I am trying to understand something with hockey fans across the country. Why don’t you like NBC’s “Inside the Glass” NHL analyst Pierre McGuire?
Over the last few years, McGuire seems to be getting bashed left and right by NHL fans who post messages on Twitter. The only announcers who seem to get bashed more are ESPN’s Chris Berman and Dick Vitale.
I like McGuire. I think be does a great job. Maybe he speaks too much sometimes, but he provides valuable information. Also, McGuire has been gracious enough to appear a couple of times on my college hockey radio segment during the season.
I also couldn’t have been more surprised and humbled when McGuire sent me a nice email thanking me for my positive critique of him during the 2009 NHL Winter Classic.
Recently, NBC Sports Group executive producer Sam Flood spoke with Sports Illustrated media writer Richard Deitsch about McGuire.
“I consider Pierre to be the gold standard, the position of being inside the glass was created because of Pierre,” Flood said. “His skill set is uniquely suited to telling stories on air. His knowledge of the game and background of every player on the ice is incredible. He is a huge asset. He won an Emmy Award this year for obvious reasons.
“The sad thing about how society is today is there are a small group of people who shout loud and hide behind blogger names and fraudulent titles and attack people. They attack Cris Collinsworth. They attack Al Michaels. They attack Pierre McGuire. They attack Mike Milbury. They attack Keith Jones. They are a bunch of chickens who hide behind their Twitter names and attack people. Shame on them. If you want to say something, say it with your name behind it. But if you want to hide behind funny little names on the Internet, be my guest. But shame on you.”
And, I agree with Flood.
Now, I’m giving you the chance to weigh in about McGuire. Send me your thoughts about him and why you like him or why you can’t stand him. Please keep the comments clean.
Send them to either firstname.lastname@example.org, or via Twitter @slapschotts. I will publish the comments in an upcoming column.
Strong Cup ratings
Wednesday’s thrilling Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals earned NBC Sports a 3.8 rating and averaged 6.459 million viewers, the network said Thursday.
Those numbers for the Chicago Blackhawks’ 6-5 overtime victory over the Boston Bruins were up 124 percent and 120 percent, respectively, versus last year’s Game 4 between New Jersey and Los Angeles. That game got a 1.7 rating and 2.935 million viewers.
Viewership of Wednesday’s game peaked in overtime (11:15-11:30 p.m.) with 8.192 million viewers.
Through four games, the four game shave averaged a 3.1 rating and averaged 5.356 million viewers across NBC (Games 1 and 4) and NBC Sports Network (Games 2 and 3), the best on record since 1994, and up 107 percent (1.5 rating) and 118 percent (2.460 million viewers), respectively, versus last year.
NBC is averaging 3.428 million viewers for its coverage of the playoffs, a 50 percent increase over the same time period last year (2.283 million). For the entire playoffs, NBC, NBC Sports Network and CNBC have combined to average 1.342 million viewers per game, up 15 percent from last year (1.164 million).
Game 5 of the Cup finals is tonight at 8 on NBC13 (WNYT) and WNYT HD.
NBA Game 7 rates
Thursday’s Game 7 of the NBA Finals between the San Antonio Spurs and Miami Heat earned a 15.3 rating for ABC, ESPN announced Friday.
The Heat’s 95-88 victory, which gave them their second straight title and third overall, was watched by 26,319,000 viewers. That’s the second-biggest audience ever for an NBA game on ABC, according to Nielsen.
The NBA Finals averaged 17,667,000 viewers, marking the second-highest figure since 2004 and a 5 percent increase from last year (16,855,000 viewers).
Amsterdam radio station WCSS-AM (1490) will be broadcasting all home games and select road games of the Amsterdam Mohawks, who play in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League. Bob Rotruck, the play-by-play voice of the AHL’s Adirondack Phantoms, is calling the games for the Mohawks. . . .
YES and YES HD will televise New York Yankees’ Old-Timers Day at 11 a.m. Sunday, followed by the Yankees-Tampa Bay Rays game at 2 p.m. . . .
FOX23 (WXXA) and FOX23 HD will have the Boston Red Sox-Detroit Tigers tonight at 7. . . .
ESPN and ESPN HD begin their Wimbledon coverage at 7 a.m. Monday. . . .
The NBA draft will be on ESPN and ESPN HD at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. . . .
There are two Major League Soccer games on Sunday. At 5 p.m., ESPN and ESPN HD have New York at Philadelphia. NBCSN and NBCSN HD will televise the Colorado at Portland match at 7 p.m. . . .
The FIFA Confederations Cup continues this weekend. ESPN and ESPN HD have Italy against Brazil at 2:30 p.m. today, while at the same time, ESPNEWS and ESPNEWS HD televise Japan vs. Mexico. At 2:30 Sunday, ESPN and ESPN HD carry Nigeria vs. Spain, and Uruguay against Tahiti is on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD. . . .
The U.S. Track and Field Outdoor Championships are on this weekend. NBCSN and NBCSN HD will have coverage at 5 p.m. today. NBC13 and NBC13 HD have Sunday coverage at 4. . . .
On the auto racing scene, Speed and Speed HD will televise the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Coverage starts today at 8:30 a.m., with updated coverage at 4 and 7:30 p.m. The end of the race will be seen at 6 a.m. Sunday. TNT and TNT HD have the NASCAR Sprint Cup Toyota/Save Mart 350 at 3 p.m. Sunday. At 2:30, ABC10 (WTEN) and ABC10 HD carry the IRL IndyCar Iowa Corn Indy 250. ESPN and ESPN HD have the NASCAR Nationwide Johnsonville Sausage 200 at 5 today. . . .
ESPN and ESPN HD will have the first two rounds of the U.S. Women’s Open golf tournament at 3 p.m. Thursday and Friday.