Look, I recognize that hockey is not the most popular sport in the world. I accept that if I want to see hockey highlights on Sportscenter in the regular season, I have to (a) wait until about two-thirds of the way into the show and (b) not flip, because they could come at any moment and be done in ten seconds (fill in sex-related joke here). I'm cool with that. Those are the rules.
But is it completely out of the realm of possibility for sportscasters to make some effort to learn how to pronounce the names of hockey players? Tonight, I was watching ESPN News and they ran this 30-second lead-in package recapping the Canadiens/Bruins series. That was nice of them to show some interest in the NHL playoffs, I thought. This should be a good recap of the first two periods. Of course, it ends up being just the goals, so I see Komisarek's goal, Mark Streit's ridiculous shaming of the Bruins' defense, and then a goal by someone called "Andrei KAH-stisen." Really? That's how you roll? Is Ka-STEET-zin really that hard to figure out? And it's not like Andrei and Sergei have been quiet this series. Probably should know that name by now, sport. Or at least come close.
Of course, such a scenario plays out what I have to assume is every night on some sportscast somewhere. It just doesn't seem like the sports departments want to put all that much effort into learning funny-sounding names. Which is why I would like to suggest that, as part of his efforts to get the NHL more exposure--and more good exposure--Gary Bettman should hire someone whose sole purpose is to go across the country and visit every working sportscaster in America. This person would sit down with the sportscaster and slowly go through some of the more difficult names in the NHL. It shouldn't take more than a half-hour of the sportscaster's time. And it will prevent millions of hockey fans from losing their minds when their favorite players' names are mangled in the 30 seconds per sportscast that hockey is mentioned.
For the record, I could make myself available for said job. And I could start immediately, since the Predators' defeat leaves me with precious little interest in watching hockey for the rest of the playoffs. Feel free to contact me c/o The Palm Isle.
MIDNIGHT UPDATE: ESPN News guy now goes with Ko-STEET-zin. Slight progress being made. Also made aware of this, which I guess no one reads. Still willing to enforce the guide in person, though. Call me.