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Flashback: Glowing puck debuts 15 years ago

Posted on: January 20, 2012 4:47 pm
 

By Brian Stubits

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday dear Glowing Puck
Happy birthday to you

It was 15 years ago today that the glowing puck made its debut on Fox's broadcast of the NHL All-Star Game. Sad to say, it didn't have a very long existence (last appeared in the 1998 playoffs) and the legacy it left was not as a revolutionary innovation but instead as a joke.

Ask anybody about the NHL on Fox and the first thing that will undoubtedly come to said person's mind is the blue puck.

For those interested in going down memory lane, here you are. Try not to get too distracted by Jaromir Jagr's mullet (OK, actually there's no shame in that).

Ah, memories. Look at the comet tail go. You might also fondly recall the robot graphics holding hockey sticks. Either that or you'll get red with rage.

Just in case you were wondering how they came to pull of this trick, let James Brown explain it to you.

People not common to watching hockey liked it. That explains why it wasn't all that unpopular in the American sports landscape. But the diehard hockey fans? They had the fire of a thousand suns burning in their hatred for it.

There's one thing I've learned over the years: There is no more fan base that is loyal to its sport and purity of it then hockey. Sure, baseball might give it a run for its money, but because of the lack of completely general appeal of hockey, the hardcore base carries a lot of weight. When that base was so loud in its distaste for it, the glowing puck went away.

On all accounts it was a failure for Fox and the NHL.

I was still young when the puck first debuted and I found it kind of cool as a kid. I particularly liked it when the puck was along the near boards and you could still see it thanks to the infrared. But looking back on it now (this is the first time I've seen it in years) it sure does look silly.

The only lasting benefit I can see it in now is seeing how the puck moves on deflections. It is not always the easiest thing to pick up watching a game live. But the prevalence of instant replay cameras has helped in this regard a lot, further rendering this bad marketing ploy more useless.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Category: NHL
Comments

Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: January 23, 2012 1:02 pm
 

Flashback: Glowing puck debuts 15 years ago

Wasn't this 16 years ago?    This game was held on January 20th, 1996.  Either way, it was a idea that looked good on paper, but was horrible when actually used.  All that glowing focused the attention on the player with the puck.  It was just too distracting.



Since: Jan 16, 2012
Posted on: January 22, 2012 1:13 am
 

Flashback: Glowing puck debuts 15 years ago

Started watching the video to see the glowing puck, but after about 20 seconds in I realized how much i miss the old players.  Don't know what is different now, but there is something missing in the modern game. (not talking about the glowing puck).  



Since: Sep 9, 2007
Posted on: January 21, 2012 9:14 pm
 

Flashback: Glowing puck debuts 15 years ago

I honestly didn't hate the blue puck. What I did hate was when they shot it and that orange crap covered the screen.



Since: Dec 12, 2010
Posted on: January 21, 2012 7:08 pm
 

Flashback: Glowing puck debuts 15 years ago

Your telling me it's not there...What?...you cant see it?  I didnt know they stopped using it.
Wow, man...guess 20plus years in the rock & roll bussiness did have it's effect on me.Cool



Since: Jan 6, 2010
Posted on: January 21, 2012 5:39 pm
 

Flashback: Glowing puck debuts 15 years ago

hahahaha...just so the americans could get new fans to the game...what a laugh;what the puck eh!



Since: Aug 14, 2011
Posted on: January 21, 2012 1:49 pm
 

Flashback: Glowing puck debuts 15 years ago

Ugh, what a stupid idea that was.



Since: Jun 18, 2008
Posted on: January 20, 2012 8:38 pm
 

Flashback: Glowing puck debuts 15 years ago

Get a REAL national TV contract or be the fourth sport always.....



Since: Jun 18, 2007
Posted on: January 20, 2012 7:57 pm
 

Flashback: Glowing puck debuts 15 years ago

Bring back Peter Puck!!!



Since: Jul 1, 2010
Posted on: January 20, 2012 6:40 pm
 

Flashback: Glowing puck debuts 15 years ago

Nightmare, absolute nightmare.    Anybody that thinks the game is a joke now should remember what ESPN and Fox were doing to the game before getting too upset.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com