Front Office Fan

A Take on the Games We Watch and the Industry Behind Them

Do the NBA and NHL Hate their Fans?

Posted by GM/VP of Fan Operations on Thursday, May 21, 2009

If their cheerleaders can get along can't the NBA & NHL too?

If their cheerleaders can get along can't the NBA & NHL too?

Ok so I thought about going into some in-depth coverage for this one, but a nice rant works a lot better for me. Being your own editor is so much better….

As of Sunday night, both the Boston Bruins and Boston Celtics were eliminated from the playoffs in the same building in a Game 7. To most Boston fans this means the Red Sox are all that’s left to root for, lucky for me I’m also a Boston Cannons fan. Sorry Boston Breakers and Boston Lobsters; you’re the ugly girls of the class. I know you’re there but you have such an annoying laugh and you won’t stop asking for attention with those stupid questions. That hooded sweatshirt isn’t hiding anything either. The worst part is you think you’re actually attractive. New England Revolution, it’s nothing personal you’re just not my type. Anyway…

This blog is neither about the two summer hotties in the bikinis or their three designated ugly fat friends that make them look even better by comparison. This blog is about the dilemma all Boston fans had to suffer. There were five playoff games for each team played simultaneously.

Here’s how I understand it. First, the commercial rights to the games were sold months in advance so you aren’t losing any money because of losing viewers. Second, you need to maintain some sort of consistency with your games to get the most of your viewers so they don’t have to choose between two games (like a fan with no interest in any remaining team choosing between Penguins blowing out the Capitals, or an overtime game whose score was a lot closer than the game was). And third, you don’t care about your fans or your sports.

These two sports are the only two of the four majors that need to worry about these problems. They already make concessions to one another by working regular season schedules so that teams can share facilities. Why can’t they make concessions about the teams playing at the same time in the playoffs? I don’t know how many cities could potentially be in this situation or with the success of the Red Wings and Pistons this decade how many times the leagues screwed that fan base, but I do know it is in the best interest of the sports to immediately work out some sort of contingency plan.

What do the NBA and NHL have to gain by insuring this doesn’t happen again? I don’t know to what extent this can help the leagues/networks negotiate television advertising revenue but it surely can’t hurt. What it can do, though, is grow the respective sports.

I’m more a hockey fan than a basketball fan which puts me in the minority amongst my friends. However, all of us wanted to watch both games. It sucked that we had to choose between the two, but if we don’t? Maybe next season I’ll watch more basketball and they’ll watch more hockey.

I think David Stern and Gary Bettman contrived this plot in cahoots with all the bartenders across the US. The only possible way to try watching both games is attending a bar with multiple televisions. And doesn’t that suggest that the NBA and NHL both advocate drunk driving? After the Bruins blew it last Thursday I heard this exchange at the table next to me:

Okay, who’s drunk but that special kind of drunk where you’re a better driver because you know you’re drunk? You know, the kind of drink where you probably shouldn’t drive, but you do anyway because, I mean, come on, you gotta get your car home, right? I mean, what do they expect me to do, take a bus? Is that what they want, for me to take a bus? Well, screw that. You take a bus!

Actually, that was Peter Griffin in an episode of Family Guy. But you get the idea. If a cartoon character talks about driving drunk a real person thinking isn’t too far behind.

Oh… and the NBA also hates its fans because it schedules playoff games and wrestling matches at the same time.

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