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  • Re: NBC/Versus deal with College Hockey

    Originally posted by JDUBBS1280 View Post
    BTW - I hope your move to Hockey East helps your recruiting efforts out there, because I can assure you it will cool your recruiting efforts in the Midwest. You just got Mario Lucia, but he is a legacy (and I heard even he wasn't thrilled with the move to HE). Say goodbye to getting as many Anders Lee's, Steven Fogarty's, ect... from Minnesota.
    We managed to recruit these kids despite playing in a dump, with admissions requirements as tough as any public institution playing hockey, and without yet climbing to the elite status of plenty of other schools. We never believed we had an inside track to any of the most elite kids from Minnesota (or anywhere else) and this changes nothing.

    Recruiting is a dramatically changing dynamic in college hockey. The idea of kids growing up dreaming of going to just one school and pursuing their sports dreams there is over. Look at how this ideal has NEGATIVELY affected Notre Dame football in the last generation. The elite high school football player no longer dreams of playing for Notre Dame based only on the traditions of the past. Perhaps Notre Dame is at the fore in all of this in college hockey. I'm not worried.

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    • Originally posted by WeAreNDHockey View Post
      We managed to recruit these kids despite playing in a dump, with admissions requirements as tough as any public institution playing hockey, and without yet climbing to the elite status of plenty of other schools. We never believed we had an inside track to any of the most elite kids from Minnesota (or anywhere else) and this changes nothing.

      Recruiting is a dramatically changing dynamic in college hockey. The idea of kids growing up dreaming of going to just one school and pursuing their sports dreams there is over. Look at how this ideal has NEGATIVELY affected Notre Dame football in the last generation. The elite high school football player no longer dreams of playing for Notre Dame based only on the traditions of the past. Perhaps Notre Dame is at the fore in all of this in college hockey. I'm not worried.
      You CLEARLY don't understand the Midwest hockey culture (specifically that in Minnesota).

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      • Re: NBC/Versus deal with College Hockey

        Originally posted by JDUBBS1280 View Post
        WRONG! Minnesota has HUGE national cache in hockey. I cannot tell you how many unaffiliated fans I bump into at Mariucci each and every year. Or how many fans from other states and countries we have posting on GopherPuckLive. They have a HUGE national following for hockey.
        I'm talking about over all branding of college sports. I understand the reach of Minnesota hockey among college hockey fans. Along with just a couple of other schools it's arguably at the top of the mountain. I've been around this sport for 35 years. I know the history of Gopher hockey. But ask a hundred people what first comes to mind when you say "college sports." Minnesota won't not be at the top of that list anywhere outside of Minnesota.

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        • Re: NBC/Versus deal with College Hockey

          Originally posted by WeAreNDHockey View Post
          Where did I say this TV deal is going to propel Notre Dame to some elite status above anyone? In fact I said even with Notre Dame, few would likely be watching. But if you're going to get any kind of a ratings draw you need names that resonate in all corners. Minnesota has zero national cache among college sports fans. Zero. And since college hockey has about a tenth of the followers of college basketball and perhaps 1/1000th that of football, where do you think that leaves Gopher hockey in California, Pennsylvania, Indiana, or anywhere else? As for LOCAL ratings, yes, no college hockey will outdraw Minnesota games on FOX Sports North IN MINNESOTA. But once you get outside of your team's home region, NOONE is watching you.
          Don't mind people like that. Fans of the B1G Mistake and the HUG8 Mistake have to set expectations for ND and HEA in the stratosphere so when the deal inevitably falls short they can scream, "I told you so!" It's like playing up your opponent's debate skills so any mistake will be magnified.

          I think the Versus deal will be an absolute disaster for both Notre Dame and Hockey East and we'll be lucky if even one person tunes in for a game.

