Evidence that newspapers are skating on thin ice with their sports coverage, unless they change drastically: Philadelphia's Jesse Boulerice's suspension-worthy cheap shot on Vancouver'sRyan Kesler in the Flyers-Canucks game last night is in the 16th paragraph of the game story and the seventh of Tony Gallagher's column.
Boulerice is Topic One on all the other platforms: TSN, Sportsnet, their websites, the blogs like Mirtle each had the means to make it a main story. The newspaper game has more creative and talented people compared to radio or television, yet their hands are tied since the powers-that-be impose such tight deadlines that a game story has to be filed within a few minutes after the game ends.
So when Boulerice laid out Kesler, the writers in Van were already typing (not writing) a mile-a-minute about the Canucks getting several coats of shellack laid on them in an eventual 8-2 loss to Philly. There were little to no time to realize what, in a larger context, was more important than one bad game from the hometown team, and revise accordingly. Explain how tying the hands of your talented people makes sense in a competitive media environment. There has to be a better way.
Who knows? Maybe we'll see the return of the afternoon newspaper, which would give the sportswriters time to actually write and not just type.
The media's going to take a run at Boulerice over the next 24-48 hours. Hopefully a super-sharp writer with a big audience such as Damien Cox (not to put words in his mouth) can put the onus on how junior hockey, specifically the OHL, doesn't deal well with curbing aggression. Both Boulerice and suspended teammate Steve Downie are not bad people, but their time in the OHL imparted some poor lifelong hockey lessons.
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