Is Versus Looking Into A Return Of The Glow Puck?

Monday, May 12, 2008


Out of all of the inventions surrounding Sports broadcasts the worst hands down was the glow puck. It wasn't necessarily the glowing itself, but more the fact that the glow would never stay with the puck. Well that and the stupid red rocket-like tail that would pop up on slapshots.

Well it looks like Versus might be trying the idea out again in the near future....

The NHL and cable TV partner Versus are talking about introducing "puck-tracking" technology as early as the 2008-09 season, executives from the network and the league told USA TODAY.

Tracking would make it easier for TV viewers to follow the fast-moving puck. But the idea brought back memories of Fox's "glowing puck" experiment from 1996-98. It got mixed reviews, with some players and coaches complaining the internal electronics of the "FoxTrax" puck made it play differently. When ABC picked up the NHL's broadcast rights in 1998, the idea was junked.

Marty Ehrlich, executive producer at Versus, has been pushing for a new puck-tracking system with NHL executives. If Versus gets the OK, it would test puck tracking on its studio show before trying it during a game, he says. There would not be any computer chips embedded in pucks, at least at first.
This makes zero sense to me considering the fact that Marty himself admits that the idea is a "sore subject" among "hockey purists" in the article. Who the heck do you think is watching Versus? It sure isn't casual Sports fans stumbling on the channel and taking in a game. They seem serious about the idea, but they should really reconsider that.

Versus might take shot at puck tracking for NHL telecasts (USA Today)

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 10:22 AM

18 Comments:

The rednecks in Detroit will hate this.

//Don Cherry

GMoney said...
May 12, 2008, 10:40:00 AM  

As a "redneck" in Detroit... I hate this.

Jeff said...
May 12, 2008, 10:46:00 AM  

I might be one of the forw fans that liked the glowing puck when Fox used it. I thought it was a good idea because it helped you follow the puck, but that's me. I think Versus should bring the glowing puck back, maybe that might draw some viewers to their games.

Anonymous said...
May 12, 2008, 10:52:00 AM  

@ Anon, No, no, no, and no.


It's a black puck on white ice, get HD or something if you can't follow it.

ssreporters said...
May 12, 2008, 10:54:00 AM  

Any hockey fan in Detroit watches playoff games on CBC anyway. VERSUS is so horrible.

Nick said...
May 12, 2008, 10:55:00 AM  

I think puck-tracking was very useful for showing deflections. If Versus showed some restraint with it and only used it for replays, I'd be all for it.
Although if it's only going to be used for replays it's not very cost-effective, so I say screw it.

RangersFan said...
May 12, 2008, 11:02:00 AM  

@nick

I get VS in HD, while I don't get CBC in HD... so I had to go with the better picture instead of the better overall broadcast.

It's still hard to watch CBC when any canadian team is playing though.

Jeff said...
May 12, 2008, 11:09:00 AM  

@ Jeff, I understand the bias with CBC...they are in Canada after all.:)

However they are still airing the American series and have the rights to game 4 and game 5 of the Wings/Stars.

Jim Hughson and Craig Simpson are top notch.

ssreporters said...
May 12, 2008, 11:14:00 AM  

@ Nick,

Versus is the worst, They have too many people in the studio for one, and the commentating is brutal.

Joe Beninati is growing on me.

ssreporters said...
May 12, 2008, 11:15:00 AM  

"It's a black puck on white ice, get HD or something if you can't follow it."

It's not so easy when the puck goes into the near boards, or when it's in front of, oh, anything BUT the ice, like a player, or his stick, or a logo on the ice, or the goal, or the little pseudo-semicircle in front of the goal, or the FAR boards, or...

That said, wasn't I JUST reading a couple of days ago that HD basically made this sort of thing unnecessary???

Morgan Wick said...
May 12, 2008, 11:33:00 AM  

The main problem I had with the glow puck was how they handled situations when the puck was by the near boards. Instead of the realism of having the puck continue to be hidden, the track was shown as if it was in the first or second row. It doesn't take a whole lot of hockey education to learn that if there's a scrum by the boards, chances are the puck is in there somewhere.

alice-q said...
May 12, 2008, 11:34:00 AM  

Hyde is gay!

Anonymous said...
May 12, 2008, 12:15:00 PM  

@ssreporters

Oh I completely agree. I understand why their is a bias and really have no major issues with it. Ontop of that if I could get it in HD I would watch that over VS in a second.

I still remember during the Edmonton series two years ago, the entire "kick" goal in game 6 where the wings scored. I was watching it on FSN Detroit, Micky was saying "Oh there is no kicking motion there, they can't overturn that." Switched to CBC "Look look right there a clear kicking motion, they have to overturn it."

Made me laugh... until they overturned it... bastards.

Jeff said...
May 12, 2008, 1:34:00 PM  

Are you kidding me the glowing puck was awesome. (the slapshot streak was stupid though).

If Hockey wants to have a chance of legitimacy they need to get the casual fans back. The glow puck could do this if they don't make it too gaudy. I love this idea. The hardcore purists will come around the same way that the hardcore purist of football came around for the facemask, forward pass and yellow first down line.

Jeff V said...
May 12, 2008, 1:42:00 PM  

My dick doesn't care for this idea. My dick wishes it wasn't so.

- My Dick

Far Too Jones said...
May 12, 2008, 2:03:00 PM  

The Fox Glow Puck was a huge success. Why? Because 10 years later, people still remember it and it still gets people talking about the game. In a sport where probably even half the fans don't know who won the Stanley Cup 5 years ago, anything that gets the league publicity is a good thing.

I love the NHL but to hell with what the "hockey purists" think. Where exactly do you think they're going to go? Watch European games with players who are nothing more than skating billboards? Please. Tell the hockey purists to shut up, sit down and enjoy the pretty, flashing lights.

Scott P. said...
May 12, 2008, 3:50:00 PM  

Just when the NHL is gaining some momentum and clawing its way back into the consciousness of the sports world, they come up with this. It makes the sport look like a novelty act.

And just because people are still talking about it doesn't make it a success. People still talk about it the same way people still reference Cop Rock and Gigli, as in "How did those piece of crap ideas ever get off the drawing board?"

They should be promoting the sport through HD as loudly as possible. If you buy an HD TV, you should get a dvd with a hockey game on it. That is how you can build fans, not with tired tricks from yesteryear.

Letter E said...
May 12, 2008, 6:40:00 PM  

I liked Cop Rock...

Anonymous said...
Aug 21, 2008, 1:46:00 AM  

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