Thursday, December 16, 2010

Road To the Winter Classic Episode 1

Brief update before I head off to sleep. Due to not having HBO and being at the Lightning/Thrashers game last night, I missed the debut of HBO's 24/7 Road to the Winter Classic. I got around to watching it tonight and have quite a few thoughts. And am actually surprised I enjoyed it so much.

I'm sure that I am like most hockey fans who are not Capitals or Penguins fans in that I'm kind of sick of the manufactured rivalry between those two clubs being hyped beyond belief. Going into the mini series, I fully expected it to be four weeks of following Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. I should have known better. HBO does a lot very well, especially when it comes to their sports documentaries. Sure Ovie and Sid were part of the show, but they weren't the whole show. We saw a team riding high on a win streak and another team struggling just to win games. We saw home games and road trips. Guys at home with their families, teams going on the road and hotel pranks.

One of the most interesting parts is hearing what the players and coaches say when they're on the bench or the ice. So many fans like to consider ourselves to be knowledgeable, but this kind of view behind the curtain is unprecedented.

The best part? HBO has made the game of hockey look FANTASTIC. The shots of skates being sharpened, sticks being taped, and the footage of the games being played. It is a feast for the eyes and I honestly can't wait until the episode. Whoever decided the NHL should be involved in this deserves a huge pat on the back. It is intriguing.

My only gripe is having to look at Sidney Crosby's straggly mustache until Christmas. That thing is just creepy.


  1. I defense of the league (yes, I said that), I don't believe the rivalry to be manufactured at all, at least not from Washington's side. I don't know a single Caps fan who doesn't HATE the Penguins. Hell, I even heard that a "Crosby sucks!" chant broke out at the Ravens/Steelers game a few weeks ago. But Washington has a lengthy history of the Pens handing us bitter defeat, so I would also say that the rivalry is a more one-sided one. Not being a division rival anymore (which is stupid), I'm not even sure where the Caps rank on the list of the Pens top rivals, but it sure as hell ain't #1.

    As far as the HBO show goes, I loved it, even though the Caps parts were super depressing at times. I did think there was a little too much Sid and Ovie for my tastes- too much Ovie anyway, there are other guys on the team that I was expecting to get more face time (see: Brooks Laich, quote machine). But I'm watching it again tonight, so we'll see what I think after a second viewing!

    Someone also made a picture that I now have as my desktop background that says "KEEP CALM and PICK UP YOUR SACK" :D

  2. I'd like to see more of the guys not named Crosby of Ovechkin. As much as I love me some Ovie, you know there are guys in there who have just as much to say and are just as compelling. MA Fleury's prank? awesome.

    I think it was really ballsy by both teams to give HBO so much access. Especially given the struggle the Caps are going through. It would be really easy to kick the cameras out, but we are seeing the frustration and agony.