Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday's fish fry

I think the editors of National Review have it right:
"The White House was hoping the health-care summit would create momentum among Democrats to push their bill through Congress. It almost certainly did not work. Both sides repeated points that have been made countless times over the past year. That being the case, it seems likely that the public will react to what they heard from the Blair House meeting much as they have to the months-long debate in Congress: by agreeing in larger numbers with the Republican view that the bill the Democrats are pushing is hopelessly flawed....[Democrats'] talking points are simply not believable. For instance, the president tried at the beginning of the meeting to claim that, if his plan passed, individuals would see their health-insurance premiums fall, and he claimed that the Congressional Budget Office backed him up in that regard. But that is not the case. CBO says that premiums would go up in the individual insurance marketplace, not down, because the Democratic plan would require minimum benefits that are much more costly than those of the high-deductible plans that are often selected today. Within an hour or so of first saying otherwise, the president was forced to concede this point."

And don't forget--most Americans were at work, and saw almost nothing of the summit anyway.

Should the NHL continue sending its stars to the Winter Olympics every four years? This guy says no:
"Gary Bettmann has a problem. The NHL commissioner offered his stars to the Olympics, elevating the league's global profile while hoping to tap into the casual sports audience that flocks to its televisions during this fortnight. But Bettman's dilemma is that Olympic hockey can attract the masses and the NHL can't. Does anyone honestly believe a Nebraskan novice just introduced to Team USA star Zach Parise suddenly will demand New Jersey Devils games on his cable package after the Games conclude? Bettman should end the NHL's association with the Olympics. It doesn't help the league."

It's true--Olympic hockey probably doesn't help the NHL financially, at least not that much. But Bettmann shouldn't pull out of the arrangement he has. The reason? Pulling out would hurt the NHL _even more_ with American fans. And Bettmann can't afford that...

And hasn't it been fun watching this U.S. hockey team? They're playing sound, fundamental hockey; they're really hustling. What they've done in these Olympics has been an outstanding accomplishment, no matter what happens today...

And by the way, this guy is exactly right concerning a great way to watch sports on TV:
"As the rest of you fire up the plasma at 8 p.m., my DVR will be humming. You will suffer through the inevitable commercial breaks, and you'll also have to sit through the graceless performance of some also-ran from the Czech Republic. Even worse, you may have to endure part two of Mary Carillo's feature on the Canadian Mounties. After some diligent work during the day to avoid spoilers, I will start watching an hour or two into the coverage. Having no idea who won, I'll enjoy the thrills and spills of figure skating and downhill skiing without all the excruciating interruptions. It's the perfect way to watch the Olympics, or any sporting event. Decades before TiVo became a verb, I started down the path of better living through tape delay. From March Madness to midseason Mets games to my masochistic relationship with the New York Jets, I flat-out prefer to watch on delay. While the rest of you are spending three-plus hours slogging through an NFL game, I'm polishing it off in a tidy one hour and 45 minutes. Not to mention that I'm taking in the action after having spent the day frolicking with my wife and kids. Yes, time-shifting strengthens the American family."

Agreed, absolutely. I don't TiVo; I have DVR. But I'm a serious sports fan and I DVR lots of stuff, especially on weekends. For me, it saves time; allows me to watch my very young son; and allows HIM to watch Sesame Street re-runs when we can't go outside or do other things. He can watch his favorite TV; but I'm not missing my favorite sports events. And it's not so awful to watch a game later, even when you know who's won. Because then, you can watch the game in a slightly different, more clinical way, analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of both teams and figuring out why the game went the way it did, rather than ignoring some of that because you're worried about the game's outcome. Wait for an hour after your favorite game starts, sports fans; DVR it and then start watching it an hour in. Skip those commercials and save some time. It's fun. And serious fans do it.