Pittsburgh hates us. We hate them. But this is just ridiculous.
I read at least one blog from every team in our division on a daily basis, just to keep myself up on what's going on with the competition. My Pens blog of choice is PensBurgh, because they seem to be pretty fair and they also provide decent insight.
But when I browsed my way over there yesterday, I found something that was a bit disturbing: this article about the Flyers TV announcers and their discussion during Saturday's game about the Penguins. Read that, and then watch this YouTube of the portion of the telecast in question:
You've watched the video; let's break down the PensBurgh article.
I turned on last night's Flyers/Leafs game for a few minutes in effort to catch a glimpse of this recently dubbed 'hot' team the Pens have waiting for them on Tuesday night. Of course the ten minutes that I tune in for just happen to be at the tail end of the second intermission, but it couldn't have been better timing.
Frankly I hope the Penguins were watching too because this stuff could pose as some bulletin board material.
The subject of ten straight minutes of a FLYERS game was focused solely on the Penguins. All four announcers involved in this on-ice-to-booth conversation seemed to find some satisfaction in the Penguins' recent struggles.
Jim Jackson, Keith Jones, Steve Coates, and Al Morganti did a segment at the end of the second intermission discussing the midpoint of the NHL season, which fell on this weekend. The Flyers were playing in their 42nd game of the year, making this a timely and pertinent look around the NHL at the halfway mark. It was not a ten minute segment. For just under four minutes, they talked about a plethora of Eastern Conference storylines, including, yes, Pittsburgh's struggles. Was it "bulletin board material"? No.
Jones was asked by JJ about the biggest story of the season so far, to which Jones responded "the Boston Bruins", and I think we can all agree with that. Al Morganti then agreed with Jones, and as many broadcasters do, they look at the flip-side of the token. The Bruins are a team that are doing well despite the predictions, and the Penguins are a team that are doing poorly despite the predictions. So, for about 60 seconds, the guys talked about the Penguins plight. The same time was allotted to the Canadiens and the Bruins in the same segment.
Can't blame em really. It's not like Penguins fans wouldn't do the same.
Pittsburgh announcers on the other hand exhibit a bit more class, often doing their best to fit as much Penguins material into a Penguins broadcast because the Penguins ironically enough pose as the team Penguins fans want to hear about.
Then I remembered what city I was watching.
Nevermind the fact that the truth was stretched to the extreme (10 minutes as opposed to one minute), since when is it inappropriate, or "classless" to discuss divisional opponents? They're not us, so the subject is taboo? I prefer hearing about the rest of the league since A) I'm a hockey fan, not just a Flyer fan, and B) I want to see how my team stacks up. I'm sorry Pittsburgh doesn't share that logic, but calling this "classless" is ridiculous and it's a desperate attempt to portray the first place rivals as some kind of villain.
In fact, PensBurgh would never have you believe it, but Coates even complimented the Penguins, saying "Crosby, Malkin, they're all still very good players and there's a lot of big things expected from the Pittsburgh Penguins. So what do you have to do? Look to that coaching spot..."
We've talked about it here all week long, but apparently even the Flyers announcers feels it's time to discuss firing Michel Therrien. "Pat Quinn?" one asked, pretending it's an original thought. "Why not?" replied the other, contributing nothing whatsoever to the debate.
One of them even said firing Therrien is "exactly what the Penguins need," followed soon thereafter by a metaphor that compared Therrien to an "expired street meter" whose "five minutes were up."
Keith Jones, the only name I know out of the group, added a few robotic nods.
Who disagrees that Therrien's time is up? Are Penguins fans the only ones allowed to discuss their coaching situation? Morganti floated the name of Pat Quinn, and no, it wasn't an original thought. But Quinn has been in the news a lot lately, and he's also a former Flyers coach -- another way to relate the home team to the situation being discussed.
Laughs all around, followed by a graphic of the Eastern Conference standings. Really wish I had this video.
The laughs were in large part about the Quinn situation, given that he's our ex-guy and the fact that he doesn't want his named bandied about with speculation. It clearly and obviously had nothing to do with the fact that the Penguins suck lately. The Eastern Conference standings were then brought on screen as a segway from the Pens talk, and Pittsburgh in fact is not talked about for the rest of the segment.
You have the video. Now eat your words. I expected better of you, PensBurgh.
The intermission cut away to a brief news teaser for the local Philly affiliate. The anchor gave a quick rundown of hockey action from earlier in the day but apparently lacks in the same department as most Philadelphia fans - intelligence.
Maybe it's a joke, something I may have heard wrong or perhaps even a way of Philadelphia trying to pretend they're the only hockey team in Pennsylvania, but she actually said the Penguins were Philly's "out-of-state rivals." Not cross-state, out of state. I'm 99% positive I heard it right because I even turned to my friends and said, "Did she just say out of state?"
Baffled look. "Yes."
This is completely unrelated to the rest of the post, but I didn't see this news teaser. I doubt it was a "local Philly affiliate" since the game was on CSN, but it was probably a teaser for SportsNite. They didn't show it on the Comcast On Demand re-broadcast I watched to get the YouTube. My guess though, if what's said above is true (which given the evidence is for you to decide) is that woman is CSN's new girl -- Amy Fadool. She's hot as all hell, but from what I've read, a complete airhead who knows nothing about sports. Unless of course St. Joe's basketball is really coached by "Phil Martel."
But hey, she looks like that, so she can give Pittsburgh to Ohio for all I care.