The Stanley Cup playoffs in the National Hockey League start this week, or as I like to refer to it, the best tournament in the world, starring the best athletes in the world, playing the best game in the world, for the best trophy in the world. Complain if you like, but this happens to be a fact. So how could a tournament that is so hard to win, and so incredible to watch have anything dumb about it?
Well check it out, puckheads- here are the 5 dumbest things about the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
#5. Rookie Playoff Beards
The Stanley Cup playoffs begin in April and for the eventual champion, end in late June. As such, many players stop shaving when the tournament begins, which can lead to amazing beards on amazing champions. But if you're like a young Sidney Crosby, who took a beating in 2008 for this pathetic looking peach fuzz, maybe you should just not try at all.
#4. Announcers Complaining About Sitting Comfortably And Talking
One of the greatest things about the Stanley Cup playoffs is, if regulation time ends with the game tied, they just play hockey until somebody scores. But despite the fact that Stanley Cup playoff overtime is the most thrilling thing in sports, somewhere along the line, you always get some idiot announcer in a comfortable chair, complaining about how late he has to stay up to cover the game.These guys kill me. I mean, sure, you're working late. But you know what? Your job isn't hard. I mean, it's not like you are sprinting in 60 second shifts on ice skates for 6 hours, while large men with sticks try to seriously injure you, like the players are. And also, when it finally does come to an end, you'll get to witness something extraordinary. Is that really so bad?
#3. Cutting Away From Overtime
If there is one thing dumber than announcers complaining about how long overtime is, it's when TV networks actually cut away from the game altogether, like NBC did in 2007, cutting away from the overtime of game five of the Eastern Conference finals between Ottawa and Buffalo, so they could show two hours of pre-race coverage of the Preakness Stakes, a horserace. Yes, there were contractual reasons that NBC had for doing that, but the fact remains that NBC cut away from one of the most exciting events in sport in favor of watching a bunch of horses standing around. Appalling.
#2.The Second Place Trophy
Before facing each other in the Stanley Cup Final, the Champions of the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference are awarded the Prince of Wales Trophy, and the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl, respectively. A lot of to-do is often made over whether the winners of the trophy should pose with it, and many superstitious players have refused to touch it, thinking that it will jinx their chances at the Stanley Cup. That would be fun if it was true, but players who have refused to touch the second place trophy have gone on to lose in the Cup final, and players who have touched it have won. So, there's no jinx. Give the second place trophies to the owners in private, or just scrap them altogether. Who cares about second place?
#1. Commissioner Gary Bettman Awarding The Stanley Cup
One of the most bone-headed moves in all of the Stanley Cup playoffs has always been the presence of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, who gives a hammy speech and awards the Stanley Cup to the winning captain. Bettman, who presided over the NHL lockout in 2004, remains one of the most widely despised figures in hockey by the fans, and is consistently booed in every NHL arena in North America. Is that fair to Bettman? Probably not. Is it a bummer of a moment at a time that should be glorious? Definitely. So who should award the Cup? Simple- a beloved Hall of Famer with a connection to the organization who wins it. If Detroit wins, bring out Gordie Howe with the cup. If it's Boston, Bobby Orr. If it's Edmonton, Wayne Gretzky. With all due respect to Commissioner Bettman, nobody really wants to see him there at that moment, and he should sit it out.
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