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Counting for dummies, deja vu, and the NHL dropping the ball on online video.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007
I'm ashamed of you all, folks. I've been hearing about just how hard these Dis or Dats have been for a lot of you. You just can't handle a little pop culture trivia, can you? Can you!?

Fine, then. Let's give everyone here a Dis or Dat more on their level for today:

And when you're done with that, maybe we can all take a nap after having some milk and cookies!

Playful mocking of my (very few) wonderful readers aside, how about those Eastern Conference Finals, huh? And here I thought that I was crazy for saying that either Buffalo or Ottawa was going to pull off a series win in just five games. If things continue the way they've been going, we'll see a series sweep of the Sabres by sometime tonight!

Actually, as I watched Monday's game, I couldn't help but feel a sense of familiarity wash over me as the game progressed. The low shot count (15) ... the horrible power play (that even led to a 2-on-0 for the shorthanded Senators!) ... no scoring ... an absolutely discombobulated defense that was only kept in the game because of a goalie fighting for his dear life ...

... and then it hit me!:

Yeah, that's right. Welcome to the ice ... your Buffalo Yellow Sabres!!

Columbus Sabre Jackets, Buffalo Blue Sabres, and various other name plays are also acceptable. Either way, they played as bad as -- if not worse than -- the Blue Jackets prior to the hiring of Ken Hitchcock. Ironic, since it was a 1-0 loss that forced the Jackets' to make that coaching change. Maybe that means they'll fire Lindy Ruff before game four? Well, probably not ... but I have a feeling his job security is under some serious fire right about now over in Buffaslug, U.S.A.

But don't worry, Buffalo. Columbus is just a few hours drive away. And we have some pretty nice golf courses around here! Maybe Rick Nash and Daniel Briere can link up on the greens to decide off the ice who should have won the All-Star MVP award from this season, eh?

But enough about the lowly Sabres and their soon-to-be finished playoff run. I have a bone to pick with the NHL, and in particular, the way they've gone about their use of YouTube to branch out to potential hockey fans.

As most everybody knows by now, the NHL came to an agreement with YouTube some several months back, where the league would regularly upload clips of games, plays/goals/saves of the week, and even the occasional special video. For a while, this was good. In fact, for a time, I could regularly rely on NHL Video-related uploads to be in the Top Viewed slots on YouTube. At least in the Top 100.

But the thing about such a venture is that you can't just sit on your hands and expect simple recap clips to do the work for you.

Let me use as an example the NBA; for anyone who hasn't noticed, since the latter part of the basketball season, the NBA has been aggressively pursuing the use of YouTube for their own clips. Imitation is a form of flattery, I suppose, and so the NHL should feel flattered that their closest competitor in the sports market would follow in their footsteps.

But here's the thing ... here's the important part about taking advantage of YouTube while the rest of the professional sport's leagues are only now catching up in terms of internet video; the presentation is as important as the content.

Compare the user page for the NBA to the page for the NHL. A simple enough start to my point, where you'll see that even for something as simple as a userpage, the appearance can breed a positive impression if it looks professional, but a negative impression if it looks amateur.

But let's also compare the videos, too, since those are the most important aspects of YouTube and using the site in the first place. Take a look at an NBA video ... pretty much any NBA video. What do you see? That's right; they don't use a simple, re-aired feed of a game, or just splice together a bunch of top plays. No, they actually use their feed from NBA TV, which allows for commentary during their daily playoff coverage, as well as replaying of top plays.

And look at how fast they update, too! It's Wednesday, April 16th, and already they've been able to throw up their pre-game capsule of what to expect today, the recap of the previous day's games, and the top 10 plays from yesterday! Obviously the people who work for the NBA in this division are on the ball when it comes to quick yet quality updates.

The same can't be said for the NHL, sadly. And don't think I am taking for granted what I am getting from the NHL via YouTube, either ... because honestly, I'm happy that they're even trying to bring me video highlights and weekly/monthly top plays. But the problem is that when you compare it to other leagues such as the NBA, and what they're doing on sites like YouTube? It's like comparing peanuts to a chicken parmesan sandwich when trying to figure out what you want for dinner.

The frustrating part is that if the NHL actually had people who were willing and able to update their videos in the wee hours of the morning like the NBA does, this wouldn't be an issue. The NHL has the NHL Network, which means it isn't impossible for them to do something similar to, if not on par with, what the NBA does by using clips from NBA TV.

I don't know, man. It just seems to me like this whole "Once they see the product, they won't need all the bells and whistles" mentality of the NHL isn't working. They need to evolve their method of posting on YouTube ... not just stick with what they've been doing since the beginning.

But, hey. Just my opinion.

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Name: Michael
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About Me: A mid-20s male who feels much too old even before he's 30. Has a degree in Sport Management and after branching out and trying a few other things in the job market, has finally decided to go back to his first love of hockey and hope he can break in with a team, big or small, somehow.
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