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          • Re: NBC/Versus deal with College Hockey

            Originally posted by JDUBBS1280 View Post
            WRONG! Minnesota has HUGE national cache in hockey. I cannot tell you how many unaffiliated fans I bump into at Mariucci each and every year. Or how many fans from other states and countries we have posting on GopherPuckLive. They have a HUGE national following for hockey.
            All those unaffiliated fans you bump into at Mariucci are from outside of Minnesota? They all care so much that they travel hundreds of miles to see Minnesota at Mariucci? WOW!!

            Simple fact remains - The ratings the BTN gets will be VASTLY greater than what NBC gets, and that will never change.
            I seem to recall that for years many here were adamant that B1G hockey would never happen either.

            Sean
            Last edited by Sean Pickett; 10-20-2011, 01:13 PM.
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            • Re: NBC/Versus deal with College Hockey

              Originally posted by WeAreNDHockey View Post
              I'm talking about over all branding of college sports. I understand the reach of Minnesota hockey among college hockey fans. Along with just a couple of other schools it's arguably at the top of the mountain. I've been around this sport for 35 years. I know the history of Gopher hockey. But ask a hundred people what first comes to mind when you say "college sports." Minnesota won't not be at the top of that list Canywhere outside of Minnesota.
              Who cares about college sports in general. What you fail to grasp is that college hockey is the niche sport of all niche sports, and it will ALWAYS be that way in this country. I have watched college hockey for the last 35+ years and it has changed very little, if any.

              Schools like Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Notre Dame have fans all over this country and internationally, and we didn't need a National TV deal to do it.

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              • Re: NBC/Versus deal with College Hockey

                Originally posted by Sean Pickett View Post
                All those unaffiliated fans you bump into at Mariucci are from outside of Minnesota? They all care so much that they travel hundreds of miles to see Minnesota at Mariucci? WOW!!

                I seem to recall that for years many here were adamant that B1G hockey would never happen either.

                Sean
                I'm in a Hockey State of Mind in Minnesota
                BC Heights Student Newspaper

                By Joe Gravellese

                "Dad, you won't believe this. There's more Bruins stuff here than there is at home."

                I had to call my father; who else would I call when walking into a great shrine of hockey?

                "Here" was the Mall of America, the bastion of American consumerism lying on the outskirts of the great city of Minneapolis, Minn.

                Naturally, I had to check out every store with sports memorabilia. (There are times when I am glad that I have no money. If I ever did come into money, I'm sure most of it would go to such stores. Who wouldn't pay $3,000 for an autographed panoramic photo of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team?)

                As one would expect in the state that dubs itself "the State of Hockey," the game is omnipresent - and it's hard to walk too far without finding NHL and college hockey apparel.

                Like the baseball fan's trip to Fenway Park, the football fan's journey to Lambeau Field, the music lover's visit to Carnegie Hall, and the history buff's walk along the Freedom Trail, every member of the great church of hockey should make the pilgrimage to the Holy Land that is Minnesota.

                When I was around 10 years old, I saw Boston University (yeah, them) play against the Minnesota Golden Gophers on TV at Marriucci Arena in Minneapolis. Something about that arena and that game resonated with me, and stuck in my consciousness for years - and the more I read about it and thought about it, the more I decided that I had to get out there for a game. I finally made it this month, as a Gophers men's game coincided with the visit of the Boston College women's hockey team to Minnesota.

                I'm not really sure what it was that drew me in. Fans at Boston University's Agganis Arena and the University of New Hampshire's Whittemore Center are just as loud, and their stadium is nearly as nice as Mariuicci (sadly, our antiseptic Conte Forum, with its half-empty seating bowl at the drop of the puck, does not make that list).

                But there is something about the way people live the game in Minneapolis that makes it different, and makes it special.

                Everywhere I went in Minneapolis, I saw people wearing Gophers jackets and sweatshirts. Every store seemed to carry something with the "M" logo on it. The local newspaper provided wall-to-wall coverage of the weekend's series.

