In this week's Media Roundup, Bruce Allen asks, with so many controversies contrived and labored over, where is the media pressure and legitimate outcry surrounding Colin Campbell and the NHL, an actual controversy?
In an age when controversies are contrived and labored over instantly and endlessly, it is curious when an incident occurs that is actually controversial, and yet doesn't generate the legitimate outcry that it deserves.
I'm referring of course to the Colin Campbell situation. This week a hockey blog named mc79hockey.com, while looking into the firing of NFL official Dean Warren, came across some emails which had been entered into testimony in Warren's labor relations case. The emails were public record, so there was nothing underhanded involved in obtaining them.
The emails were from Campbell, the National Hockey League's czar of discipline, and, to make a long story short, exposed agendas that Campbell has, and which have influenced decisions he has made in handing out discipline. Among those was a line in which Campbell refers to a player as "a little fake artist." Some logical reasoning led to that player being identified as none other than the Bruins' Marc Savard.
You may recall that when Matt Cooke of the Penguins leveled the cheap shot which resulted in a concussion for Savard -- from which he still has not recovered completely -- Campbell chose not to suspend Cooke, a decision that even Cooke's own teammates found incredible. Among the emails, it was also revealed that Campbell has attempted to interfere in incidents involving his son Gregory, who, ironically, joined the Bruins this season.
While the blogosphere has howled over this incident, and some newspapers and websites have done their due diligence in reporting the story, it can still be safely said that this story has not come close to getting the attention and publicity it deserves.
Obviously, part of the reason is that it is the NHL. If this was the NFL or MLB we were talking about, things would be different. However, it is disappointing that the mainstream media has not latched onto this incident with the same enthusiasm they did for say, Spygate.
The NHL should be under seige from the media. The facts are indisputable, and a simple statement from Bill Daly, the NHL deputy commissioner -- "Any suggestion that Colin Campbell performs his job with any less than 100% integrity at all times and in every decision he makes is way off base and just factually wrong." -- just doesn't cut it.
Where is the media pressure on this one? Are they too busy gossiping about the Tony Parker or Steve Nash divorces?
Out of morbid curiosity, I flipped to NESN on Tuesday morning to see what the Dennis and Callahan show looked like. I lasted about three minutes.
Was it really necessary to actually put cameras in the studio? Couldn't they have just broadcast the audio with scrolling images of ... something? I don't get it. I certainly do not want to be seeing John Dennis and Gerry Callahan while I'm eating my cereal in the morning.
The Patriots scored a huge win in Pittsburgh on Sunday night, and an even bigger win in the ratings, scoring a season high 36.39 HH rating. That record might not last very long, as Sunday's game against the Colts could do even better.
More ratings, according to the official Celtics Twitter account: Wednesday night's game against the Washington Wizards was Comcast SportsNet's highest-rated regular season Celtics broadcast ever, pulling a 7.49 HH rating.
While Theo Epstein is a proud graduate of the Bill Belichick Academy of Media Relations (not a bad thing at all from this corner) his bosses do not show such restraint. During a Wednesday appearance on WEEI's Big Show, Tom Warner asserted that that the Red Sox would be signing a big name free agent, and also making a big trade, with the aim of returning to contender status in 2011. Way to manage expectations, Tom.
Link of the week:
What Peyton Manning is doing (and how to beat him) - a very complete look by a Colts blogger at Peyton Manning's antics at the line of scrimmage.