Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Compelling Reason to Sign Roenick

According to this story from the Sports Business Journal, Philips Arena luxury boxes will soon feature almost-live audio with accompanying video from the bench during games.

With the Thrashers' current roster, this doesn't amount to very exciting news. What will these lucky patrons get to experience other than heavy breathing from the players who just left the ice, Jimmy Slater's enthusiastic cheering, and John "She Just Started Likin' Cheatin' Songs" Anderson telling his players to just get the puck to their Czar? Perhaps some creepy silence from Slava Kozlov? The occasional witty barb from Colby Armstrong or Eric Boulton?

Obviously some roster moves are in order this summer, and in the interest of getting the most mileage possible out of this new on-bench-audio perk, DW should put forth great efforts to sign the one and only Jeremy Roenick. Sure, it'll be a hard sell since he'll be hoping to play for a cup contender if he decides to come back for another season at all. But there's no one else in the league who can offer up the verbal riches of JR.

In fact, the fans in luxury boxes wouldn't be the only ones to benefit from JR's verbosity. I'm certain he would be more than willing to step in as a pinch-interviewee for the ever-reluctant Slava Kozlov whenever he is tabbed as the number one star of the game. Hell, JR could even be a pioneer by serving as the NHL's first ever player-color-commentator by wearing a microphone and earpiece and joining Dan Kamal's broadcasts while still playing. Baseball used to have player-managers, and with a gift of gab like Roenick's, why not a player-commentator?

All kidding aside, I think the (edited for content) bench audio is an intriguing idea and would love to hear it to see what it does for the game-watching experience. The accompanying video, however, may be taking it a little far. First of all, you'd have to have a distorted image to get the entire bench in one shot, which would be fairly useless. Second, I've played hockey and been on the bench during a game. What players do on the bench isn't always fit for viewing by the general public. Kind of like what Patty Stefan used to do on the ice.

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