Monday, April 16, 2012
On the Topic Of...Jim Hughson's Bias
At one point in time, a lot of people enjoyed Jim Hughson and his call of hockey games. He was the voice of EA's NHL franchise for years and many people noticed him outside of that platform because of it. Even still, his good games outweigh the bad games he has had. Yet, somewhere along the way, people started to hate on him and his bias.
Of course, this is something that is going to be a topic for debate when he is one of the main guys on the main programs of Canadian hockey telecasts. The more and more you hear him, the more and more people will be worn out by him. That said, it seems that more people are upset when Hughson does the Vancouver Canucks games over other games he gets on there.
Yet, you look at where Hughson came from to be on CBC-- it's obvious why he has the bias for the Canucks that he has. You see, Hughson used to be the radio voice of the Canucks and then Rogers Sportsnet's Canucks play-by-play announcer from 1998 until 2005 when he left for CBC. Even at CBC, he was part of the late-game team, which would mean more Canucks games for him to call. Hughson even worked with the Canucks in the early '80s before leaving to be the Toronto Maple Leafs' broadcaster and then to TSN.
It makes you wonder why CBC would do something like that-- getting a specific teams former primary announcer to be part of the telecasts. They had to know that Hughson would still feel some kind of vested interested in the club that helped him get to that point and know that he would almost sound like he was calling a home game rather than a national telecast.
Plus, it's quite the take-off from the Hockey Night in Canada practice, who don't usually have play-by-play guys come from a specific teams. With Hughson rah-rahing the Canucks for the past couple of playoff seasons, you have to wonder if it's fair for him to that heat when he used to be the Canucks' guy for the longest time. If anything, the heat should be on CBC, especially with them knowing that others out there would be able to do the same job, just as well, but with little to no bias. Of course, when they lost Chris Cuthbert to TSN; they had to do something drastic and it seemed that Hughson was the answer.
And while you could make up excuses until the cows come home, the fact remains that CBC, Hockey Night in Canada, and Hughson are going have many fans up in arms with the games they do as one entity. Especially when you have to have nationalistic pride when it comes to Canadian teams on the Canadian broadcaster-- there's a fine line between supporting the team from the country and sounding like a homer.
Even with all of that, I don't expect Hughson to change or for CBC to want him to change. Hughson still is a solid announcer, even with the bias he has. CBC knows they will need someone to be the premier guy and with Hughson's notoriety; he's going to be their guy for years to come. Therefore, if you like CBC's broadcast, but hate Hughson-- there's a couple options: 1. Turn down the TV sound and listen to music, 2. Go to the CBC website and listen to the Punjabi broadcast or 3. Go to the NBC family of networks and hope that you don't get tired of Doc Emrick.