During the second intermission of the Winter Classic, the USA Women’s Olympic Team was announced before the crowd at Target Field. If you were watching on TNT, you saw it…but it was mostly the players waving. No lower third on who was being announced. No dedicated audio from the stadium to broadcast over the air. It was Liam McHugh and Jennifer Botterill talking over the announcement.
While the insight of Botterill on the announcement and the players was nice, it seemed to really dim the light on the players who were being announced and receiving this accolade to play for their country. It’s something that could have been done after the announcement was made, but for some reason; talking over the announcement for no good reason.
I’ll be honest in saying I don’t follow women’s hockey as much as I could. Outside of Stevenson University’s team, Lacey Eden, Julia Blitz, and other Maryland women players– I’m not up on the women’s game. However, when the top women’s team in the country can’t get the respect of being acknowledge on a national broadcast– it’s not a good look. And I mentioned I don’t follow the game that closely because, outside of Hilary Knight, I didn’t know who the player’s were because of the lack of lower-third to show who the player being announced was. If you’re trying to get more eyes on women’s hockey– this wasn’t a good look to have these waving players with no identification.
While I hope it’s not a situation of Turner Sports not caring all that much because they don’t have the Olympic rights; but you’d think you wanted to help beat the drum, as a National Broadcaster, to grow the game. To give these women the chance to shine and keep up with the NHL’s message of hockey being for “everyone.” Just seemed so weird that they could have done the bare minimum and still screwed the whole thing up.
My hope is that USA Hockey or someone will post the announcement in full with graphics in the near future to give the women the respect they deserve for their hard work to make it to the Olympic team. Hell, 15 of these players were part of the Gold Medal team in 2018, still need to claw to get name recognition in a wider audience.