Despite paying a boatload of cash to the NHL to broadcast the league on its networks, ESPN is not precisely successful over hockey followers.
On ESPN’s Thursday version of “First Take,” Stephen A. Smith, Michael Kay and Molly Qerim have been discussing which New York skilled sports activities workforce will win a championship subsequent.
Kay, the lead play-by-play announcer for the Yankees, replied with the New York Rangers, citing their current addition of Patrick Kane.
Smith and Qerim thought Kay’s response was approach out of left area.
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“Oh lord. … The only thing I know about hockey is that the puck is black, and I love [NHL commissioner] Gary Bettman — that’s my buddy, who I always go to the hockey games with … football, basketball, baseball,” Smith mentioned.
“They don’t count …,” Qerim answered, saying she meant “no disrespect.”
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Later on within the day, Kay hopped on his ESPN New York radio present with co-host Don La Greca, the Rangers’ play-by-play announcer. The ESPN hosts are tight-knit, however La Greca was “disgusted” by Smith’s feedback.
“I take exception to that. ‘Why are we sensitive?’” La Greca mentioned on “The Michael Kay Show” when discussing why hockey followers did not recognize the jab at their sport. “ESPN has rights. They broadcast games. They had the Stanley Cup Final last year. And a major show of theirs just says they don’t count? …
“Stephen’s gotta do a greater job. He sits there, and so they get MMA, and he talks MMA. They get hockey, speak some hockey. I’m not saying you gotta be fluent in each single sport, however Michael says Rangers. ‘They don’t depend?’ And we’re supposed to simply go, ‘Yeah, I guess they don’t depend.’ And we’re delicate? Give me a break. That’s a foul job by Stephen. Awful job by Stephen. … I’m disgusted by him.”
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Kay did have a reasonably first rate level. The Blueshirts made the Eastern Conference finals final yr and have solely gotten higher with loads of large trades throughout the final couple weeks. The Nets and Knicks, regardless of the latter’s newest sizzling stretch, aren’t precisely championship favorites.
The World Series (Yankees and Mets) will not be performed till late October, and the Jets and Giants are most likely on the skin trying in on the Super Bowl greater than 11 months from now.
The Rangers are in third place within the Metropolitan Division and will face the Hudson River rival New Jersey Devils within the first spherical of the NHL Playoffs.