Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Rip Out the First Two Rows of Seats

I recently had a fun discussion with Roy MacGregor, columnist with the Trono Globe & Mail. He is the person who rekindled discussion about banning the penny in Canada.

Our discussion was about hockey. We both agreed that regardless of the outcome of the current labour strife, and regardless of when some sort of resolution is reached, the NHL still needs to do something to make the game more marketable.

Interestingly, we also both agreed that requiring a larger ice surface would have a positive influence on the game. It would encourage more skating and passing, and less clutch, hook, grab, and trap defence. The game would become more open and more exciting.

I think Brian Goff, co-blogger at The Sports Economist, would agree:

Hockey -- especially the small-rink, clutch-and-hold, two-line offside pass, dump-and-chase North American variant -- does not mesh well with TV. Some of those points were also true of NASCAR in the 1980s, but unlike NASCAR and the NFL, the NHL teams play events practically every other night. Also, the NHL, unlike NASCAR, appears unwilling to make or even experiment with significant changes that make the product more appealing to a wider audience, that is, if you don’t count the TV-enhanced puck.

And as I suggested earlier, The NHL will also have to consider requiring players to serve their now off-setting two-minute minors.
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