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About Pirate_Caniac

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  • Birthday December 31

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    Greenville, NC
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    hockey and lacrosse

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  1. This would be awesome to see. Hope it can be done.
  2. Well, belonging to the group by itself will do nothing. But the group is a means to organize and spread information, so that anyone who is upset about it can write an informed letter/email to Versus, or for other ideas that can make it known that we fans are upset about it. So some change could come of it.
  3. Yeah, that probably has a lot to do with it. Most people originally from NC are split into either UNC or Duke fans, even though they go to some other college. For me, it's just ECU. Though, I've actually seen a lot more hatred from State fans towards ECU than the other way around. Most students I've known from ECU consider it a rivalry, but have friends at State and even go hang out with them at times. When I wear an ECU hat or shirt in Raleigh, I get the evil eye from a lot of people, and have had people make comments to me about how ECU (or EZU) is just a stupid party school. Like there's much difference between any colleges in that regard anymore. Maybe there's a bit of a generational gap difference there, though? I've only been in the mix since the football games started back up again, so wasn't around for anything prior to that.
  4. That's why it's a big deal on the ECU end. When most of the games were played in Raleigh to begin the rivalry, and then it takes the state legislature to force games to be played, it's your standard underdogs fighting against what seems to be everybody to get some credit. Though I've never really understood why there is so much hatred between ECU and State. We're basically just fighting over the rights to be second fiddle to UNC. Should be more focused on them instead, and ought to have a little more common grounds in that. Ivy, I'm a huge Big Ten fan as well originally being from Ohio (Go Bucks!). While I chuckle when I hear bragging about football down here as well, things are improving. If ECU can get into a BCS conference, then the other schools in NC and the surrounding region will have something to really fear. And yeah, I remember those Illinois games all too well... Nothing against ASU, but part of me wonders why the heck we had that game scheduled. ECU is trying to build up by playing bigger name schools for their OOC games. Plus, if ECU wins, it will simply be that we were supposed to win. But if ASU wins, it's a huge upset. And after what ASU has done the past few years, the latter is much more likely of happening than most other 1-AA schools we could play. Just has me scratching my head. Keeping the State game would have been preferable to ASU. If ECU doesn't have the injury problems this year we could make even more noise than last year, and the ASU game really doesn't help with that.
  5. I was really hoping the Browns would hire him as their new head coach, myself. After all, he was once an assistant there before he got the Steelers job, so already had ties to the team.
  6. Well, there's your problem. Florida is one of the states with an outrageous cost of living, because of all the snowbirds that have gone or moved there the past 30-odd years. When you're talking about things in the "South", Florida is pretty much automatically not included other than actual location because it is so different from the rest of the region for nearly everything. The cost of living in NC, which is what is being talked about, is much lower than most northern areas. Especially New York. Salaries are typically lower because your dollar goes further, housing prices are lower, etc. Taxes vary greatly, too, depending on what is being taxed. In some states food and clothing aren't taxed, for example, yet they are in NC. Also, NC has the highest state tax on gasoline for most of the southeastern region of the US. There's a gas station I go to where most of the east coast is listed and only West Virginia is higher. Many will blame income taxes being higher in NC than most of the rest of the region because the state is more "progressive", which is only partly true. It's also because the state has been extremely pro-business since about the 1950's, and corporate taxes are kept to a minimum while personal income taxes pick up the slack. That's just a nutshell of the history of NC politics, though.
  7. You hit the nail on the head there with the last point. It truly is a "chicken or egg" issue. The problem is how to convince the media that there can be the demand for hockey if they just show it. The media outlets seem to be slowly realizing it and doing more, but it is such a slow process that it is frustrating to many of us fans. Didn't realize that TSN was a premium channel that you had to pay extra for, either. Always had sounded to me like it was one included with most cable packages much like ESPN 1 and 2 are here in the US. Especially considering it is ESPN in Canada. Interesting to know that.
  8. Hoyle, nobody is asking for special treatment. We are simply saying that Versus isn't a channel that is easily available to everyone in the entire US. Thus, the Versus deal sucks because it is hindering the growth of the sport by limiting the people who can watch. In the most important time of the year for the NHL, at that. Just like how CBC and TSN pick up the various playoff series up in Canada, wouldn't it be better for the NHL to have a major cable channel that most people who get cable get pick up the majority of the games in the playoffs here in the US? I've heard a little of the problems with TSN2 up in Canada where many markets haven't had that channel due to corporate fights. Imagine if TSN2 were the only channel that carried ALL the playoff games in Canada, and that is basically what we're complaining about. This isn't just about the Canes, or the SE teams, or any specific market. It's about all 24 teams in the US. It may be more of a problem in some markets than others (mainly for those who are in the playoffs at any given time, and depending on how Versus is available in each market), but it affects all of them.
