January 16, 2007

NHL#s > NBA #s. So says Dallas Mavericks' owner Mark Cuban: "I would be doing the same thing if I was the NHL. And suddenly your numbers are bigger than basketball's."

posted by garfield to hockey at 12:28 PM - 21 comments

"It's just total box office. Advertisers don't care. You guys drink beer. We drink beer. You guys play video games. We play video games. You guys wear stupid sneakers and pay too much money for 'em. We do the same." I like this guy.

posted by garfield at 12:45 PM on January 16, 2007

You're absolutely right, Mark. So please buy the Penguins and fix the NHL. Thank you.

posted by SummersEve at 12:51 PM on January 16, 2007

Mark comments in this article about the 'inferiority complex' that hockey is suffering from and that it is related to the NBA; In related news he told football and baseball to stop picking on its brothers and encouraged NASCAR to look deep into a mirror and repeat the affirmation, "I am good enough, strong enough and darnit, people like me."

posted by pbrandguru at 12:57 PM on January 16, 2007

I'm with La Grande Douche on this one. Buy the Pens, Mark, help build that arena and save that proud franchise. You know, if it isn't going to come to Ontario or Winnipeg (and it isn't - I was being selfish on that one, I'd love Sid and Evgeni to play in Canada), I'd prefer to keep it in Pittsburgh. Come on, it's a lousy $150 million. Tops, baby, TOPS. Chuck in another $50 or so to get the groundwork started on a new multipurpose stadium and we're done. Just don't go buying that ivory backstratcher.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:07 PM on January 16, 2007

Thirded. Buy the cash-cow-to-be already! I thought Cuban's remarks would've started more controversy than this. An NBA owner essentially dissing his own league by comparing it unfavorably with the down-trodden NHL. But apart from the treason-angle of Cuban's comments, I think there is something there.

posted by garfield at 03:04 PM on January 16, 2007

Just goes to show you that the NHL is still stuck in the "because that's the way we've always done it" mentality. Mark Cuban would be a welcome addition to the hockey world. I hope he finds a way to get more involved.

posted by diastematic at 03:15 PM on January 16, 2007

As usual, Mark Cuban is absolutely, 100% right. The NHL is much bigger than it thinks it is, and it suffers despite its superior product and rabid continent-wide fan base because of poor marketing and myopia at the highest levels. NBA people (and NASCAR people) are just louder than hockey people in the broadcasters' boardrooms of mainstream America, and David Stern is hands-down a better marketer than Gary Bettman ever will be. The next NHL Commissioner should be a hockey fan with a serious marketing background (I don't have anyone in mind, but don't tell me there aren't any of those) who leaves the hockey stuff to someone else and spends his (or her) time talking up the game to everyone who will listen. Cuban's continued interest should be trumpeted from the rooftops, encouraged and enhanced. If I were commissioner, I'd give Mark Cuban a new franchise if he couldn't close a deal for an established one.

posted by chicobangs at 03:21 PM on January 16, 2007

Don't stop with the Penguins, Mark. Buy the franchise, then foment a palace revolt in the NHL Board of Governors and get yourself appointed Commissioner. What better way to get back at David Stern than to put the NHL way out in front of the NBA in winter sports popularity. Too bad that there is no international week-to-week network broadcast of NHL hockey. It might take actual treaty negotiations to revise telecommunications agreements, but if it could be done, you would see a lot more advertisers supporting the NHL.

posted by Howard_T at 03:42 PM on January 16, 2007

Agreed. Any multinational retail/service operating in the northern hemisphere would kill to be lead sponsor of the 'Global Game of the Week'. But that is alittle far off. NHL ratings published in a format that sets the major sports on more equitable footing would be a significant victory. And despite the fact that I hate Gary Bettman, I love the hockey the league provides and would be thrilled to see the league rebound with rambunctious elan. And the 'Who replaces Bettman' discussions can't start soon enough. But I don't see it happening within the next three-four years. Maybe when the CBA expires....

posted by garfield at 03:59 PM on January 16, 2007

Mark Cuban + Peter Puck (its time for his comeback) = Improved Exposure for the NHL.

posted by danjel at 06:12 PM on January 16, 2007

I forgot to add a link to Peter Puck in my comment above.

posted by danjel at 06:17 PM on January 16, 2007

A global game of the week would be fantastic. Especially if it lead to the NHL revising the schedule in order to promote more big time match ups (such as Original Six games or a game like the Capitals-Penguins).

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 08:17 PM on January 16, 2007

Mark Cuban is one of the few truly brilliant owners in pro sports . All you need do is look how the Mavs have been transformed here in Big D. As for hockey in Canada,I've always considered myself an in the know fan since the days of the original Six. Not to be sexist but I had my lunch handed to me by a casual lady fan who just happened to be Canadian a few years ago in a discussion. It was like talking to the Commish!

posted by sickleguy at 08:28 PM on January 16, 2007

I only wish he would have addressed the over-expansion of the league as well. Over expansion has sapped the league of talent for the sake of pursuing a hot stadium market even if the demand for the sport is low. The same applies for the NBA and MLB in my opinion. Overall, I appreciate Cuban's comments.

posted by gradys_kitchen at 10:48 AM on January 17, 2007

To heck with Mark Cuban buying the Penguins. Maybe Tom Hicks is ready to sell the Stars again. Mark could buy the Stars and save a bundle on commuting costs.

posted by wljranch at 12:42 PM on January 17, 2007

Dr. Jerry Buss is the most brilliant owner in basketball. Before him, there were no cheerleaders, no celebs at games, no showtime! Buss transformed the NBA, not Mark Cuban..no matter how many free tacos he gives away!

posted by bluekarma at 05:48 PM on January 17, 2007

oh, and hockey sucks. The way they fake injuries reminds me of soccer.

posted by bluekarma at 05:48 PM on January 17, 2007

oh, and hockey sucks. The way they fake injuries reminds me of soccer. It does? SHIT. I have WASTED 28 goddamn years watching this thing that sucks?!?! I am so mad, right now. Mostly at my parents and my dog - and HE KNOWS WHY.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:14 PM on January 17, 2007

oh, and hockey sucks. The way they fake injuries reminds me of soccer Right, an NBA player trying to draw a charge goes down like he's been shot. A kicker or quarterback trying to get a call acts like they've been hit by a car. And a hockey player who's just been hit in the eye with a stick exaggerates the effects some times to draw the power play. Not quite like a soccer player acting as if he's got a compund fracture in his ankle because he was tripped. Ask Stevie Y about the theatrics after he played three playoff games with a fracture in his leg. Bluekarma, your ignorance of the game is astounding. Enjoy your WWE this weekend.

posted by tahoemoj at 07:14 PM on January 17, 2007

And a hockey player who's just been hit in the eye with a stick exaggerates the effects some times to draw the power play. And if the player has that bottle of NHL Approved "Fake Blood" when he gets high sticked, he can even make it a 4 minute power play. How about the way hockey players fake those bruises and broken bones when they get hit by the puck laying blocking shots? You'd think they just hit by a piece of hard rubber going 90 mph.

posted by wljranch at 09:22 PM on January 17, 2007

a piece of hard rubber ...mined from deep within the planet Vulcan.

posted by garfield at 10:14 PM on January 17, 2007

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