Thursday, March 27, 2008

How to Make Woody Paige Look Like a Genius

By relaxing on Flickr.

This story comes to us from the ESPN's Talking Heads Know Nothing About Hockey Department here at BMR in conjunction with the Department of Bullshit.

Around the Horn is without a doubt the most ridiculous talking head sports show out of all the talking head sports shows on TV today. Four journalists yell at each other via video conference from their headquarters at local papers around the country. It's all moderated by a suave, good-looking, young host.

Now, despite that not-so-gracious description, I do enjoy the show on occasion. Where else can you find every different viewpoint on the day's hot sports stories in only a 1/2 hour? You'd certainly spend much more time on the internet before you got so many different opinions. And of course, in the end, we the viewers are left to decide it all for ourselves. So it's not that bad. But, as you might have suspected, having all opinions represented certainly lends itself to having some stupid ones. OK, people are different. Therefore, they will have differing opinions. But some opinions are so ludicrous that they can only be things that were said for the sake of being said and to arouse an emotional response from the viewer. If that's the case, then I guess it's safe to say they did their job.

Today, BMR's Department of Bullshit has teamed up with the ESPN's Talking Heads Know Nothing About Hockey Department to hold accountable to the offenders of some heinous crimes.

The Plaintiff: The Department of Bullshit and ESPN's Talking Heads Know Nothing About Hockey Department.

The Defendants: Bill Plaschke, Tony Reali and Woody Paige from ESPN's Around the Horn. They are accused of having no idea what they're talking about when it comes to discussing the on-ice incident involving Patrick Roy's son.

The Evidence: The following video from Around the Horn shown earlier this week on ESPN and previously mentioned in FanHouse's Ice Sheet.

Yours truly, Judge Schultz, is presiding over the case.

First defendant up is Bill Plaschke who writes for the LA Times. In case you skipped over the video, here is his testimony.

"This is hockey. This is minor league hockey at it's finest. These guys are wearing pads, nobody is getting hurt. Coaches order their players to be thugs all the time in this sport."
I have a feeling the NHLPA would have an issue with players being ordered to be thugs "all the time". Not only is that a sweeping generalization that is clearly untrue, I don't remember the last time a goalie wore pads on his head. After Roy rips the mask off the other goalie, he is clearly has the ability to be injured. There's no padding there. While it's true, this was an entertaining video, that doesn't make it OK and that no suspensions are necessary. Hindsight also shows us that the QMJHL thought suspensions were necessary.

Next up, Woody Paige.

"Father and son have done this. Patrick used to go after other goaltenders. You have to suspend him because this was premeditated and it did cause some damage and he did flash an obscene sign."
Calling for a suspension for a player who flipped his lid? I can't find anything objectionable about Paige's comments. It is certainly true that this was premeditated and something Patrick Roy was known for through out his career, although I can't recall Roy ever flipping off the fans.

Following Paige's statements the host, Reali, asked Paige how he knows the attack was premeditated. Paige responds by saying that "his father said go do it," which is scoffed at by Plaschke and Reali.

I would like to bring the following evidence from TSN to the courts' attention.
"According to reports, it was at that point that father Patrick told his son to go after Nadeau. Jonathan Roy skated towards the opposing netminder and landed a series of punches without any retaliation, then saluted the opposing fans before starting another fight with defenceman Sebastien Rioux."

After reviewing the video tape it is clear that Paige's comments are not out of line and are, in fact, in line with what many in the blogosphere have said about the incident involving the Roys as well as the supporting evidence from TSN. While popping a McDonald's bag on air makes absolutely no sense, it is clearly no indication of one's intelligence on hockey.

The ruling: I hereby find Bill Plaschke and Tony Reali guilty of not doing their homework on this subject and additionally find Plaschke guilty of knowing nothing about hockey. Woody Paige, while ridiculous at times, has been cleared of all charges.

What we have here is a clear example of two people trying to make Woody Paige, who usually appears to know a thing or two about hockey, look like an idiot. Their plan has backfired miserably, making him look pretty darned smart in the process.


  1. And I care about ANY of ESPN's commentators opinions on this situation because????

  2. As a diehard Avalanche fan, I have extensive experience reading Woody Paige in the Denver Post.

    And I have to be honest with you, the guy doesn't know much about hockey.

    Or, if he does, he conceals that knowledge well behind stupid puns and atrocious one-liners in his lazy columns about whatever it is he's decided to chime in on at the moment.

    He may have won this round, but only because he was the least-dumb guy on the show. I guess that's an achievement for him.

  3. it always pisses me off whenever non-hockey people try to talk about hockey simply because they will ONLY do so if tehre is some sort of bad/violent act (Bertuzzi anyone?) And THEN they have teh gall to go on and on about "oh, hocey's so violent" and then some other dimwit's all, "wel it's part of the game, blah blah blah." Oh COURSE people will complain about the violence because that's ALL THAT NON-HOCKEY MEDIA EVER SHOWS!

    actually, nobody said anything like that here, did they? aw, dammit
    /dick joke

  4. Wait, where's the giant chicken addressing the jury and the bad photoshops?


  5. LD - calm down, just calm down. It will be ok, no nede TO GO crazee on this one.
    /friendly mocking

    But while you pointed out no one outright said hockey is so violent, that is the crux of the issue - they won't cover the best playoff race in any sport, they will cover junior fisticuffs. Which, btw, is bothering the hell out of me that they are calling it minor league, when it is juniors: just because the other big sports don't have something comparable, they don't understand it and call it minor leagues.

    As for Mr. Paige, I worked with Woody for over a year and he does like hockey. He does have some knowledge, but he is far from a puckhead and, frankly, isn't a huge sports fan in his personal life. As Kev mentioned, Woody does his homework and plays a fun role on the show.

    ATH was an outgrowth of the success of PTI - rather than have two guys arguing, we can have four! And all four are columnists who get paid for their opinions and the more outrageous the opinion, the more readers they get. So of course they are going to scream and yell nonsense, just so they can stay 'relevant.'

    And I've said it before and will say it again, ESPN loves anything negative about hockey right now - because it lessens the sport mainstream value so they will have to pay less and less for the rights whenever they decide to go after the contract.
    Is it fair journalism? No, but its fair business practices and at the end of the day, ESPN is a business, not an upstanding objective source of news. Too many people forget that ...

  6. scotty: yeah, I guess I was just feeling extra-stabby that day or something.