  9. What channels are the playoffs on? Do you have to pay extra for those? That's what I'm complaining about. Not the 82 regular season games. I don't expect them to put all of those on free TV. The Canes right now can only be seen on Vs. during the playoffs, and the only way in my market that you can get that is to buy a special digital sports tier. That includes a cable box ($5/month), having to pay for the regular digital services, and then the actual tier of channels on top of that (at least $10/month). Yes, I've got it, but how many people are going to pay $15 a month extra in order to get a channel that almost never shows any Canes games during the regular season, and really just for the playoffs. Especially when they are constantly screwing over our team because we're a small market. In 05-06 I had to go to sports bars to watch the games before I finally bit the bullet and got the above package added on. Those were my only two options, and both cost extra. Back then it was easier, but with the current economy it's much tougher. This is the time for the NHL to make it's push is during the playoffs. Instead we get a far superior product during the regular season here than what we're getting now. If the geniuses in charge of this stuff think that the best way to grow viewership is to make it as difficult to see the games as possible for potential new fans and one way or another pay more in order to see them, that really doesn't say much for how much they know about gaining viewers.
  10. Very well said, and exactly the point I'm trying get across, hctimo787! So much of viewership revolves around exposure to the sport. It's not as simple as "if you play it, they will watch" (kind of like if you build it they will come). But how can they watch if you don't? We've got four major networks here in the US (NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX), plus you could throw in the CW. Then we also have many TV stations that are included with most peoples' standard cable across the country, like the ESPN's, TBS, TNT, WGN, etc. Maybe the NHL isn't the biggest catch in the world, but at least to get the playoffs on something like one of those networks instead of Vs., which often needs to be purchased from a special package or even isn't available at all, would be huge. Is putting hockey on one of those networks going to make viewership be like in Canada? Heck no. Hockey will never be in the US like it is in Canada. That's where having so many competing sports comes in. But that isn't to say that there isn't the interest out there. (It also requires a much smaller percentage of people watching hockey in the US to compete with the actual number of viewers in Canada, when you look at the populations, so the percentages don't necessarily need to be the same.) And if the NHL does the best it can to get it covered decently, then hockey will thrive in non-traditional markets (at least the good ones) as much as it does in the traditional markets. I'm sure there are those who would disagree with me on that, but I honestly believe that. I've got one of those license plates pictured above now myself, and I try to wear a Canes hat when I go out in public as much as I can. Part of it is trying to do my part in showing support, and part is getting interest out there. It works. People will see my hat and make comments. It picks up so much more when the Canes are in the playoffs, though. Just the other day I was out having dinner and the waitress started chatting with me about the Canes because of my hat. You wouldn't believe the number of blank stares I've gotten when I say that the game is on Vs. That's not to say that all you need to do is get a decent TV contract, either. Something I've been saying they (the NHL, or if not them the teams themselves) should do is to promote the team/sport by educating the press. Send out a rep to talk to the talking heads in the media markets. Make sure they understand the sport, and then maybe you'll get some better reporting. This is especially important in the surrounding media markets around the teams. The Raleigh market is doing great, but how many markets surround Raleigh that have different TV stations? Charlotte, Asheville, the Triad (Greensboro, Winston-Salem), Wilmington, and Greenville/Washington/New Bern. There may even be a couple I'm missing, but that's just in NC. That's a lot more potential viewers that they are missing out on, especially when the Canes are making their run right now only 1-2 hrs from many of those places. I'm sure there are many other ideas of how to grow the sport. An obvious one is youth hockey, which is something that is done. Many of these also take time, though, too. But the NHL can certainly do better with viewership if they can get the games where everyone can easily watch them over the current state. You can do everything else, but how much is it going to help viewership if people simply don't get the station it's on? It's easy to just brush it off and say people aren't interested. But are they not interested because they've seen it and don't care about it, or are they not interested because they don't know anything about it?
  11. It's the opposite for me on a non-HD feed. Too often the Vs. shots zoom way too far in and you can't see the action around where the puck is. In fact, for the normal feed they really need to zoom out and get a wider view of the play. It sucks when, for example, a PP is going on and you can only see from the circles to barely behind the net, and not what is going on back at the blue line to see a play developing from the point. They also move so quickly panning back and forth that they lose the puck, which would be improved by a further-out zoom that slowly moves back and forth. That and them switching to different cameras so often, usually far too late several seconds after the play so you simply see the aftermath and not what is actually going on with the puck. Those have been driving me nuts! To get back on topic, too. I miss John and Tripp! I'd take them over these round 3 guys any day!
