Getting down to bottom of marathon hockey match |

Getting down to bottom of marathon hockey match

Hockey’s print and broadcast journalists sympathized with participants of the National Hockey League’s third-longest game in history last Thursday, marveling about their abilities to stay upright on skates for seven hours.

They went on to rave about how the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers played the latter part of the five-overtime thriller with wet skates and uniforms and shortened intermissions between the extra periods.

But what about the fans and the sore butts they overcame to witness one of hockey’s classics? It must have hurt – even in the plushest seat – to sit for a seven-hour shift. Ever notice in a movie theater how your body tells you when a flick lasts longer than two hours? Try and watch four movies in a row and see if you need to schedule an appointment with a chiropractor the next day.

At least the players were able to keep their circulation moving during their brief stints on the ice, and they could treat their overworked legs and backs in whirlpools between shifts and periods.

Some fans understandably fell asleep, while others didn’t leave their solitary confinement for fear of missing the game-deciding goal.

When you watch this classic game on ESPN’s Classic Sports Channel – airing as soon as this Friday – remember to marvel at the strong buttocks and staying power of those fans.

That’s it, I’ve reached the bottom of the barrel in column fodder. But I remember a former publisher writing a column about toilet paper. Surely there’s more to write about than hockey fans’ butts.

There is, but if it wasn’t for the growth of the Internet I doubt if we’d be as informed as we are today.

Last week I came across a story on former Cal coach Lou Campanelli being appointed the Pac-10 coordinator of men’s basketball officiating. The Associated Press never did a story on him, and I only came across it while reading some results from my college alma mater’s Web site.

Anyone who has followed South Tahoe High basketball over the past decade knows that Campanelli was the California coach when Jerod Haase signed with the Golden Bears during his senior year at STHS. Campanelli even made it to the Vikings’ postseason banquet following their last state championship in 1991-92.

Despite his year-in, year-out success, compiling a 21-year NCAA record of 361-226, Campanelli never found a university willing to resurrect his career.

His mysterious ouster from college coaching relegated him to working in a Japan pro league and triggered Haase’s transfer to Kansas after his freshman season.

For the past four years Campanelli has served as an advance scout for the Cleveland Cavaliers and New Jersey Nets of the NBA.

So in a twist of fate, Campanelli will now be in charge of the officials he once detested.

Can anyone explain why TV has yet to embrace the NCAA Baseball Tournament?

Sure we’ll see the final eight teams play out the College World Series early next month, but what about all of the action-packed games that break down the field of 64 to eight?

You’d figure ESPN and its expanding network could air a few NCAA games when you consider that sumo wrestling, billiards and rodeo are shown by the total sports network from time to time.

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