Milbury is a lunatic, safe and sound in his chair, away from all the action, supporting brain damage to athletes. Now even Crosby is out.
"Witness Milbury calling analyst Pierre McGuire a “soccer mom” on NBC on Sunday for advocating sterner rules."
Media complicit in continuance of hockey violence - The Globe and Mail
Media complicit in continuance of hockey violence
Bruce Dowbiggin | Columnist profile | E-mail (external - login to view) From Monday's Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Jan. 23, 2011 8:57PM EST
Last updated Sunday, Jan. 23, 2011 9:00PM EST
The media (including this paper) buzzed this past week about head shots, concussions and how to prevent devastating damage to NHL players such as Sidney Crosby. Reading the output, the greatest impediment to any change in the NHL seems to be a hockey subculture that often views players – even Crosby – as expendable at the expense of preserving the game’s culture of intimidation.
Lost in the debate, however, is the role of the media, particularly the electronic media, in fostering this culture. With a few exceptions – mostly former goalies – network TV analysts are players who owe their careers to the it’s-a-man’s-game” culture. They act as if their church is the one true hockey church. Be honest, are Don Cherry, Mike Milbury, Nick Kypreos, P.J. Stock, Matthew Barnaby, Brad May or Tie Domi going to appear on nationwide TV and say, “We need to get guys like me out of the sport?”
Of course not. They lionize the code that put food on their plates and their faces on Hockey Night in Canada or TSN’s SportsCentre. (Witness Milbury calling analyst Pierre McGuire a “soccer mom” on NBC on Sunday for advocating sterner rules.) Typically, the network voices against the code are lowly journalists who never experienced the NHL. So who are you (the viewer) supposed to believe?
The networks also emphasize fights (Sportsnet’s weekly Friday Night Fights package, for example) and include fights disproportionately in highlight packs.
Punch-ups and big hits are low-hanging fruit for programmers. TV craved them, the NHL delivered them. There are remedies to prevent injuries like the ones suffered by Crosby and a legion of other players. But perhaps the solution starts with the media taking a good look in the mirror at itself.