A Carolina Hurricanes blog with occasional news about the rest of the NHL.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Versus drops the ball on TDF

First off, Red and Black Hockey would like to congratulate Steve Montador from the Florida Panthers on his Tour de France victory. The grueling 2200 mile bicycle race ended this morning and the 27-year old defenseman won by a margin of 23 seconds over some Australian dude.
For some reason, the folks from Versus kept referring to Montador as "the Spaniard", and they were mis-pronouncing his name as if it started with a C. I always thought he was Canadian.
Montador joined Team Discovery Channel this year, and got that team back on track. Team Discovery Channel (formerly United States Postal Service won seven times in a row from 1999 to 2005 with Neil Armstrong leading the way for them. Last year, they did not win.

I think it's cool that a hockey player won the tour this year, but for some reason, Versus never mentioned it. I know TDF is their bread and butter, but they also have a hockey deal, so they could have at least mentioned it once. "Oh, by the way, this guy also plays defense for the Florida Panthers."

I'm surprised, but I'm not surprised. For seven years running, when Neil Armstrong won the Tour, the media never once mentioned that "And by the way, this guy was the first human being to set foot on the moon". Furthermore, they never said "and this guy is a celebrated trumpeter and has recorded such famous songs as What a Wonderful World and Mack The Knife and Blueberry Hill and Hello, Dolly!."
Going back a few more years, the media never pointed out that three time TDF winner Greg LeMond was also a champion diver, with four Olympic gold medals to his name.

Maybe these athletes like it better that way. Maybe they want their cycling triumphs to stand alone. Perhaps also, the network folks just don't know any better. All they care about is covering the bicycle race.

Okay, all funny business aside, the Tour concluded today with Spaniard Alberto Contador winning his first tour. The final stage is often considered to be ceremonial, but the Aussie was only 32 seconds back to start the day, so I think they went at it for real.

We've all come to know and love the fantastic coverage that Outdoor Life um OLN er... Versus has done for the Tour de France over the past several years. It is simply without compare. Because of their terrific coverage and their lack of dedication to anything else, the Tour is absolutely their calling card, their bread and butter, even their raison d'être. If they do nothing else right, they do this right.

They did not cover the NHL awards show as they promised they would. Their coverage of the NHL has been bad at times, dodgey most of the time, and once in a while, good.

Today, they dropped the ball big time. At a critical moment of their main event. The final day of the TDF features eight laps around the Avenue Champs-Élysées. On the final lap, with just about two kilometers to go, Versus lost their feed. The stage was still up for grabs. Anyone could have won stage 20. Even the entire tour was still up in the air. Contador had a 23 second lead, but anything could have happened.

Imagine losing the feed with about 90 seconds to go in a one-goal game in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. That's what this is like.

They got the problem fixed, and they showed us the exciting end, but it is not a good sign when they can't do everything right on the TDF.

1 comment:

magnolia_mer said...

Heaven help us, he's got a countdown clock to opening night.

Now I know EXACTLY how much longer I have to wait to get my Canes fix.

It's soooo long. 62 days!


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