There isn’t much that hasn’t already been said about the cultural black hole known as Nickelback, so I’ll keep this short.
I have been very happy to see the NHL’s turnaround from being publicly ranked somewhere between the WNBA and Scrabble tournaments a few short years ago to its current, rightful status as one of North America’s premier sports. Despite the epidemic of injuries caused by on-ice headhunting and the resulting inconsistent and stupid disciplinary rulings being handed out by Brendan Shanahan during the first round of the 2012 playoffs, the NHL is enjoying a well-deserved resurgence in popular culture.
Part of it has to do with what long time hockey fans are calling the “New NHL”. Rule changes since the 2005 lockout have made the game speedier and more offense-centric. Also, exclusive television contracts which made the NHL the crown jewel of Versus/NBC Sports Network have ensured that NHL hockey has a reliable home with people who are focused on promoting the league and securing its fiscal well-being. These things have been great for the NHL and hockey in general. Attendance at NHL games and TV viewership is way up thanks to the recent changes.
Unfortunately, in the celebratory haze of their recent successes, the NHL and NBC have made a grave mistake. Yesterday, if you were watching the nationally televised playoff games in the US, you may have noticed that you were repeatedly subjected to montages of in-game highlights, accompanied with songs by notable aural hemorrhoid, Nickelback. As if that wasn’t enough, during the montages, NBC made sure to repeat ad-nauseam that Nickelback is a “Proud Partner of the NHL”.
I understand that Nickelback is Canadian, and that hockey is commonly known as a Canadian sport despite the fact that only seven of the league’s thirty teams are native to “America’s Backyard”, but Nickelback is a band for people who don’t like music. If someone tells me “I like Nickelback” (much like if they were to say “I don’t like The Beatles”), in my mind, it pretty much disqualifies any other opinion they might have about anything. Courting the attention of people who are so obviously wrong about everything is incredibly stupid.
They suck. This is not an opinion. It is provable, scientific fact. Observe:
Imagine that. A band so terrifically awful that they rip off their own songs. Not to mention that copying the “original” song in the first place is the musical equivalent of evacuating your irritable, Taco Bell-filled bowels onto a photocopier.
I would advise NBC and the NHL to hitch their wagon to another group. Nickelback may be popular among a large portion of their target demographic, but there are just as many viewers who violently despise their brand of untalented-but-commercially-viable butt rock. If they want to keep expanding their audience, they should pick a group for their promotions that doesn’t polarize them.