As a devout hockey fan, I am growing more and more frustrated with the way the NHL lockout negotiations are progressing. Or, I should say, not progressing.
And it doesn’t look like we are going to see games any time soon, especially after NHL commissioner Gary Bettman’s suggestion that the league and NHL Players Association should take a two-week break from the negotiations.
Now, the two sides will, eventually, come to an agreement. It will most likely be a repeat of 2004-05, when the deal was reached after the cancellation of that season.
But what needs to be really resolved this time is something that has been affecting hockey fans in the Capital Region for years.
I want the NHL blackout rule to be eliminated.
In case you have forgotten (with the lockout ongoing, it’s understandable), when the Buffalo Sabres are home, MSG must show their games and black out any games being played on the same night by the New York Rangers, New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils. This is an issue that the fans of the Rangers, Islanders and Devils have been angry about. The Capital Region is closer to the New York City area than Buffalo.
For a sport that wants attention, preventing fans from watching games isn’t the way to get positive results.
I know there are many Sabres fans in the Capital Region. But I will bet that they can match the number of Rangers fans. And since we have the Albany Devils, we should be able to watch all of the New Jersey Devils’ games.
I want to go down, lock Bettman and the NHL TV people in a room and tell them, in no uncertain terms, that the people of the Capital Region deserve to have the blackout rule eliminated. It’s the least the league can do for us after making us sit through another lockout.
Think about it, Gary. If you aren’t negotiating with the players, at least negotiate with me on this TV issue. It’s time for the blackout silliness to end once and for all.
Here are the upcoming games in the NFL and college football that will be on TV and the Internet. Most of the ESPN and ESPN2 games will also be available on ESPN3, ESPN’s Internet outlet.
Announcers (where available), in order of play-by-play announcer, analyst and sideline reporter, are in parentheses:
FOX23 (WXXA) and FOX23 HD — Philadelphia at Washington, 1 p.m. (Thom Brennaman/Brian Billick/Laura Okmin).
CBS6 (WRGB) and CBS6 HD — N.Y. Jets at St. Louis, 1 p.m. (Ian Eagle/Dan Fouts); Indianapolis at New England, 4:25 p.m. (Kevin Harlan/Solomon Wilcots).
NBC13 (WNYT) and NBC13 HD — Baltimore at Pittsburgh, 8:20 p.m. (Al Michaels/Cris Collinsworth/Michele Tafoya).
ESPN and ESPN HD — Chicago at San Francisco, 8:30 p.m. (Mike Tirico/Jon Gruden/Lisa Salters).
CBS6 and CBS6 HD — Houston at Detroit, 12:30 p.m. (Jim Nantz/Phil Simms).
FOX23 and FOX23 HD — Washington at Dallas, 4:15 p.m. (Joe Buck/Troy Aikman/Pam Oliver).
NBC13 and NBC13 HD — New England at N.Y. Jets, 8:20 p.m. (Al Michaels/Cris Collinsworth/Michele Tafoya).
Time Warner Cable SportsChannel-1 — Rutgers at Cincinnati, noon (Eamon McAnaney/David Diaz-Infante/Paul Carcaterra).
ESPN and ESPN HD — Iowa at Michigan, noon (Dave Pasch/Brian Griese/Jenn Brown); Kansas State at Baylor, 8 p.m. (Brad Nessler/Todd Blackledge/Holly Rowe).
ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD — Northwestern at Michigan State, noon (Bob Wischusen/Danny Kanell/Maria Taylor); North Carolina State at Clemson, 3:30 p.m. (Mike Patrick/Ed Cunningham/Jeannine Edwards); Tennessee at Vanderbilt, 7 p.m. (Mark Jones/Brock Huard/Jessica Mendoza); BYU at San Jose State, 10:30 p.m. (Beth Mowins/Joey Galloway/Kaylee Hartung).
ESPNU and ESPNU HD — Florida State at Maryland, noon (Tom Hart/John Congemi); Duke at Georgia Tech, 3:30 p.m. (Anish Shroff/Dan Hawkins); Syracuse at Missouri, 7 p.m. (Clay Matvick/Matt Stinchcomb/Allison Williams); Arizona at Utah, 10:30 p.m. (Joe Davis/Kelly Stouffer).
MSG and MSG HD — Arkansas at Mississippi State, noon (Dave Neal/Andre Ware/Cara Capuano).
MSG Plus and MSG Plus HD — Central Florida at Tulsa, noon, (Mike Gleason/Dave Lapham/Desmond Purnell); Texas Tech at Oklahoma State, 3:30 p.m. (Ron Thulin/Brian Baldinger/Jim Knox); Iowa State at Kansas, 7 p.m. (Steve Physioc/JC Pearson/Laura McKeeman).
NBC Sports Network and NBCSN HD — Yale at Harvard, noon (Randy Moss/Ross Tucker/Carolyn Manno); Colorado State at Boise State, 3:30 p.m. (Paul Burmeister/Rod Woodson/Anthony Herron); Old Dominion at James Madison, 7 p.m. (Todd Harris/Blaine Fowler).
