Perhaps you heard it. Perhaps you didn’t. Maybe you didn’t think much of it, since you hear it so much at home. But last night, the ultimate sin was committed on Versus.
Dave Strader, calling the play by play, made an embarrassing misstep in the final minutes of the Canucks – Stars game last night. With the goalie pulled, the Stars only one goal behind, the Canucks got the puck, and with 1:03 remaining, Taylor Pyatt shot the puck into the empty net. Sitting on my couch, I said, “No!” My television made a completely different sound. From it, I heard Strader yell, “Yes!!”
There is a certain amount of homerism that you expect from your local media. If the broadcasters are bashing the home team, they probably won’t be there very long, and neither will the fans. The crew on Altitude (who broadcast the Avs games locally) are some of the worst at it. If Peter McNab can’t find a silver lining in something, it was the work of Satan. He is one of the most annoying homers out there.
But this is Versus. This is a national broadcast. This was ridiculous. Versus, and any national broadcast, is supposed to be above that. Not just morally, but emotionally, and to give, if not some balance, some sort of even hand in doling out thoughts about the game. But suddenly, the tone of the play by play, the tone of the broadcast took on a different feel. Strader painted his face blue and green with his outburst. Showing emotion is one thing, directing it like that is another.
And trust me when I say this, Strader is no Al Michaels, and this was no Miracle on Ice. If Strader is worn out from the overtimes, if he is in need of a break, if he needs to go home, by all means do so. If this were the CBC and it were Canucks – Leafs in the regular season, there would be riots. If this were Rangers – Islanders and that mistake was made, there would be a march to the Versus studios, and tomorrow, there would be a smoking pit with a sign that read “Potvin sucks and so do you.”
Yes, I know that this was a game that didn’t go the way I wanted to in the end. Does that taint my take on reality? Sure, why not. But apparently, the game did go the way Strader wanted it to. Good for you, Strader. I’d say I hope you’re happy, but I know the answer to that. You’re on notice.
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