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Thread: Regional Bias... does it exist? Should it exist?

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    Regional Bias... does it exist? Should it exist?

    I was reading on another site about regional bias in college hockey. Is the long term health, growth and success of college hockey being hindered by regional bias?

    The author of the article talked about UAH, UAA and UAF along with the demise of the CHA. He implied that what he wrote does not have a regional bias, but I have read some of his articles and they sure seem to have a bias towards the northern contiguous US.

    I would like to hear from others some examples of regional bias and ideas how we can strengthen college hockey.

    Thanks

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    Re: Regional Bias... does it exist? Should it exist?

    There is definitely bias, I blame the east coast.

    Seriously there is reginal bias in college hockey & I suspect the genesis is from a lack of consistent and constant national coverage. College hockey writers & broadcasters rarely see teams outside their team's conference so conclusions (and voting) are based on small samples.

    Does any other sport have separate eastern & western All-Americans?

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    Re: Regional Bias... does it exist? Should it exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by true2BSU View Post
    I was reading on another site about regional bias in college hockey. Is the long term health, growth and success of college hockey being hindered by regional bias?

    The author of the article talked about UAH, UAA and UAF along with the demise of the CHA. He implied that what he wrote does not have a regional bias, but I have read some of his articles and they sure seem to have a bias towards the northern contiguous US.

    I would like to hear from others some examples of regional bias and ideas how we can strengthen college hockey.

    Thanks
    It only exists with the people that just start to follow the sport come NCAA time. the people that really follow the sport the entire yeah know how good the teams are out west and really shoudn't be taken lightly. Anybody who followed Air Force last year had to know with the right draw they could make it to the frozen four and they darn near did. Now last season everyone knows the East had better hockey teams then the west did but thats not always the case in years past

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    Re: Regional Bias... does it exist? Should it exist?

    I think the nature of being a sports fan makes most people naturally biased towards the teams they follow and the leagues those teams play in. Given that school selection is still largely based along regional lines (eastern players tend to stay east and Western players tend to stay west), some of that is to be expected.

    Fans are mostly parochial, because most haven't really travelled to see a lot of hockey played outside the region where they live. Once you have travelled, I think your attitude tends to become more broad and appreciative of the unique nature of the sport.

    That said, three big factors have made college hockey a more national game - first, the WCHA/HEA interlocking schedule from the mid 80s into the 90s forced the game to get closer together.

    Secondly, USA Hockey's Select 16, 17 and NTDP has centralized recruiting and exposed the best kids on a level playing field.

    And finally, the advent of national publications, web sites and satellite TV has exposed the Eastern and Western products to make everyone much more aware of each other.

    As for your assertion of bias (if you are talking about Adam Wodon) on CHN, I contend that he's the best and most connected national reporter following our sport. He is very fair in his coverage, and works very hard to do what is right for the sport.

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    Re: Regional Bias... does it exist? Should it exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by Puck Swami View Post

    As for your assertion of bias (if you are talking about Adam Wodon) on CHN, I contend that he's the best and most connected national reporter following our sport. He is very fair in his coverage, and works very hard to do what is right for the sport.
    He is not afraid to talk about the tough topics and when you do that people are going to get mad if they don't agree with you. He is a decent writer and is very connected. The sad thing is if he is the best writer that says a lot about how few people cover this sport. I like his website and I read it all the time, but let's be honest he is a average to a little above average sports writer.
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    Re: Regional Bias... does it exist? Should it exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by scsutommyboy View Post
    He is not afraid to talk about the tough topics and when you do that people are going to get mad if they don't agree with you. He is a decent writer and is very connected. The sad thing is if he is the best writer that says a lot about how few people cover this sport. I like his website and I read it all the time, but let's be honest he is a average to a little above average sports writer.

    Nevertheless, we are lucky to have him. Very few beat writers in college hockey know (or care or are incented) enough to cover much more beyond their local team. And there just isn't enough money in college hockey journalism to make a living covering the sport nationally. We are SO lucky to have three solid national web sites covering our sport, but none of them make enough money to employ their staff on a full time basis. These are run in all three places as labors of love...

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    Re: Regional Bias... does it exist? Should it exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by scsutommyboy View Post
    He is not afraid to talk about the tough topics and when you do that people are going to get mad if they don't agree with you. He is a decent writer and is very connected. The sad thing is if he is the best writer that says a lot about how few people cover this sport. I like his website and I read it all the time, but let's be honest he is a average to a little above average sports writer.
    Hate the site can's stand the writers!! but thats just me!!!

