Jeanneret's calls are treasured
I was just listening to some regular season Sabres highlights today and it made me appreciate even more the calls of our own Rick Jeanneret. He adds so much to the game that it's hard to imagine Sabres hockey without him. Whether Rick continues as the voice of the Sabres next year or decides to go out on top when the team wins the Cup, the memories he provided will linger on for a lifetime.
One word, one phrase, one story could become etched in fan's subconscious at any point from any game. The word "classic" doesn't seem to do it justice. One of the calls I heard was so simple, yet so descriptive. Just picture yourself hearing this. . . . "Briere, goal crease, scorrrre!" Shivers result just thinking about this call and many more.
Thanks Rick, for what you've given us and what is yet to come. It's going to be a great playoff run I'm sure. It just wouldn't be the same without you!
NBC hockey coverage lacks depth
I am really starting to hate NBC.
In the "Jury out on Sabres, NBC deal" column by Alan Pergament in Saturday's edition of The Buffalo News, it was mentioned that once again, NBC Sports will only be airing nine regular season games for the 2007-2008 NHL season. Six and a half months of games and the one major network that broadcasts the NHL will be showing us less than 1 percent of the games.
They did say that they would be adopting a flex schedule (like they have with the NFL) and I agree that this is a step in the right direction. It also means that the Buffalo area will be seeing less of the Rangers and Islanders, because based on the nine "regional" games I saw this year, NBC thinks that New York City is near Buffalo and that the New York teams are in our division.
NBC will be airing two games a week during the playoffs and it will be airing Games Three through Seven of the Stanley Cup finals, which is big for them seeing as I can't remember the last time I saw an NHL game on NBC during the week. I also noticed on the NBC Sports Web site that it will be moving their 30 minute pregame show from the Internet to the television for the first playoff broadcast April 14. I really hope that the local stations don't lose too much money by airing the pregame show instead of an infomercial.
Now some of you will say that Versus is a national channel, and I agree. But it's not NBC. It's not even close to ESPN. And, I can't find it in High Def. Versus has the main TV contract for the NHL, but it only airs two games a week -- and those are on Mondays and Tuesdays! Apparently, bull riding is a higher priority since it has the usual Saturday night prime time slot.
NBC and Versus should really watch how CBC's Hockey Night In Canada covers the NHL (as well as the Olympics) because they both have a lot to learn.
Format keeps Catholic teams competitive
In response to last week's letter about the Monsignor Martin Girls State Catholic playoffs selection process:
At this point in our history, in order to be able to have a competitive State Catholic Tournament at the A, B and C levels, it is imperative that we determine this by our final Diocesan Playoff finishers. The three downstate dioceses that compete in our state tournament are made up of schools with very large female populations, the exceptions being St. Peter's, the eventual A champion, and Christ the King, the AAA champion.
The enrollment does not work at our state level. Using our format, we have found that we can remain competitive at the State Catholic level.
The writer questioned our fairness to our teams. Given the current circumstances at the State Catholic level and the high quality of basketball being played, we feel that our playoff
system offers us the best for our teams.
The writer mentioned our participation in Section VI. Admittance into Section VI would certainly clear up this situation because in the section, schools participate according to enrollment, not strength.
Sr. Maria Pares, OSF
President NYS Catholic High School Association
Tiger didn't give winner his due
You got to love Tiger Woods. Shortly after having completed his round on Sunday in the Masters, he was already coming up with excuses as to why he did not perform one of his miracle comebacks. Instead of giving the eventual winner, Zach Johnson, his due, Tiger says that maybe if the conditions had been wetter, the outcome might have been different, because Johnson would have had to fly the ball to the greens, instead of running it up on the dryer conditions, which Woods felt was an advantage. What a whiner!
I respect Woods for his shot-making ability, and imagination in getting out of perilous situations, but as far as sportsmanship goes, he has an awful lot to learn.
A new idea for NFL money
Congrats to the NFL for a fifth consecutive year breaking its own attendance record (Go Figure, Sports Illustrated, April 2), topping 22 million for the first time. Combine the billion and a half (or so) in gate revenue for the year with the enormous TV contracts and merchandise sales, and you got yourselves a nice fat lump of pie.
Too bad the monster that is the NFL money machine had to rear its ugly head the same week and announce a first time fee for tickets to this year's induction ceremony to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, Aug. 4. (No Fun League hits New Freakin' Low!)
Here's an idea: How about donating the gate receipts from the Hall ceremony to the Retired Players Pension Fund. It would be a very small slice of a very large pie!
Stephen M. Meli
Send comments to Sports Talk, The Buffalo News, One News Plaza, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, N.Y., 14240. Letters may also be sent via fax to 849-4587 or e-mail to email@example.com. Letters should be limited to 250 words and are subject to editing.