I had a chance to appear on a podcast called The Fan Boys the other day and had a blast doing it. Listening to the whole podcast, these guys have something special and I am not saying this because I was invited on as a guest!
The two guys who host the show are what I would call legitimate, dedicated fans of the Ontario Hockey League. They talk about the jersey's that they buy, and go around the league before their feature interview. Sure, there is the odd blue language, and it's a bit off the cuff, but they are knowledgeable and both have supported multiple teams. Steve MacLean, one host, was a dedicated Brampton Battalion fan, but switched his allegiances to the Guelph Storm when Brampton franchise took flight to North Bay. The other fellow was a Belleville Bulls fan, but now supports the Windsor Spitfires, and both knew their stuff and seemed to have an astonishing number of OHL sweaters.
Anyway's I had a blast, and I hope that they keep doing the podcast as it does serve as an alternative to what is out there.
RAPID FIRE ANALYSIS
- I feel like I might be the only person in the Niagara Region who has not been inside the Meridian Centre, and chances are I will not until October 16th, when the lid is officially lifted for hockey. All reports that I have read and pictures I have viewed have been extremely favourable. Niagara hockey fans endured the cozy, quaint Jack Gatcliffe Complex for 7 years, so it is wonderful to see that they are proud of their new facility. Anyone want to hook me up with Hip tickets?
- As a team, the Icedogs need to return home with some points after going 0-3 to start off the year. No reason to sound the alarm bells, though there should be some concern that the Dogs had leads or were tied going into the third period in all three games, and have given up 7 third period goals so far. Kingston/Ottawa and Belleville loom this weekend, and four points should be the goal
- Congratulations to Red Deer and the CHL, as the Alberta city was chosen to host the 2016 Master Card Memorial Cup. The CHL could have chosen the larger venue and population in Vancouver, but went in another direction. I had blogged in the past that I thought the CHL was painting themselves into a corner by limiting the venues to large markets, and bigger arenas. This in a sense re calibrates the process and shows the medium markets in the CHL have just as a legitimate shot as the usual suspects.
- Nothing wrong with sneaking in another cheap plug here is there? the Hamilton Bulldogs will kick off their regular season on the road this weekend, and open at home Friday October 17th. I, along with Norm Miller, Alex Maveal and the rest of the Cable 14 crew every Friday home game starting at 7:30 pm in HD. The Bulldogs have come up short for the playoffs three years in a row, and look to get back into the post-season hunt. That said, it was a great season for me personally last year, and I look forward to season number 2. I will never look forward to the daunting catwalk clamber to the broadcast booth. You are just way too high above the First Ontario Centre man!
- Rogers kicked off their 12 year partnership with the NHL in splashy style showing off their multi million dollar set, and cutting into the Tragically Hip's free concert down at Yonge/Dundas square. The ref cam was a big hit, as was the cable camera in the 200 level. I get the whole choose your own camera angle thing on NHL Game Centre, but I don't like too many bells and whistles with my hockey. Rogers has not reinvented hockey broadcast but the changes that they have made and the camera's they have added were very, very good.
- When Rogers starts their CHL package in November, will fans get to see some of the different innovative production features, or camera angles? Guessing that there will be a steady does of Connor McDavid this year on TV. As a bonus, if you get McDavid, you also get Dylan Strome, younger brother of New York Islander Ryan Strome, and also potentiallylly a top five pick. Crashing for Connor? How about Sucking for Strome?!!
- I think having Ron MacLean host Hometown Hockey is a great idea. Though, well known, he has that touch of being the everyman, and the kind of guy you see at the bar having a beer who you could shoot the breeze with. One quibble I have is that jacket he's wearing for the promo, which is from Roots and looks half-leather and half-denim. Not even the early 90's are calling for the return of that fashion disaster! The tour hits St Catharines December 12-14, and the IceDogs are home that weekend so it will be interesting to see what sort of cross programming we can come up with!
- I am not sure I can take 82 separate autopsies on each individual Leaf game. There are too many post game shows, too much angst on Twitter and generally too much "fire the coach" "trade for a first line centre" for any game, let alone game 1, Same should go for every fan of every sports team, even the IceDogs. I know the natural tendency of the fan is to live game to game, and not look at the season as a marathon. Analyze the game, talk about the game, but do not start about jettisoning coaches, players, mascots (sorry Bones), broadcasters after one game.
Enjoy the games and breathe a little bit. It's early October, and the seasons run until March/April!