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    Re: Regional Bias... does it exist? Should it exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by Puck Swami View Post
    Nevertheless, we are lucky to have him. Very few beat writers in college hockey know (or care or are incented) enough to cover much more beyond their local team. And there just isn't enough money in college hockey journalism to make a living covering the sport nationally. We are SO lucky to have three solid national web sites covering our sport, but none of them make enough money to employ their staff on a full time basis. These are run in all three places as labors of love...
    I agree 100%. I am not sure how he makes a living doing this or does he have another job? This is a regional sport and the people who follow it have as much passion if not more than other sports.
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    Re: Regional Bias... does it exist? Should it exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by scsutommyboy View Post
    I agree 100%. I am not sure how he makes a living doing this or does he have another job? This is a regional sport and the people who follow it have as much passion if not more than other sports.

    As far as I know, all of the poeple who run the college hockey websites at CHN, USCHO and INCH all have other non-hockey related jobs that actually pay their living expenses. The advertising revenue they all get from the 3 web site probably doesn't even cover their out-of-pocket and overhead expenses they have in running the sites, let alone generate any profit.

    In other words, all these guys do it for love of the game, not the money.

    That's why I don't like it when people complain about the coverage.

    It's amazing that all of these guys do what they do for us.

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    Re: Regional Bias... does it exist? Should it exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by true2BSU View Post
    I was reading on another site about regional bias in college hockey. Is the long term health, growth and success of college hockey being hindered by regional bias?

    The author of the article talked about UAH, UAA and UAF along with the demise of the CHA. He implied that what he wrote does not have a regional bias, but I have read some of his articles and they sure seem to have a bias towards the northern contiguous US.

    I would like to hear from others some examples of regional bias and ideas how we can strengthen college hockey.

    Thanks
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but your saying that he's biased towards the "Northern Contiguous" region of the US, which includes something like 55 out of 58 Division I programs?

    I would agree that the 3 main college hockey websites are actually reletively fair across the various regions (including their treatment of UAH, UAA, and UAF) when you compare them with, say ESPN's tv (and other networks') coverage.

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    Re: Regional Bias... does it exist? Should it exist?

    There's regional bias in pretty much all college sports.

    Hockey has the East
    Football has the South
    Basketball has the East
    Softball and Baseball have South/West (although there is a legitimate talent gap between those regions and the North/East)

    I'm sure tennis, swimming, track and others have their biases also.
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    Re: Regional Bias... does it exist? Should it exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by splendidus View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but your saying that he's biased towards the "Northern Contiguous" region of the US, which includes something like 55 out of 58 Division I programs?
    54. As usual SCSU gets NO RESPECT!!!!

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    Re: Regional Bias... does it exist? Should it exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by Slap Shot View Post
    54. As usual SCSU gets NO RESPECT!!!!
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    Re: Regional Bias... does it exist? Should it exist?

    Thats too bad that the writers have to find other day jobs just to be able to make it financially. So why doesn't college hockey do a better job of "nationalizing" our coverage? I understand the regionalism of the problem with coverage as it is... but geez louise even the UFC expanded their fan base with well placed coverage and reaching out to the casual fan. I think college hockey has the best value for the dollar of any sport out there.

    The professional level has expanded to include Texas and other southern states, its too bad that college hockey struggles so much to hold onto the teams we have and yet the AHL is adding more venues and better deals to the casual fan than we have in the last 5 years.

    Maybe this is just the cards that are dealt with being NCAA. I don't know.

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    Re: Regional Bias... does it exist? Should it exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by true2BSU View Post
    Maybe this is just the cards that are dealt with being NCAA. I don't know.
    That's a HUGE part of it. Due to Title 9, to add hockey, the school must add other sports for women (unless they add both). I would also suspect that hockey doesn't make a lot of money (and may even lose money) for their schools unless you are big time - so not as much financial incentive.
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    Re: Regional Bias... does it exist? Should it exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by komey1 View Post
    That's a HUGE part of it. Due to Title 9, to add hockey, the school must add other sports for women (unless they add both). I would also suspect that hockey doesn't make a lot of money (and may even lose money) for their schools unless you are big time - so not as much financial incentive.
    Even the pro hockey fanbase isn't exactly big (compared to other sports, as well as overall) in the non-traditional markets.

