Saturday, April 25, 2009

In Praise (but also plenty of ridicule) of NHL on the Fly

Mr. Plank and I were chatting about the greatness (but also the humorous flaws) of "NHL on the Fly" and it dawned on me that the show needs a love letter. Yet since I cloak myself in a veil of cowardly sarcasm, that love letter will make fun of the show a lot.

For those of you (sad, CHEAP, PATTTTTHEEEETIC) people who aren't aware of NotF, it is basically the NHL's answer to the formerly great ESPN show "NFL Primetime." Actually, scratch that, it's even better: it's NFL Primetime if it was on an absurd 10-hour loop.

If you want to know what happened in the NHL each night and you hate the Internet (good for you), then NHL on the Fly will impregnate your heart.

ANYWAY, the most fun part might be making fun of the "broom closet" production values of the show. And what better way to do that then by hurling superficial insults at the show's hosts? I thought you'd never ask!

Dan Pollard
Not much to say about Dan "DP" Pollard so it's natural to go to a double penetration joke. I'm cheap.

Brian Duff
Blandly likable, a lot like Dan Pollard. Unfortunately the only goofy pun nickname you could give him is a Simpsons beer reference, not something sexual. Therefore I like Dan Pollard better. This is not a Democracy.

Craig Button
FINALLY, someone I can make fun of. Craig "cute as a" Button is "the Italian guy" on NHL on the Fly. (Note: he might not actually be Italian.)
It's fun to imagine him when an intern gets him a coffee without his patented "just sugah."
Button: "You call this coffee? You fucking call this coffee?"
C'mon you know that has to happen at least once a month.

Gary Green
Now we make it to the friendly old man with that could-be-creepy twinkle in his eyes. Green seems like the "cool uncle" who would take his 10-year old nephew to "Porky's" yet the kid's parents just can't seem to object to their son's too early exposure to showered breasts. Seriously, try to imagine maintaining anger at double G. Not going to happen, Ace.
There are a lot of odd associations that come with Green. For some reason he sort of reminds me of the "Jump to Conclusions Mat" guy from "Office Space."
OK I'm a bit fucked up.

Larry Murphy
When you look at Larry Murphy, it's kind of hard to believe he was a hockey player (and a really good one too). Isn't it?
I get the feeling that Larry will join Bill Clement in the "younger generations will be stunned that they were players" zone. Here's some Hall of Fame members:

  • Pat Summerall
  • Phil Jackson(even though he's really fucking tall)
  • John Davidson
  • Lenny Wilkens
  • Larry Brown

There are probably a lot more guys that give you the "no shit, they played?" feeling but I'm drawing a blank.

Dave Reid
Reid - and all the NHL on the Fly guys, really - seems to really know what he's talking about. If I met him, I would probably drop my sarcastic, difficult shtick in favor of trembling fear.
That is just how I react to a crew cut.

Bill Berg
Berg's photo is a tough find. It's really a shame, too, because his "confused" expression is quite a treat. It's not that he's bad, either, it just that it seems like he's perma-perplexed. And that's one of the things that makes him awesome.

Bill Clement
It's pretty stunning that Clement is the guy who got shit canned (or at least left) from the Versus studio show being that he's the only guy I'd willingly watch on TV.
I used to hate him, but couldn't put my finger on the reason. Then I realized that he looks EXACTLY like my high school Biology teacher.* As my memory of high school fades more with each season, I like Clement more.
Plus, the mustache.

The Detroit Freud Wings is more like it. Ha ha Psychology humor. I suck.

Carrie Milbank
OK, well, she's not on NHL on the Fly but you deserve a reward for reading this far. God bless you.

* - My high school Biology teacher wouldn't allow his children to watch TV. Look, TV rots your brain ... but if you don't watch it, you will be smarter than your peers and they will HATE you for it.


wrap around curl said...

It's because Clement looks like Pat O'Brien. NOW THINK OF THOSE CREEP AUDIO SEX TAPES THAT SURFACED.

You're welcome.

jamestobrien said...

Holy shit. My God.

Joe said...

Me and Earl had a discussion back on deadline day I think, about Bill Clement. We both realized after the Thorne/Clement pairing was split up, that Clement was actually pretty good, but before that, we attributed hate of Gary Thorne to Bill too.

Also, Larry Murphy really knows his shit, I think he just has a little trouble spitting it out on TV. OTF should only consist of Gary Greene, Reid, and Murph.

Also, you are now manually remembering the first time you saw Bill Clement in one of those shirtless bug spray commercials. So bizarre...

jamestobrien said...

Aw, Joe did you have to mention the bug spray thing? My mind successfully blocked that out. I'm convinced I could have gone the rest of my life without remembering that commercial. Damn it.

AmyB said...

I've only seen NHL on the Fly, like, once. I don't have all those fancy channels. I must say, Murphy looks very distinguished in those glasses.

Unknown said...

The thing I love most about On the fly is the set. Just compare it to the other league channel nightly highlight shows sets.
NFL Network, huge beautifully decorated set with all kinds of bells, whistles and a high "gee-wizz look at that" factor.
MLB network, their set looks like they saw NFLN's and thought "We can't let them look better than us, we'll show them.."
NBA network, who knows? I never watch that network, but there's no way their set is as low budget and cheesy looking as On the fly's.
It all totally makes On the fly look like a cable access show based in a tiny Toronto suburb somewhere.
I love it. I'll be bummed if they ever actually get a budget to do something more fitting a big time national sports league.

jamestobrien said...

You're right, IP, the goofiness is part of the charm. NHL on the Fly is seriously hockey crack.