Thursday, May 15, 2008

Versus vs. Pittsburgh

No sour grapes here - the Flyers played a great game tonight and wanted/needed the victory more than the Pens. Staal played great, but the top two lines didnt have it tonight. Game 5 on Sunday is bigger than you could ever imagine.

So no, my problem isn't with the Flyers. Not their players, and not even their fans. The fights at the end of the game? Whatever. It happens. My problem is with Versus tonight. It is bad enough to watch your team lose in the playoffs, but it is even worse when you have to basically listen to the opposing team's broadcast.

Think I am being overzealous? Consider that when the Flyers played in Pittsburgh, Versus showed footage of Flyers fans in bars at Philly. Was similar footage shown of Penguins fans Tuesday night or tonight? Unless I missed it on the way to the fridge or the John, I dont think so. Nothing. Nada. Instead they showed all the Flyers fans signs and continually remarked how "funny Flyers fans are". Any mention of The PensBlog-created "What Would Gary Roberts Do?" or "USS Hal Gill" signs in Pittsburgh? No.

Then there are the gems from the last minute of the game. "It is so cool here right now, with the team and the fans uniting as one." Ok, sure, fine. "Mike Richards is just doing what great players do." Take runs at players as time runs out? Um, ok. "Well with the win tonight, the Flyers are alive and doing just swell". What?! They are down 3-1! Are you being serious? Do you know the odds?

Granted, those quotes are paraphrased to some degree, but when I heard "swell" emanate from the TV, I had to check online to make sure that the Pens were still indeed up 3-1 in the series. Because I love and support hockey in all forms, I have tried not to bash the Versus broadcasting as so many other bloggers have rightfully done. But the whole "Comcast owns Versus AND the Flyers" conspiracy rang a little too true tonight for my liking. If I have to watch the Pens lose (and lets face it, it's the playoffs, we've been remarkably fortunate to only suffer one playoff loss), let me atleast watch it on a network that can cover a game in context. Briere is not the second coming. The Flyers are not leading the series. These shouldn't be hard things to broadcast, like, oh say, non-Blair Witch camera angles?

This might sound like misdirected anger after a playoff loss. Maybe it is. But I think these are reasonable questions to ask of the Versus broadcasting crew: why no footage of Pittsburgh bars? Why such little attention given to the ingenuity of Penguins fans? Why does an entire room of Pens fans have to turn off the volume and turn on Mike Lange when you show a game?

Go to church on Sunday everybody. And get ready to call off work for Monday. In the mean time, check out Blue Archer's new program for Pittsburgh Nonprofit Web Design projects.

32 comments:

Eddy Spaghetti said...

Ah, you forgot about the duo forgetting to mention that the Flyers were down Kimmo and Coburn on the blueline... UNTIL the Pens scored.

Start laying those excuse bricks now boys. I never thought I'd yearn for Milbury...

Sean said...

At least for last night, I think Versus desperately wants the conference finals to continue since NBC has most of the Stanley Cup final games. They would get big ratings for a 6th and 7th game, and that's probably all that the network cares about.

Just a theory.

Roger Mudd said...

Why not throw Laroque out there with the Flyers trying to goon it up on the final two shifts? Isn't that why he's on the team?
I had the same feelings about the broadcast. The Flyers deserved to win because we put ourselves in too deep a hole to start the game. But we outplayed them over the final two periods and you wouldn't know that from the way they were jocking Philly.
Let's close it out Sunday...

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I wish they would switch up the announcers. Joe "how the hell did he get a national gig" Beninati has always been plain obnoxious as a Caps announcer. Plus, his favoritism is present in every Caps broadcast as well. The biggest thing for me about this game was the fact that they were busy chit-chatting, instead of telling us what the hell half of the Penguins phantom penalty calls were for. At least show a replay, and highlight the infraction. No, I guess joking around, and talking about Flyer fan signs are more important than the plays on the ice. Clowns. I'm praying for Doc to call the finals!

Anonymous said...

On the bar scenes from Philly, that was from the bar at the Wachovia Center where the Flyers opened it up to their fans. If the Pens had a bar at the Igloo, I would expect the same type of thing from Versus, if not, I wouldn't expect it.

Anonymous said...

The Pens have a jumbo-tron outside the arena! Yeah, maybe we don't have a bar inside, but hundreds, maybe even a thousand+ fans watch the game outside the Igloo. F a bunch of that noise. Versus is pro Flyers, so was the officiating last night. Nuff said...

