Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, June 05, 2021

Baseball geeks can rejoice in the Supreme Court’s decision to let stand lower-court rulings that allow the use of player stats as free public-domain information, thus keeping non-MLB-sanctioned fantasy sites in business.

But in a parallel universe where the nation’s high court did a 180 and sided with the big leagues’ contention of ownership over the numbers, the far-reaching repercussions would have led to backlash-fueled armageddon for the Big Three team sports.

And a surprising ascendancy for their big-league weak sister:

The NHL bucked the trend and refused to claim sole possession of their stats. John snickered as he remembered a time when the NHL was considered the “fifth” major sport.

In the last five years, hockey had soared in popularity, and most kids could name just about every starter on every team in the league. “Hockey Night with Harold Reynolds” on Versus finished in the top five most weeknights in the 18-to-35 demographic. Eric Karabell’s article, “The Year Radim Vrbata Wasn’t Worth $36″ set a record for ESPN.com page views. John even had a framed print in his room of Gary Bettman famously standing in front of the Rocky statue in Philadelphia, taken as the commissioner delivered a stirring speech against leagues charging media outlets for the use of their statistics.

A double-shot of alternate-reality funny: Harold Reynolds finding on-air redemption via the ice, and the stat-head’s underlying belief that all hockey needs to boost its mindshare among Americans is an uncontested supply of boxscore filler.

That said, WSJ.com’s Nando Di Fino did set off my annual hankering for re-engagement into Yahoo! Fantasy Hockey, albeit a tad early.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 06/05/2021 01:59:57 PM
Category: Baseball, Comedy, Creative, Hockey, SportsBiz
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  1. Puck Headlines: Wesley’s retirement and memories of the Whale…

    … An alternative reality where hockey stands alone on top of the fantasy sports heap. Like it doesn’t already … [Population Statistic] …

    Trackback by Puck Daddy - A Y! Sports Blog — 06/05/2021 @ 05:58:01 PM

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