Best Since Yesterday

June 3, 2008

So, the ratings for game 5 of the Pens v Red Wings series last night were the best for a Stanley Cup Finals game 5 since 2002.

And I say, “Whoop-dee-doo!”

The best ratings since a series no one watched and no one cared about that was one of the reasons the NHL brass decided they had to get control of the game and make it better and more palatable for a wider audience. The best since they were really bad before. The best since they were so bad the league couldn’t find anyone to pay serious television rights for the next contract.

It isn’t just the NHL. So much lately I’ve been hearing something is “the best since” and the following date is in this century. Which means it isn’t such a big deal, doesn’t it? If it’s the best ever, yes, big deal. If it’s the best in 20 or 30 years, yes, big deal.

Best since yesterday? Nothing special.

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Going Blind in Detroit

May 10, 2008

Is Mitch Albom on crack?

A few years ago I checked out the prices of playoff tix in Detroit. Finals tickets in the lower bowl were $450 each (as a comparison, lower bowl seats in the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia are $250 face, discounted to season ticket holders). Detroit, in case Mitch hasn’t noticed, is one of the most economically depressed areas of the United States. And it isn’t just the recent downturn. The greater Detroit area didn’t really participate fully in that last positive growth of the business cycle.

I have a friend who bought a house in the Detroit area a few years ago. Even three years ago he couldn’t afford to sell that house and relocate because he couldn’t get what he’d payed for it. This wasn’t after the big housing bubble. Now, with the mortgage crisis, $4 gas, and continued hard times for U.S. automakers, who sold their souls and are caught with big gas guzzling SUVs and trucks they can no longer sell enough of, things won’t be getting better in Detroit any time soon.

If the Redwings win the Stanley Cup this year (and really, they look like a team from another, more advanced hockey planet, so I think it likely they will), will anyone be able to afford to come to the parade?