Oprah said...

At the end, they said "The Flyers are alive and swell." Really? They need to play 3 flawless games in a row. We need 1 mediocre game to close out the series.

Versus is horrible. There was bullshit the one night they sucked up to Mike Richards like none other. Its getting unbearable to listen to.

Kat said...

.........NO, MY FINE SIR..........GOTTA SAY YOU HIT THE SITUATION RIGHT ON THE MONEY! I'M TOTALLY TIRED OF YELLING AT MY T.V. FOR EVERY GAME BECAUSE OF THE DOUCHES.....ER-UM-..."ANNOUNCERS" AT VERSUS. HERE'S A TIP FOR ANYONE WITH DVR CAPABILITIES ON THEIR DIGITAL CABLE: RECORD THE GAME, THEN DO A REWIND, THEN FAST FORWARD, AND THEN TURN ON MIKE LANGE & BORQUEY. IT SHOULD SYNCH UP PRETTY WELL. GOOD LUCK PEOPLE....AND LET'S GO PENS!!!!

Pat said...

I completely agree about showing the Jumbotron area outside of the Igloo. The Pens are going out of their way for their fans in the same way that the Flyers are. I dont understand the need to make it seem as if Flyers fans are these world class citizens with undeniable passion for their team. We make signs and gather in droves to watch the games, too.

And I swear on my mother's life that the annoucner said "swell". I was stunned.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else pick up the qoute towards the end of the game that went something like, "we could very well see a game 6 here in Philadelphia Tuesday." Are you kidding me. I can't stand the in game interviews and all the shots of Bobby Clarke. They spend more time chit-chatting then actually calling the action. Terrible.

Anonymous said...

Pens Fans are funny, 3-4 yrs ago you were about to lose your team!!! now all of a sudden we have thousands of Fans!!! where were you when your team sucked for 10yrs? oh yeah bottom 5 in league attendence. now that you have had 100 first round pics for sucking for the past 10 yrs your finally doing something and SO YOU SHOULD. also dont give me the bull about losing your two best Dmen doesnt hurt you! why dont you take Gonchar and Orpik off the ice then see how your D does. but i guess since a majority of you are bandwagon fans you wouldnt understand that part of the game. Have a great Day!!!!

Wieters said...

And right on cue... Welcome back, Flyers trolls! We've really missed you around here, your insight is always so enlightening. Where were you when the Flyers were down 0-3?

Anonymous said...

Isn't it also funny that all of us can picture Martin Biron's eye color in our heads because they show a close up of him every 2 minutes. I thought maybe it was because he was getting torched every game....unitl last night. He didn't get torched and they still showed close ups of his stupid face, but they never show Fleury close up even when he's making saves standing on his head. I hate Versus now!!!

Pat said...

Please see the most recent post for all you need to know about Flyers fans.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

Four bad years Flyer idiot, four bad years.

How come every Flyer fan acts like we tanked for 10 years? Can't they do math?

The NHL was in bad shape financially, and we were stuck in the oldest building in the league. THAT'S why the team went bankrupt and had to sell off every NHL-calibre player which led to (one last time):

FOUR BAD YEARS.

I'm not saying it again retard.

Wieters said...

Fedko came straight out and accused the NHL of telling the refs to call the game in favor of the Flyers to force a weekend game on NBC (Wings-Stars as well, with the fishy disallowed goal and all).

It's not a totally far-fetched conspiracy, but it's still the Pens' fault for not playing well enough to win despite whatever influence the officiating might have had (just like Pitt did against WVU in the Backyard Brawl).

Anonymous said...

Sadly, Versus is horrible. The complaints regarding them not calling the game are spot on.
Furthermore, I will not support the Flyers and their scumbag fans. I'm cancelling my Comcast service.

Anonymous said...

People in Philthy are stupid in general. They all chant "Crosby Sucks" even though He has absolutely tourched them so far in his career..."brilliant"

since Mike Richards seems to be the best Flyer so far in the series we should organize a retort and chant "Richards swallows" this sunday.

Matthew said...

Just so y'inz all know, there is a bar in the Igloo... it's called the Igloo Club.

And I, for one, would prefer that Penguins fans not stoop to the level of crass taunts and signs for which Philly is so famous.

Anonymous said...

