports Bay Area (via Centre Ice, as I live in Seattle), the ambient sound is pretty darn close to being there. Last night was incredibly flat. (Much like the rest of the broadcast, apparently.)

  3. Sleek – Man, I’m soooo sorry.

    CL – Yeah, I’d agree, but last year was awful. They had some serious problems with theyr sound processing, and how it worked in the chain (I’m a sound guy, so I actually know what was going on). Some of those things they take from the house/arena, and some are their own.

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