Monday, June 04, 2007

Sports Illustrated Calls On Al Gore To Help Make The Stanley Cup Finals Greener

The Stanley CupOriginally posted at on May 30, 2007.

Sports Illustrated's Michael Farber has written an open letter to Al Gore, pleading with the former Vice President to help green up the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup finals format.

Farber is concerned with the NHL’s current 2-2-1-1-1 system, wherein two games of the best-of-seven final series are played on one team’s home ice, followed by two games on their opponent’s home ice, returning back to the first team’s home ice, then to the opponent’s again, and finally – if seven games are required – one final game in the rink where the whole thing started. Confused? Perfect! Consider yourself a hockey fan.

Farber is seeking a more environment-friendly configuration:

You see, a 2-3-2 final would be a blessing for the environment. The NHL would be doing its patriotic best to be green -- beyond its recycling of Anaheim Ducks defenseman Sean O'Donnell.

Lame jokes aside, Farber’s assessment is sound, and he has the math to support his supposition:

Under the current system, and if the series goes the full seven, you will fly to Anaheim for Game 1, back to Ottawa for Game 3, back to Anaheim for Game 5, back to Ottawa for Game 6, back to Anaheim for Game 7 and then, finally, home. That is six cross-continent flights, which is a lot of jet fuel…. But if this were an ecologically-sound 2-3-2 final, Ottawa would fly to Anaheim for Game 1, home for Game 3, back to California for Game 6 and then back to Canada's capital when it's over. Two trips would have been averted….

The NHL, Farber points out, used the 2-3-2 format exactly twice before in the mid-1980s, but abandoned it – as it tends to do with most innovations, stuck forever in an old-school mentality that hockey purists prefer. Farber believes Al Gore is the sport's best hope for a green change.

Canada generally seems to get behind green initiatives, so perhaps the Stanley Cup finals could be the next step. Or at least one of the next steps, for as Farber reasons, there’s always room for environmental ingenuity:

My next thought: fuel-efficient Zambonis.

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Blogger gina said...

Ha this is great!

On another note, I thought I would drop a line here because I have sent you a couple of e-mails and I'm not sure if you have received them. If you have a new e-mail address, let me know!

11:43 AM  
Blogger steakbellie said...

My guess is that they chose the Environmental argument only because it fit the end result they wanted (for other reasons).

It probably has more to do with something stupid like TV rights or TShirt Sales.

4:02 PM  

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