Point/ Counterpoint : NHL 24/7

Welcome to another edition of Point/Counterpoint, where a pair of Flyers Faithful scribes square off about all things hockey related. This week, Dain S. and Jim H. will discuss the pros and cons of the HBO Winter Classic-themed show 24/7.

First up, point from Jim…

I hate 24/7. There, I said it! Really though, I don’t.

The fact is, I could literally watch the show 24/7. Its compelling and pertains to my interests. Here’s the problem with it — I’m thinking that too much info about your heroes and rivals takes away some of the mystery of the sport. I’d much rather continue to think that a hated player broods in a cave-like dwelling than the reality of him wandering a mall in search of Orange Julius. It’s too like…well…me! Its also tough to get the image of your favorite goon having a tea party with his daughter, the next time you see him square up for fisticuffs. Overall, I like the show, but it leaves nothing to the imagination and gives me less to hate.

And counterpoint by Dain

The Winter Classic is a new concept, an outdoor game on New Year’s Day
in a football or baseball stadium where the game of hockey goes back
to its roots.Many a young boy skated on a backyard rink in the frozen
north of Canada or the northeast of the United States dreaming of
playing in the NHL.

HBO takes us into the locker room and into the lives of the players for the two teams leading up to the outdoor fest. We see them joke around with their teammates, interact with the media and the public and we see them at home with their families. We see a human side of players we might hate on the ice because they play for the hated Rangers or Penguins, but we do get to see the human side of these men, who get paid to play a child’s game. They are loyal
to the team and to their livelihood, but it is a job. Just like everyone else, they must get up in the morning, grab a coffee and sit in a meeting they would rather not be in.

The concept behind 24/7 helps us understand and relate to the players like we never could before. 24/7 is a great concept and should be expanded. If I had my way, HBO would broadcast the games live with all the behind the scenes access or at least do a playoff version of 24/7. It would be amazing TV.