I think the first period was a gift to the Flyers. The officials turned a blind eye to many a mauling on the ice. The Pens were obviously frustrated by the lack of calls, and let Philly get into their heads. It was obvious to me the calls were once sided in that period. The Pens have to much class to bitch in public, but I watched them bitch on ice. So I don't know about Fedkos conspiracy claims, but I have to agree that the refs were conspicuously blind on Thursday.

Did you also notice that for the rest of the game, the Versus commentators did not mention that two of the three goals were power play goals?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else HATE the behind-the-goal views of the power plays on Versus? And the "close-ups?" I'd like to see as much of the on-ice action as possible, please!

Anonymous said...

Also, I didn't listen to them - I just couldn't. I listened to Lange and Steigy, and it worked just fine. I just knew what was going to happen a second or so before it did. Not too bad!

Anonymous said...

The color analyst on Vs actually said something like "all right" (like a Flyer fan might) when punk Upshall charged Staal.

The same color analyst moron actually said that Darian "Stick-foul" Hatcheter stopped punching at Malone because his jersey was over his head. He only stopped punching Malone when he was hit in the face by Malone and when the linesman jumped in. Pretty much anyone who follows the league knows that Hatcheter has little respect for his opponent. He shows less respect than most players in the league. He's borderline dirty on a nightly basis. Yet, this color analyst had a compliment on the tip of his tongue painting Hatcheter with a Lady Byng image.

To be fair, the color analyst did accurately point out that Richterds intended to slash Crosby - something the weasel Richterds tried to deny after the game.

The Seeker said...

Roger Mudd said...

"Why not throw Laroque out there with the Flyers trying to goon it up on the final two shifts?"


Michel Therrien said that was a mistake. But it was not his mistake, it was the Referee's.

The Ref had told him that the Flyers were getting TWO penalties. That would mean there was 30 seconds left with a 5 on 3, then pulling Fleury would make it 6 on 3. There was a (very remote) chance of tying it up. When they then told him that was a mistake, they wouldn't allow him to change the personnel he had on the ice!

Anonymous said...

I'm the dufus who said Lange and Steigy above. Lange and Bourque of course. My brain took a trip a few years back there.

Wieters said...

You know, I used to be a Pens fan, but I was so inspired by the pro-Flyers propaganda of the Versus broadcast that I've now become a die-hard Flyers fan. The team and the fans unite as one! $hittsburgh sucks!

Anonymous said...

OK, let me address this, since I work for Versus:

I agree with some of the comments. Believe me, we hate Joe Beninati too. He's awful. If it was up to us, we'd have Emerick do every game. Unfortunately, he's tied-up doing Devils games most of the year.

As for the "Flyer love." Well, this is partially true. But I hate them, and most people here do, too. However, we're pressured by Big Brother aka Comcast. Which is preposterous, since we're supposed to be a national cable network, and shouldn't show favoritism to anyone.

And finally, please save your comments about how we ignore Pittsburgh, or don't give them equal time. I am sick to death of having to include Crosby and Malkin in every single Versus promo. Last year, we had to come up with approximately 350 different ways to say how great they are.

Trust me on this - the network is elated that the Pens are in the Final. They are one of our biggest draws, and the ratings will be through the roof.

Pat said...

Thanks so much for the comment anon Versus employee. And you're right - even I was growing weary of Crosby and Malkin features, so the coverage wasn't all that unbalanced . Rereading this article, I was definitely angry about the loss. But I still think there were some curious imbalances afoot. Thanks for being so candid and dont be a stranger.

Wieters said...

Interesting, Mr. Versus, thanks for the insight.

So was there actually a memo sent by Comcast instructing employees to "be sure to make the Flyers seem awesome" or something like that? Exactly how was it worded? I've always been curious as to how things like that work.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Are you all friggin retarded? This was the first game that the VS announcers even mentioned the Flyers in a positive light. We've been bitching in Philly for weeks about how ANTI-Flyers the VS announcers are. The Caps and Canadiens series were brutal. Get a grip, these announcers did everything but go down on Crosby in the locker room between periods. And let's not forget the hour long tribute to Crosby before game 1...

Jay said...

UMmmm....what? Did you even read the post? Clearly not. There are indisputable instances of Flyers-bias from the broadcast. A Versus employee even admitted it! Go back to your trash city with your trash team. Take your comcast owned broadcast team with you.

shevdog said...

Sorry that I am late to this post.

I'm from western PA and now live near Philly. Comcast is based out of Philly. Verses is owned by Comcast. Comcast Sports Net broadcasts all the Flyers games.

So...

No suprise that Verses was all on the Flyers back at that game...