  12. Well, the thing for me is that no team is entitled to win. Regardless of location, fanbase, how long the team has existed, team salaries, whatever. Winning should always be based on what goes on the field/ice. So I'd never even mean to slightly imply that as a line of thought. Though I can see what I said can be misinterpreted, that's the furthest thing from what I was trying to get across. I was simply saying that just about every market, in almost every sport, suffers when the team isn't doing well but on the flip side also does much better when the team does better. There are always exceptions, but those are just that. Exceptions. But give it long enough and you will see an effect every single time. My point was more that the NHL needs to promote more when a team is doing well in an area where attendance/viewership has been suffering or isn't yet well established. Commercials to advertise the team and the sport are one way, but an even more basic thing is to make sure people can easily watch the game. Case in point, the horrible TV deal where Vs. has exclusivity now for the Pens-Canes series, when the channel isn't easily available to everyone in the Canes' market/region. This is the time when people who don't normally watch the games would be most likely to start watching, yet why would they when they can't just flip the channel at home? The NHL and the Canes are missing out on a lot of potential fans-to-be because of exactly this problem. Yes, the fanbase has been doing great growing around Raleigh and area, but if they had a better TV deal that allowed pretty much everyone to tune into the games it would be even better. Yet in the end, like I said, what do we really expect Bettman to say?
  13. Well, I understand about TV viewership for that, but the fact remains that Chicago attendance was near the very bottom from 2004 to a slight improvement last year, to now the best in the league this year. Stats are here: http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/attendance?year=2009''>http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/attendance?year=2009' target="_blank">http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/attendance?year=2009[/post] That's not a slam against their fans, and I know there can be and are multiple reasons for it. Chicago is the team I'm pulling for in the West myself not because of recent success, but family ties to the city. But the fact also remains that when they were in the cellar, so was their attendance. There is no denying that. You can argue that the team sucked because of ownership, but if the ownership were still bad towards the fans and the Hawks were one of the best teams in the league would the attendance still be that low? I'd bet no. The best in the league? Probably not, either, though. Increased viewership/attendance is based on multiple factors, one of the most being accessibility to watch or go to games. Another being how well the team plays, or how the team treats its fans, or the economy, etc. Not just simply if ratings are low or attendance is low that there are no fans. That's why there is a fairweather/bandwagon effect here in the US, but they are still fans regardless. As for Philly, that's a great exception to the rule. Though if it lasted longer than one season I'm sure you would have seen a much bigger difference. They went from being one of the better teams to the worst and then back up, and the fans knew it wouldn't last.
  14. That's exactly it. How can you be a fan when you don't know when the games are, or what channel? It reminds me of when the Canes first moved here to NC, and for the first few years my broadcast area still had HTS instead of FSS. I desperately wanted to watch my new local team's games, but the only time I could would be if they played the Caps and showed the game on HTS. What was I supposed to do? There is most definitely a "fairweather audience" out there. Just look at most US team markets. When a team is doing well, attendance goes up, and so does viewership. We've seen it in Pittsburgh, Washington, Boston, Chicago, etc. Even here in the Carolina market. The biggest problem is that the NHL doesn't take advantage of that as much as they should. They need to learn to cultivate that and grow using that. They don't do much advertising. They don't create any interest. They put the games on Vs., which isn't available to everyone. Some have to get an extra package to watch it. Others don't get it at all. How are people supposed to watch if they don't even have the channel? Plus the coverage on NBC is a joke. Though what do you expect Bettman to say? "Yeah, none of us NHL execs are happy with the deal with Vs and NBC. It really sucks, and we'd like to get out from under it." So long as the contract is in place he needs to kiss their butts or risk getting sued or simply having the plug pulled on the games being televised, and how many networks would be lined up to take the NHL after the commissioner just badmouthed the previous channel(s)?
  15. I've been thinking of going over for this, but same problem. Nobody else in my crew is interested in such a late (or is that early ) adventure. 1 1/2+ hrs over and the same back alone so late just is pretty tough, especially after an OT game like last night. Maybe we'd be able to get a little caravan of Greenville Caniacs set up at some point for this next round? Maybe set up a Caniac party at one of the local sportsbars, followed by anyone who is interested joining the caravan to RDU.
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