                The only real comparison that I can come up with for the love that people have for the Golden Gophers in Minneapolis is the way Boston embraces the Red Sox.

                But even that seems like a flawed analogy. The unique thing about the University of Minnesota's team is that it is composed almost entirely of players from in-state. With so much talent in-state (an estimated 45,000 Minnesotan kids play youth hockey each year), it seems unnecessary to go elsewhere.

                As such, the following for the Gophers seems more akin to Italians following their national soccer team.

                On the night I went, the Gophers were playing against in-state rival St. Cloud State. Over 10,500 people filled the arena and seemingly all of them were decked out in maroon and gold (I can't help but love the colors).

                It's quite a feeling to walk into Mariucci Arena for the very first time. The first thing that struck me was just the size of the place. There is one seating bowl, and it is very steep in order to give everyone in attendance a great view of the ice. Because of that incline, the bowl seems massive. If you've ever been to BU, picture the Agganis Arena - then add about 4,000 seats and a ring of very impressive luxury boxes.

                The walk around the concourse is also jaw-dropping for the first-time visitor. Murals, posters, and banners highlighting great moments in Gopher history are all around. One of the greatest trophies in sports, the McNaughton Cup, given annually to the WCHA's regular-season champion, was proudly on display in the trophy case.

                The game itself is also a different experience from what we get at home. While I'm proud to say that our student section is just as good if not better than their's (they are more creative with their chants, but we are louder throughout the game), the way the entire crowd was so involved in the game was such a jolt from the usual emotionless BC crowd. Great saves, great chances, and good plays brought the entire crowd to its feet.

                And when the Gophers scored, the arena sprung to life as the fans went into their favorite cheer: "M-I-N-N-E-S-O-T-A! Minnesota! Minnesota! Yeahhhhhhhhhh ... GOPHERS!"

                I'm not impressed by much, as I tend to hold sporting venues to the nearly impossible standard of Fenway Park. But that particular moment was quite impressive.

                Living hockey in Minneapolis is not just limited to the Gopher men's team. The Gopher women's hockey team has its own beautiful 4,500-seat arena. Indoor and outdoor skating rinks are everywhere. And one of the crown jewels of Minnesota sports, the annual High School Hockey tournament, draws over 16,000 fans each year to the Xcel Energy Center, home of the Minnesota Wild.

                So I guess the right analogy is some sort of cross between Texas football, Italian soccer, and Boston baseball. Sound good?

                I'm a Boston guy, through and through, and BC is the only place where I could ever see myself. But now that I've made my dream visit to Minneapolis a reality, there will always be a place in my heart for the hockey-loving school on the banks of the Mississippi.


                BC Heights Article

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                • Re: NBC/Versus deal with College Hockey

                  Originally posted by JDUBBS1280 View Post
                  You CLEARLY don't understand the Midwest hockey culture (specifically that in Minnesota).
                  You sound exactly like a Notre Dame football fan, circa 1985. I sure do wish THEY had been correct, because if so this weekend's game between ND and USC would probably be positioning Notre Dame for about their 14th or 15th MNC. Instead, it's the 5th time in the last 15 seasons that both teams come into the game unranked.

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                  • Re: NBC/Versus deal with College Hockey

                    Originally posted by JDUBBS1280 View Post
                    If you think this TV deal is going to propel Notre Dame to some elite status above the Big Ten schools, you are dreaming big guy.
                    It all means nothing in the grand scheme of things. Notre Dame is only "on loan" to Hockey East until Notre Dame's current football TV contract expires. They just needed a place to land with the loss of the CCHA. Independent football is one thing and you can survive just fine. Ask UAH how well independent hockey works. The BigTen is just like the NCHC - they want no part of Notre Dame's current TV deals. Once the football contract expires, Notre Dame takes their entire athletics department to the BigTen (driven by the need for NCAA football to get everyone into 4 mega-giant conferences - and you thought college hockey was a mess). And just like that , Notre Dame hockey will be out of Hockey East just as quickly as they joined.

