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Are you listening, Sports Illustrated?

March 11, 2012

Sports Illustrated has never been my favourite sports magazine because it has historically undervalued women with its swimsuit issue and dismisses my favourite sport (hockey, if you couldn’t tell), by providing little or no valuable coverage.  In addition to the recent ‘NHL Puck Bunny’ fiasco, this year SI has provided NHL fans with the following ‘player voted’ polls:

  • The most over-rated players in their sport, polling 161 players! Wow, that’s only 23% of the minimum on-roster players in the NHL.
  • The player most in need of a haircut (really?), canvassing ooh 196 players! We’ve moved up to 28% now.
  • The star player easiest to intimidate,145 players for 21% of the population.

That’s just the most ridiculous polls this past season.  You can say I’m irritated because I’m a Leafs fan and aside from the haircut poll, we topped the lists again.  But given, the irrelevant sample size and the authors of the poll, I think I can be forgiven for dismissing their results.

What really annoys me, however, is that SI had the audacity to post an article called “Flaws Clear in NHLPA-Hockey Night Poll” – which covered such topics as fighting in the NHL, the instigator penalty, best players, most over-rated team, most under-rated team, top team to play for, top arena to play in and top coach to play for.  SI states that, “About a third of the players responded to the poll, and that’s a very strong sample size, but some teams abstained from participating as did a number of individual players. People who do audience measurements and such for a living say that without knowing who did and didn’t answer, it’s hard to know if this sample size is an accurate representation of the NHLPA membership as a whole. But it is what we have and we’re glad to have it.”

Well, pot? Meet kettle. Your polls didn’t even come close to a third of the NHLPA membership (I used the minimum 23-man roster over 30 teams – 690 players – for my rough percentages – there are aound members of the NHLPA, say plus or minus 5/6 players), and you question the NHLPA/Hockey Night in Canada (HNIC) numbers?  Nice try.

I am not one of those “People who do audience measurements and such for a living…,” but I can see the discrepancy here.  First off, the relevancy of the polls (do I care that someone needs a haircut other than myself?) is questionable. I am fairly sure that most hockey fans don’t care.  Secondly, the amount of coverage that other media outlets gave your polls because you are SI was ridiculous, given the poor statistical support for the polls themselves. Lastly, taking shots at what was an attempt to poll players on issues relevant to themselves and their fan base was laughable.

The media is constantly striving to attract more readers/watchers/consumers. Degrading 50% of the population and ridiculing the hockey fans in the remaining 50% probably isn’t the sharpest move. How about providing some legitimate coverage for that 4th sport in North America’s Big Four?

Are you listening SI?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 13, 2012 7:11 PM

    I like the idea of asking some female fans we know why they love the game. After all the negativity surrounding that SI thing, I think a positive response is in order. Female fans sharing their love of hockey and their passion for the game would be a nice way to challenge that stupid puckbunny image and do it with class. I’m sure many of the CWGAP girls would be happy to share their views – what do you think?

    • March 13, 2012 8:05 PM

      That’s exactly what I was thinking – maybe a quote from each person we can get, to say what they love about the game.

  2. April 12, 2012 5:24 AM

    i liked your post, thanks man for this post!

    • April 12, 2012 10:12 PM

      Thanks Mike – I appreciate it! I’m very much an actual fan of the game and my Leafs!

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