It's official: We're a nation of hockey-mad loonies
Back up the EMS wagons to all border checkpoints, break out the straitjackets. It's official. This country is certifiably insane.
The television numbers tell only a small part of the story. TSN's website registered 4.9 million page views on Friday, also a draft record. The 711,000 videos viewed on TSN.ca were second only to the last NHL trade deadline day (recognizing a trend here?)
When TSN announced that reporter Darren Dreger was going to tweet on the draft Friday, 11,000 people signed up to follow him on Twitter.
What, no barbecues to attend? No cottages to visit? No movies to see? No backyard croquet to play?
Nothing else on the weekend sports dial came even close, which would surprise you even more if you actually sat through the show. Not that TSN/RDS/Versus did a bad job. They pretty much gave us all the facts and all the faces and even put a microphone on bristly Leafs GM Brian Burke, though the sight of it obviously scared the other GMs into a catatonic state.
It was the tedious format. Every comment made at the podium was uttered in both French and English, ensuring that we could be bored in both official languages. Every kid drafted said pretty much the same thing and every GM who did the drafting told us that said player was the team's future, the guy they wanted all along and possibly even the finest human being to ever walk the planet.
For the sake of what's left of our sanity, here are the top weekend English-language sports ratings according to BBM Nielsen Media Research overnight numbers:
1. Hockey, NHL entry draft, Friday, TSN: 582,000
2, Baseball, Phillies at Blue Jays, Sunday, Sportsnet: 359,000
3. Auto racing, NASCAR Lenox Tools, Sunday, TSN: 278,000
4. Baseball, Phillies at Blue Jays, Friday, Sportsnet: 235,000*
5. Soccer, Confederations Cup final, Sunday, CBC: 195,000
6. Baseball, Phillies at Blue Jays, Saturday, Sportsnet: 185,000
7. Boxing, Molitor vs. Ruiz, Friday, TSN: 168,000
8. Tennis, Wimbledon early rounds, Saturday, TSN: 167,000
9. Baseball, Yankees at Mets, Sunday, Sportsnet: 140,000
10. Golf, Nike Invitational, Sunday, TSN: 136,000
* Ontario and Pacific regions only