CBS Sports Network and CBSSN HD — Temple at Army, noon (Ben Holden/Randy Cross/Cadet Dan Sprouse); Texas State at Navy, 3:30 p.m. (Grant Boone/Todd Christensen/Sheehan Stanwick Burch); Texas-El Paso at Southern Mississippi, 8 p.m. (James Bates/Aaron Taylor/Lauren Gardner).
Big Ten Network and BTN HD — Indiana at Penn State, noon (Kevin Kugler/Chris Martin/J Leman); Minnesota at Nebraska, 3:30 p.m. (Eric Collins/Derek Rackley/Jon Jansen).
ESPN3 — Western Carolina at Alabama, noon (Mike Morgan/Chris Doering/Jill Montgomery); Kent State at Bowling Green, noon (Greg Franke/Tom Cole); North Dakota State at Illinois State, 12:30 p.m.; Jacksonville State at Florida, 1 p.m.; Wofford at South Carolina, 1 p.m.; Georgia Southern at Georgia, 1:30 p.m.; Liberty at VMI, 1:30 p.m.; The Citadel at Furman,
1:30 p.m.; Alabama A&M at Auburn, 2 p.m.; Indiana State at Youngstown State, 2 p.m.; South Florida at Miami, 3 p.m. (Rich Waltz/Keith Jones/Jenn Hildreth); Sam Houston State at Texas A&M, 3:30 p.m.; Charleston Southern at Coastal Carolina, 3:30 p.m.; Utah State at Louisiana Tech, 4 p.m. (Trey Bender/John Bunting); Northwestern State at Stephen F. Austin, 4 p.m.; Western Kentucky at Louisiana-Lafayette, 7 p.m. (Jonathon Yardley/Forrest Conoly); Samford at Kentucky, 7:30 p.m. (Matt Stewart/Cole Cubelic/Angela Mallen).
MY4 (WNYA) and MY4 HD — Virginia Tech at Boston College, 12:30 p.m. (Tim Brandt/Dave Archer/Mike Hogewood).
FX and FX HD — Washington at Colorado, 1:30 p.m. (Justin Kutcher/Eric Crouch/Darius Walker).
FOX College Sports Pacific — Lehigh at Lafayette, 1 p.m. (Steve Degler/Mike Yadush/Troy Hein); Cal Poly at Northern Arizona, 6 p.m. (Mitch Strohman/Kevin Stephens/Reggie Eccleston).
ESPN Classic — Bethune-Cookman vs. Florida A&M, 2 p.m. (Mike Corey/Jay Walker).
FOX23 and FOX23 HD — Southern California at UCLA, 3 p.m. (Gus Johnson/Charles Davis/Julie Alexandria); Oklahoma at West Virginia, 7 p.m. (Craig Bolerjack/Joel Klatt/Petros Papadakis).
Pac-12 Network and Pac-12 HD — Washington State at Arizona State, 3 p.m. (Kevin Calabro/Adam Archuleta/Yogi Roth); California at Oregon State, 10:30 p.m. (Ted Robinson/Glenn Parker/Ryan Nece).
CBS6 and CBS6 HD — Mississippi at LSU, 3:30 p.m. (Verne Lundquist/Gary Danielson/Tracy Wolfson).
ABC10 (WTEN) and ABC10 HD — Ohio State at Wisconsin, 3:30 p.m. (Joe Tessitore/Matt Millen/Quint Kessenich); Stanford at Oregon, 8 p.m. (Brent Musburger/Kirk Herbstreit/Heather Cox).
NBC13 and NBC13 HD — Wake Forest at Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m. (Tom Hammond/Mike Mayock/Alex Flanagan).
Time Warner Cable SportsNet-696 and TWCSN-1707 HD — Wyoming at UNLV, 4 p.m. (Barry Tompkins/Jay Leeuwenburg).
ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD — Akron at Toledo, 7 p.m.
ESPN and ESPN HD — Texas Christian at Texas, 7:30 p.m. (Rece Davis/Jesse Palmer and David Pollack/Samantha Steele).
ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD — Syracuse at Temple, 11 a.m. (Tom Hart/John Congemi).
ESPNU and ESPNU HD — Game TBA, 11 a.m.
ABC10 and ABC10 HD — Nebraska at Iowa, noon (Mike Patrick/Ed Cunningham/Jeannine Edwards); West Virginia at Iowa State, 3:30 p.m. (Dave Lamont/Kelly Stouffer).
CBS6 and CBS6 HD — LSU at Arkansas, 2:30 p.m. (Tim Brando/Steve Beuerlein/Marty Snider).
FX and FX HD — Utah at Colorado, 3 p.m. (Mike Morgan/JC Pearson/Laura McKeeman).
FOX23 and FOX23 HD — Washington at Washington State, 3:30 p.m. Craig Bolerjack/Joel Klatt/Petros Papadakis).
ESPN and ESPN HD — South Florida at Cincinnati, 7 p.m. (Mark Neely/Ray Bentley); Arizona State at Arizona, 10 p.m. (Carter Blackburn/Rod Gilmore/Jemele Hill).