Open Letter to NHL.com Regarding “Highlights” Videos

Dear guys or gals who edit the local and national broadcasts of NHL games into roughly 5-minute-long clips,

First and foremost, I am a very big hockey fan.  I love the game.  In fact, I love the game so much my friends and I started blogging and podcasting (tboneandthehockeydoggz.wordpress.com) wherein we discuss NHL players, teams, and whatever else .  The best parts of the game in my opinion (and most other people’s I would guess) are the parts that are the most exciting; goals, saves, and hits.  These three things are what make the game.  Without them hockey would just be really big dudes with knives on their feet pushing each other around, passing a piece of rubber back and forth with a stick on ice.  Not really what I would call “paying-attention-worthy”.

Not me...yet.

Secondly, its is important to point out that although I do have a job and pay the necessary bills, I am “poor”.  I’m not living on the street or boiling my boots for stew or anything, but I’m on a strict budget.  And, have you seen the price of cable these days?!  It’s insanity!  Internet I can pay for because it’s a necessity for the 20teens, but cable is a luxury I cannot afford.  Also for the record, I would gladly pay the $119.00 for NHL GameCenter Live except that I live in Philadelphia, PA which is right in the heart of blackout country.  Correct me if I’m wrong but if I did purchase NHL GameCenter Live I would not be able to watch games played in Toronto, Montreal, Boston, Ottawa, New York City, Long Island, Buffalo, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Washington, or Pittsburgh.  That’s pretty much every Eastern Conference game I want to see.  I would be left with the Southeast Division (the most inconsequential division) and Western Conference games that I would have to stay up until 12:30am to finish.  I don’t know about you guys, but my parties start promptly at 10pm and there are much more interesting things I would like to talk to the ladies about than why Joe Thornton is the best passer in the NHL.

That’s where you guys or gals who edit the local and national broadcasts of NHL games into roughly 5-minute-long clips come in.  You are my only hope, Obi Wan Kenobi(s).  I rely on your editing skills every day to show me all the best parts of the game that aired earlier, as well as to spare me the D-to-D pass or the chip-in and line change.

I’m going to be honest here; you could do better…sometimes the highlight videos really suck.  It’s frustrating to me as a viewer because I know how easy it would be to fix.  I know you guys aren’t in a cutting room pasting together actual film.  I’ve used Final Cut Pro, it’s simple.

I would like to know what happened, but there was no replay!

Two words guys, “more replays”.  You might say, “Well, we only have five minutes, we can’t fit more content in to show more replays”.  It would be a lot easier to show replays of goals, saves, and hits,  if you didn’t show clips where nothing engaging happens.  Case in point: when a guy chips it out of his zone, the opposing defense picks it up, passes D-to-D, passes it to a forward who regains the zone who makes a crappy shot from just inside the blue line that ends up as a textbook blocker save, I don’t care.  Not only is that boring, but it’s also unimportant.  Goals, however, are the most important part of the hockey game, they are the way one team beats another.  There have been so many times dudes are pushing and shoving in front of the net and somehow the goaltender is beaten and I’m like, “What just happened, how’d that go in?” and without a slow-mo replay or an overhead shot of the net, I never find out.  Granted, these goals are usually not amazing plays or beautiful moves, but so what?  It would be a lot more interesting than a shot that goes wide or a battle along the boards in the neutral zone.

One of my favorite things about the highlight videos is getting to hear all of the regional sports network announcers.  The Buffalo Sabres’ Rick Jeanneret, John Kelly and Darren Pang in St. Louis, and Jim Hughson on any Canadian game are guys I wouldn’t be able to hear anywhere else.  However, the highlight videos rely too much on the broadcasters for cuts.  Apart from hearing who scored the goal, I’m not watching the video to hear what the broadcasters have to say, I’m watching it to look at what happened with my eyes.  Cut them off in mid-sentence, who cares?  Or, if that doesn’t fit, it would be a lot better/cooler if you just removed the sound and put in something badass, like parts of Eddie Van Halen’s Eruption, or Flight of the Valkyries.  You could play Tracy Chapman for all I care, as long as I can clearly see what happened on the play.

I hope nobody take offense to this.  I really do rely on those video recaps and I would sorely miss them if they were gone.  However, If you took my advice as a viewer, you could really improve upon the roughly 5-minute-long highlight videos.  Maybe you guys are too busy to make them perfect but I have good news:  I got plenty of time!  I wrote this letter didn’t I?  As I stated earlier I love hockey, I can use Final Cut Pro, in addition to that I’m a diligent worker.  I just want to say now though that if you do hire me, you will probably end up seeing a lot more stuff like this making it into the final product:

Thanks,

-T-bone

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