Let me start with a link to an old article on Raw Charge by one Mister John J. Fonts Esq. (me, it’s a pseudonym ): Suffering Mike Milnury and the NHL on NBC. It’s an issue that doesn’t get highlighted enough during hte regular season. That, or a base group of fans complain on and off about Milbury, but things stay the same; there are issues with the style of Mike Milbury (whom had his own issues during his NHL career) and yet he continues on with television coverage on US Network TV (ESPN and then Outdoor Life Network / Versus / NBC Sports Net
The last few days have put a special spotlight on NBC Sports broadcasts as the NHL was at its climax – the Stanley Cup Finals of 2017. Leave it to Mike Milbury to line-cross and give his personal dislike of a player just enough attention in coverage to sully things and make the way for the spotlight to be his in the worst way possible.
See, Mike’s got an issue with P.K. Subban (who better established himself as a personality in US sports on ESPN’s E60 documentary). How much of one, I don’t know. What I do know is that Milbury sullied Subban for moin’ and groovin’ to music pregame during the NHL playoffs. A player shwoing character, showing humanity, enjoying himself and loosening up gets put down? I would think Predators fans and Montreal Canadiens fans can name more incidents with Milbury and P.K. Subban (positive and negative) but this, to me in this write-up, sets the stage for events of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
See, one of the biggest stories of the playoffs was P.K Subban and Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby at odds. It’s a stinky rivalry! Got any Listerine? And while there are a mass of incidents in any one NHL game that could lead to holding a grudge to a player, an attack shouldn’t be defended by someone speaking to as broad an audience as Mike Milbury is. And what did Mike do when Sidney Crosby shoves P.K. Subban’s face into the ice multiple times…
[Author Note November 11, 2017: It would seem the video has been pulled; if I find a replacement of what I am going at here, I will let you know]
…and it’s not called as a penalty? “Mad” Mike Milbury said it was a justified action and that Subban “had it coming.”
What out-and-out bullshit.
Oh, I’m not the only one who sees it that way. It would seem that last night in Nashville, after all was said and done and the Pittsburgh Penguins took Lord Stanley’s Chalice into their possession, a Nashville Predators fan went explicit on-air directed at Milbury I link to Russian Machine Never Breaks here because it was this post that inspired my own work. There’s more in the post than just the said-video, so click through and enjoy.
This leads me back to my lead-in with this article and how I told readers on Raw Charge in the past that there are weak spots with NBC Sports broadcasts and Mike Milbury was chief of them. While that article was public and has been shared several times over the months and years, I never was direct with it to people who matter. Why would I be? I used to run a Tampa Bay Lightning weblog for one of the largest online sports networks. I had a lot of other things to handle and not just hammer home a point.
Yeah, well, after seeing the RMNB article , I changed things up a little. Actually, it started after the Milnury/justified blather when I decided to reach out (sic) to the NHL on NBC Sports via Twitter:
I hope Mike Milbury doesn’t win tonight. @NHLonNBCSports – take notes on public reaction when he defends violence, please.
There are better pundits out there, more capable of being informed and amiable on screeen than Mike Milnury is. They’re likely also much more marketable as personalities to the viewing public than a man renown for beating a fan with their shoes. I seriously doubt NBC Sports will take me seriously in pointing to last night and calling for change… But I had to give them crap they caused once again. They need to know their problem runs much wider than one team and has been caused by more than one moment in one season of a broadcaster’s career. Fan’s don’t care for Mike Milbury and NBC Sports does themselves a disservice by keeping him on.
I'm a long, long time online personality in the realm of sports and blogging. I also suffer from the rare genetic condition neurofibromatosis Type 2. You can read a bit more about me on the official "About" page here on Johnnyfonts.com