Angry Alexis: I’m Changing The %!@? Channel!
A little over a year ago, Tampa’s first FM sports radio station hit the airwaves. It was an exciting time, largely because it seemed as though the station would focus on our local teams with more regularity than national news. With former Bolt Chris Dingman co-hosting the Kirk and Dinger Show on 98.7 The Fan, we were sure to get more coverage of both the Lightning and hockey. While there is some mention of the Lightning, hockey is largely ignored on the airwaves. Even more disheartening is when it is discussed by personalities like Kirk McEwen who don’t bring intelligent points to the conversation. I got tired of being enraged by the inaccuracies and disrespect for our professional hockey team. That’s why I decided to turn my radio off.
Hockey will never match the popularity of football and baseball in the United States. Those games are just too big and too entrenched in our national culture to suggest otherwise. With the Super Bowl approaching, it makes sense that a large amount of radio time will be devoted to the game itself. There are absolutely no arguments there.
However, when it is announced that a segment will be devoted to discussing the Lightning, maybe it should be about their big game against their division rival Toronto Maple Leafs tonight. It’s their first meeting of the season and the Leafs have been inconsistent at best. Instead listeners got a re-hashed debate on whether or not Steven Stamkos should play for Team Canada due to his continued rehab from his injury. McEwen then made the correlation that just as Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks was selfish to use his post-game interview for a personal issue that Stamkos is selfish to want to play for Team Canada in the upcoming Winter Olympics. I shook my head, let out some choice words in my car and changed the channel.
The Lightning loom large in our legend. It’s not as big of a deal to people who don’t follow the sport and that’s perfectly understandable. We passionately follow our team and know the nuances of the game, but not everyone does. That’s fine. The issue presents itself when a local radio station chooses to talk about hockey and has no clue about the sport and its happenings. It’s ridiculous, especially when a two time Stanley Cup champion is on their payroll. If guys like McEwen can’t be bothered to learn something about the team he’s talking about, then I can’t be bothered to tune into his station anymore.
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