First of all, I would like to thank you, Damien Cox. Cox wrote an amazing article on Martin Brodeur passing Patrick Roy's all-time wins record of 552 career victories. Cox's knowledge and insight are almost more impressive than the epic career Brodeur has had as a netminder for the New Jersey Devils. I hope sports fans (not only hockey fans) will take the time to read it, and learn a little something about one of the most talented athletes to ever live. People know about the great guards & centers in basketball, the great pitchers & sluggers in baseball, the great quarterbacks & receivers in football, but rarely do people give credit to the great netminders in hockey. Michael Jordan, Nolan Ryan, & Joe Montana are basically household names, but who has heard of Martin Brodeur, Patrick Roy, Ed Belfour, Felix Potvin, Dominki Hasek, or Marty Turco (just some of my favorites - I realize their legacies are not all on par)? Basically hockey fans, and very few others. This is arguably the toughest position in professional sports, and it never gets the light of day. And on that note...
Can someone please tell me why ESPN gives hockey absolutely no love? I am a Sports Center addict, and a sports fanatic in general, and find it utter bullshit that hockey always gets the short end of the stick on ESPN. The only anchor on the network that gives a shit about hockey is Linda Cohn, and she fights to get her two cents in. I expect the leader in sports to have some big news when the greatest goaltender in the history of the NHL breaks arguably the biggest record in the sport. What do I get? A six second blurb, and a one-liner on the bottom ticker of the ESPN channels. Yet when Kobe Bryant beats Bernard King's record of most points scored at the Madison Square Garden, I could not help but hear about it - no matter what I was watching on ESPN, I got interrupted by a "news brief" to remind me in case the other 600 times I forgot. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge Kobe fan, and that was an impressive record to break, but what ever happened to equal time? America needs to wake up, and it needs to start with our sports news sources which are the authorities people look up to. This means you, ESPN.
Originally, this was going to go over the greatness of Martin Brodeur, but it has turned into a rant about ESPN's lack of hockey coverage, which I suppose in itself defeats the purpose of the rant. But getting back on topic, there are two points that I think are definitely worth mentioning:
- Brodeur beat Roy's record in 42 fewer games - over half a season - with 34 more shutouts. This is what I call UNREAL.
- Brodeur has had four seasons with 10 or more shutouts; his most ever being 12. To put that in perspective, Tony Esposito holds the all-time record with 15 shutouts in a season.
Martin Brodeur - congrats, and thank you for your brilliance. I feel privileged being alive to watch you play.