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Down with Bob Cole and Harry Neale


Booche
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Dear Ottawa Senators fan,

If you truly believe that Bob and Harry are anti-Ottawa then understand that winning is the best revenge and cheer on your team.

The commentators don't influence the outcome, believe it or not.

And at least when I listen to Bob Cole I feel like I'm watching a hockey game and not the bloody XBox. (Hello Jim Hughson!)

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Bob gets to me at times but I really like when Joe Bowen and Harry Neale do the commentary. They have a blast with each other...very different than Bob & Harry...

I hate the Bowen-Neale team. At least there's an air of professionalism when Harry and Bob do games. Bowen acts like a jackass and successfully brings Harry down to his low level on a nightly basis.

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Bob gets to me at times but I really like when Joe Bowen and Harry Neale do the commentary. They have a blast with each other...very different than Bob & Harry...

I hate the Bowen-Neale team. At least there's an air of professionalism when Harry and Bob do games. Bowen acts like a jackass and successfully brings Harry down to his low level on a nightly basis.

Well, it sounds to me like Harry likes the change-up and they're both enjoying the play-by-play...we all hear things differently... :P;)

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these numbers ain't going to help this cause:

It takes some doing, but the Stanley Cup playoffs are shaping up to be a bust for networks on both sides of the border.

The potential absence of Canadian teams from the National Hockey League conference finals certainly wasn't what the CBC had in mind.

And matchups involving the Carolina Hurricanes, Buffalo Sabres, San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Mighty Ducks were hardly on the wish list of NBC and OLN.

"When you look at the final four being San Jose, Buffalo, Carolina and Anaheim, that's a disaster from an audience perspective in Canada and the United States," said Dennis Dinga, vice-president of broadcast buying for the M2 Universal advertising agency in Toronto.

Of course, the Edmonton Oilers and Ottawa Senators could rebound from two-game disadvantages to win their series. That would save the day for the CBC.

In the United States, the New Jersey Devils, down 2-0 to the Hurricanes, could come back to give NBC at least one conference finalist based on the East Coast, although the Devils are poor cousins to the Rangers in the New York market.

But the NHL's strongest U.S. audience producers -- the Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Detroit Red Wings and Dallas Stars -- are gone, replaced by Carolina, Buffalo, San Jose and Anaheim, none of which fit the description of a big-league hockey market or a national draw. In Canada, the CBC was hurt when the Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks failed to qualify for the playoffs. The loss of the Montreal Canadiens in the first round was another blow.

"It doesn't help when the bigger cities are out," said John Shannon, the NHL's senior vice-president of broadcasting. "And in the United States, you're also dealing with the challenge of some major cities still playing basketball." The National Basketball Association challenge was clearly illustrated on Sunday afternoon. NBC sent Colorado Avalanche-Ducks up against ABC's Cleveland Cavaliers-Detroit Pistons, and got waxed. NBC produced a 0.9 overnight rating (percentage of U.S. households watching the show). ABC's rating of 4.3 was almost five times larger.

Some in the business are also questioning NBC's broadcast strategy.

Instead of using a conventional play-by-play, the network is using a conversational style that focuses less on game description. Traditional fans might be turned off by this, but Shannon feels it should be given a chance to succeed.

"I think you have to respect what NBC does and hope it has an opportunity to catch on," he said. "The hard-core hockey fan has lived with the two-man and three-man booth doing the nuts and bolts for so many years. We're trying to attract new viewers, a younger audience, and it's got a chance." In Canada, the CBC's audience problems are easier to figure out.

Without the big-market Leafs and Canucks, it's difficult, perhaps impossible, for the network to pull in a large audience.

The hope was that Ottawa, arguably the NHL's most talented team, would become a major TV draw by appealing to the huge Toronto market, and advance to the Cup final. The first thing hasn't happened, and the second is clearly in doubt.

Despite an entertaining Sabres-Senators series opener, the telecast drew only 1.25 million viewers.

The Leafs pull in a larger audience for a regular-season game.

The number for Game 2 on Monday was marginally higher: 1.265 million.

The last time Toronto was in the second round of the playoffs, viewership was hitting 3.5 million.

Canada's NHL cable channel, TSN, airs U.S. matchups and has been faring reasonably well. The numbers were flat in the first round, but are up 14 per cent in the second.

_______________

Don Cherry wrapped up Coach's Corner on Monday with a brief tribute to John Atkinson, the police officer in Windsor, Ont., who was shot and killed last week.

"They're the bravest of the brave," he said of police officers.

"And the lefties give them a hard time. But they are the best and God love you." Cherry, of course, dislikes lefties as much as he admires police officers.

But when he cites their supposed negativity toward police in the context of a death, he's implying they aren't as sympathetic as those of his political stripe. That's when the CBC should tell him to make political announcements on his own time.

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Don Cherry wrapped up Coach's Corner on Monday with a brief tribute to John Atkinson, the police officer in Windsor, Ont., who was shot and killed last week.

"They're the bravest of the brave," he said of police officers.

"And the lefties give them a hard time. But they are the best and God love you." Cherry, of course, dislikes lefties as much as he admires police officers.

Oh yeah, I forgot about this gem. Way to politicize this mans death Don and marginalize half your audience. A real lowpoint in a post-season of lowpoints for Cherry.

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Don Cherry's influence on hockey is destructive and has been for years, let alone the fact that he hardly even talks about hockey and comes off like a racist bastard. Just ask Quebec'rs.

Get him off the air. I dont care how entertaining some people might find him. His one-sided approach to how he thinks the game should be played is the wrong message being sent to the "kids"

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