    And correct me if I'm wrong, but to gain hold in the COLLEGIATE area of the big four (baseball, football, basketball, hockey) is even a bigger task in the non-traditional markets. You think hockey could gain enough of a stronghold in the southeast (yes I know about UAH) to make it worthwhile? It's 99% football/basketball. You get to the middle south/middle of the nation, you can add baseball to that mix. Go west coast? 3 of the big 4, also.

    Even in a robust economy, there's only so much money to go around, and even if you toss all that money towards a program, you have years of tradition, upbringing, and general interest in the sport to fight against.
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    Re: Regional Bias... does it exist? Should it exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brenthoven View Post
    Even the pro hockey fanbase isn't exactly big (compared to other sports, as well as overall) in the non-traditional markets.

    And correct me if I'm wrong, but to gain hold in the COLLEGIATE area of the big four (baseball, football, basketball, hockey) is even a bigger task in the non-traditional markets. You think hockey could gain enough of a stronghold in the southeast (yes I know about UAH) to make it worthwhile? It's 99% football/basketball. You get to the middle south/middle of the nation, you can add baseball to that mix. Go west coast? 3 of the big 4, also.

    Even in a robust economy, there's only so much money to go around, and even if you toss all that money towards a program, you have years of tradition, upbringing, and general interest in the sport to fight against.
    This is an important point that can't be stressed enough on this board.

    One of the additional factors counting against hockey is the lack of native Western/Southern talent. Sure there are a few Texans and Californians playing D-1 but not nearly enough to stock a league's worth of teams. So your left with importing talent from other regions of the country to fill a roster. At public universities this is a tough sell. Sure Arizona State or Tennessee might not care where basketball or football player come from as long as the Wins are flowing, but hockey?

    There will be a lot of voices asking why sports played by local kids (and the scholarships that come with them) should be passed over to import Joey from Calgary, Jean Marc from Laval, and Ed from St. Cloud.

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    Re: Regional Bias... does it exist? Should it exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by BoomGoestheDynamite View Post
    This is an important point that can't be stressed enough on this board.

    One of the additional factors counting against hockey is the lack of native Western/Southern talent. Sure there are a few Texans and Californians playing D-1 but not nearly enough to stock a league's worth of teams. So your left with importing talent from other regions of the country to fill a roster. At public universities this is a tough sell. Sure Arizona State or Tennessee might not care where basketball or football player come from as long as the Wins are flowing, but hockey?

    There will be a lot of voices asking why sports played by local kids (and the scholarships that come with them) should be passed over to import Joey from Calgary, Jean Marc from Laval, and Ed from St. Cloud.
    And an example of the upbringing/general interest:

    1993 is when the North Stars left were stolen from MN. I travelled to Dallas in Dec 1994. I was giving the people I was with crap about them stealing our hockey team. Not ONE person even wanted the team, and maybe half of them were even familiar that they had a hockey team. To them, it was a blip in the paper, much like the MN Thunder (is that right? ) soccer team here.

    They were ALL about football. Every single person could rattle off every Texas Longhorn/Texas A&M football stat. Even the backups' stats. A rather attractive girl, who any one of us would assume would have no sports knowledge, was telling me about Leeland McElroy, whom I was scouting for a future fantasy football pick. She was quoting his average yards per carry, his ability to hit the hole, his 40 yard dash times, etc etc etc. like we bandy about weak glove hands or whatever.

    Now, fight 3-4+ generations of THAT. With your target audience in most sports: 25-35 year old men. With a "new" sport to the region. Good luck.
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    Re: Regional Bias... does it exist? Should it exist?

    Quote Originally Posted by BoomGoestheDynamite View Post
    This is an important point that can't be stressed enough on this board.

    One of the additional factors counting against hockey is the lack of native Western/Southern talent. Sure there are a few Texans and Californians playing D-1 but not nearly enough to stock a league's worth of teams. So your left with importing talent from other regions of the country to fill a roster. At public universities this is a tough sell. Sure Arizona State or Tennessee might not care where basketball or football player come from as long as the Wins are flowing, but hockey?

    There will be a lot of voices asking why sports played by local kids (and the scholarships that come with them) should be passed over to import Joey from Calgary, Jean Marc from Laval, and Ed from St. Cloud.
    I like the name choices, although we all know the St. Cloud area has no hockey prospects worth spending a scholarship on.

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