Monday, January 7, 2013

Bigger story, end of NHL lockout, or Eagles search for new head coach?

Sometimes working bizarre hours has its advantages. I happened to be up early Sunday morning setting up the DelcoTimes.com website when some breaking news broke out.

The National Hockey League and the NHL Players Association cut a deal to end the 113-day lockout after a marathon bargaining session that started Saturday and went into the wee hours Sunday morning.

I was able to post it seconds after the news broke, followed by posts on Twitter and Facebook. I also broke our protocol and sent out a very early text alert to those who subscribe to our service. Sorry if I woke anyone up. (By the way, if you’d like to subscribe, you can text the word Delnews to 22700).

As I updated the story, I was struck by a thought I often have when I talk about hockey and the Flyers.

I happen to be a big hockey fan. But I sometimes wonder about hockey’s claim to being a major sport. The second lockout (at least this one did not cost it the entire season) in the last few years does not help.

So I decided to put it to the test.

I posted a question on our Facebook page, asking readers what they thought was a bigger story on Sunday, the end of the NHL lockout, of the Eagles’ search for a head coach.

The responses also confirmed a theory I have about Delco sports fans. We love us some hockey, and of course we just adore the Flyers.

The overwhelming majority of responses backed the return of hockey as a bigger story.

“NHL lockout,” wrote Lori Nakeshian Ludovich. “I miss my hockey.”

That kind of refrain was repeated again and again.

In the meantime, the Eagles learned they can scratch one more name off their wish list for their next head coach. They aren’t getting Chip Kelly. At least they’re not losing him to Joe Banner and the Browns. Kelly late last night indicated he was going to return to Oregon instead of dipping his toe in the pool of NFL head coaching jobs. Bob Grotz has all the details here.

The Eagles’ top candidate now appears to be Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy.

So here’s today’s question: What do you think we’ll have first, a real NHL hockey game, or a new Eagles head coach?

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