Hey, did you hear?! P.K. Subban, the charismatic star defenseman for the Montreal Canadiens, made the cover of Sports Illustrated!
Oh, man, that’s awesome, and indicative that the NHL is surging in popularity in the U.S. and that Sports Illustrated is still the place to find outstanding takes on the totality of the sports world and not just myopic fan service for flavor-of-the-week NFL players and their teams.
Wait a moment …
“Only subscribers and newsstands in Canada will receive this issue.”
So what’s the U.S. issue of Sports Illustrated look like?
And quite a striking headline, as well: “Jonas Gray, Because Of Course Jonas Gray.” Really takes away from the fact that the Subban story ISN'T EVEN MENTIONED ON THE COVER OF THE U.S. EDITION.
Look, much like with ESPN, we’ve pretty much given up all hope that Sports Illustrated would give hockey the time of day. When it does, it’s either the Olympics or perhaps the Stanley Cup Final, and even then it’s likely a regional cover. OK, there was that time when the Chicago Blackhawks were given the honor. You remember, the franchise the saved the NHL? (My hand is currently moving in a motion that resembles milking a cow, only diagonally.)
This is the lament of the U.S. hockey fan. Yes, we can buy this issue and read the best hockey writer on the planet in Michael Farber spin a yarn about one of the most compelling hockey stars on the planet, on the best team in the League at the moment, in P.K. Subban. (Or just read it online for free soon.)
But for that casual fan who still uses the SI cover or the first few stories on SportsCenter or the local news as a bellwether of what’s hot in sports … they’ll see the Patriots’ running back who set a team record in his first game, and nary a mention of hockey.
Because, apparently, a cover story on P.K. Subban wouldn’t move the same way in the U.S.
I’m so tired of U.S. hockey fans being underestimated like this.
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