                    Ryan J
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                    • Re: NBC/Versus deal with College Hockey

                      Originally posted by JDUBBS1280 View Post
                      Joe's article
                      What in there disproves what Sean said about people from OUTSIDE Minnesota following the Goofers?

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                      • Re: NBC/Versus deal with College Hockey

                        Originally posted by WeAreNDHockey View Post
                        You sound exactly like a Notre Dame football fan, circa 1985. I sure do wish THEY had been correct, because if so this weekend's game between ND and USC would probably be positioning Notre Dame for about their 14th or 15th MNC. Instead, it's the 5th time in the last 15 seasons that both teams come into the game unranked.
                        Notre Dame doesn't, and never has, produced a vast majority of it's talent within state. The closest thing I can think of to Minnesota Hockey is Texas Football, and IMO that doesn't even really compare.

                        I am heavily invested in Minnesota Youth hockey, and I can assure you that you WILL lose recruits from Minnesota because of your move East. You'll still get some, but not as many.

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                        • Re: NBC/Versus deal with College Hockey

                          Originally posted by Priceless View Post
                          What in there disproves what Sean said about people from OUTSIDE Minnesota following the Goofers?
                          It was written by a Boston College fan for the Boston College newspaper. It is just one of MANY, MANY, MANY examples of people from outside Minnesota who fall in love with Gopher Hockey because of the history and tradition.

                          Like I said, I bump into TONS of fans at games who aren't from Minnesota and aren't Gopher fans. Minnesota has THE largest hockey fanbase in this country and that won't change IMO. The NBC deal is great for college hockey in general, but those who think it will start a shift in the balance of power are simply delusional.

                          Mariucci isn't nicknamed "Mecca" for no reason
                          Last edited by JDUBBS1280; 10-20-2011, 01:30 PM.

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                          • Re: NBC/Versus deal with College Hockey

                            Originally posted by JDUBBS1280 View Post
                            I have watched college hockey for the last 35+ years and it has changed very little, if any.
                            You haven't watched very closely then.

                            35 years ago we had a 4 team "national" tournament, held in one location per season. Now we have a 16 team tourney that takes place in 5 different cities each season. We had no live national TV 35 years ago. Now all tournament games are on some form of national TV, and there are numerous games available to the diehards nationally each week. In 1976 there were 2 conferences that mattered, now there are 5 that will send teams to the tournament and in 2 years it will be 6. Few if any college hockey players went on to long careers in the NHL in the 1970s. I believe over a third of all NHL players on opening day rosters this season played college hockey. The NHL was almost openly hostile to NCAA hockey when I saw my first game in 1976, now there are former NCAA players throughout the NHL, some even running teams. 35 years ago no one dreamed of European players in the NCAA even as a few began playing professionally in North America. Now Notre Dame has flags of four nations hanging in its arena and other teams have also enjoyed players from far flung locations. In 1976 I was surprised if a final score didn't add up to 10 or 12 goals. Now I am surprised if it is 6 or 7.

                            On second thought, yeah it hasn't changed at all.

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                            • Re: NBC/Versus deal with College Hockey

                              [QUOTE=JDUBBS1280;5234540]Notre Dame doesn't, and never has, produced a vast majority of it's talent within state. The closest thing I can think of to Minnesota Hockey is Texas Football, and IMO that doesn't even really compare. /QUOTE]

                              I agree they may lose MN recruits but if you believe that MN hockey comes even close to TX football then those recruits will go somewhere and why not ND?

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                              • Re: NBC/Versus deal with College Hockey

                                Originally posted by JDUBBS1280 View Post
                                Mariucci isn't nicknamed "Mecca" for no reason
                                Quite right. It's nicknamed that because it's what select Gopher fans refer to it as. But unlike say Michigan's The Big House or Florida's The Swamp, no one else calls it that.
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