The Blackhawks have pushed a Game 7 in their playoff round against the #1 seed Vancouver Canucks.
Is there anything better than overtime playoff sports? I mean, it features elements of sports that we want to watch: Winning, losing, excitement, intensity, drama. Throw in the elimination factor and it's incredible.
A victory in that setting should be properly celebrated. And few sports leagues understand that as well as the NHL. After a hard fought win, the United Center lights come down and the announcers introduce the players of the game, who skate out to center ice to bask in the adoration of a sell out, standing-room crowd.
It's almost worth the price of admission for loyal fans. Now imagine if other sports adopted the post-game ritual. It seems to me that as professional sports become even bigger businesses and less fan-friendly experiences, it would make sense for other leagues to work on making a better overall experience for the paying customer.
Imagine, if you will, a cold night in December: The Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers are all tied up, heading to overtime. The winner goes to the playoffs. In overtime, Bears Linebacker Brian Urlacher intercepts an Aaron Rodgers pass and takes it to the house. Game over. Now instead of TV camera scrums, coach handshakes and group prayers, imagine if they cut the lights and put spotlights on the field with an announcer yelling "Brrrrrrrriiiiaaaaaaaannnn Urrrrrrrrlacher!!!!!!" He runs to the 50 yard line and takes a bow. Or how 'bout "Devvviiinnn Hessster!!!!!"?
Or how 'bout taking what the Bulls do at the top of the game and moving it to the end? An introduction of key players after they put their talents on display would be stunning. If the announcer called Derrick Rose's name after he dropped 45 to beat the Miami Heat? You wouldn't go hoarse screaming your lungs out?
You can visualize it, can't you. And as a fan, that would make the experience so much sweeter.
Imagine the NBA, or imagine Major League Baseball. All these sports could benefit from letting the fans shower the players with love and appreciation. It would add $20 to the value of an overpriced ticket.
Would the players like it? Ask rookie Ben Smith. I'm sure he would have good things to say about it.
So I'll look forward to the post-game festivities the next time I drop $100+ on a ticket at Soldier Field.
Here are some other quick non-hockey observations from last night's broadcast:
Hahah! Did you notice (of course you did) the 'Technically Difficulty' Comcast had during the game? The last one was kind of eerily awesome, in a way that if it lasted a minute longer, people would have lost their sh*t. I jumped up and got my phone to take a picture, but by the time I found it and framed it up, I only caught the end of the technically difficulty and the exact first frame back in the game. Look, this is a millisecond after the technically difficulty screen went away.
The Chevy commercial that features Toews and Kane skating around new cars is really one of the worst commercials I've ever seen. But for Kane and Toews, that had to have been easy money. EASY MONEY. You know that had to be shot in a rink in less than two hours and they probably made tens of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) for it. Come on, advertisers need to come up with better than this, right?
Man, I could really go for a liquor store. I'm just sitting watching the OT pre-game session and I am just getting this feeling....I dunno...that I need to go get a bottle of Grey Goose and a bag of Vitners. I wonder why that is? Cause the Binny's logo is bigger than the name of the show? Calm down.
Was I the only semi-hockey fan who got a laugh out of watching Robert Luongo (goalie) come into the game after an injury to the other Vancouver goalie and warm up? I wish I had video of that. He looked like a drunk dancer at a Poi Dog Pondering concert. But with much less intensity.
Finally, Twitter was fun to watch during the game last night. If you are looking for a Game 7 follow, Try Jimmy Greenfield from Chicago Now/RedEye/Trib fame. He's a huge hockey fan and hilarious as well. And whenever something happened in the game that I didn't quite understand, Jimmy was quick to explain.