MTV is a cable channel that, like ESPN, was launched at the turn of the '70s/'80s to fill a specialized niche. Just as ESPN used to televise sports, MTV used to televise music.
Both long ago cynically gave up their founding purpose in favor of more cheaply produced "reality" television and manufactured drama because -- hey, lowest-common-denominator gossip sells, and fake news about fake things is a wonderful perpetual fountain of material so numbing, you'd start to appreciate Radiohead's interpretation of the modern world.
Where once MTV broke new musical acts or introduced blues rock bands to whole new audiences, now they focus on diversions like "16 and Pregnant" and "Girl Code." Where ESPN once focused on covering sports, now they cover things like poker, baseball, and what bad quarterbacks ate for lunch.
Just as the ESPYs once celebrated sports but now stagger on as an aimless, expensive party, MTV's Video Music Awards (VMAs) once celebrated music videos but now ... wait, do they play music videos anywhere?
Why dredge this up now, and here? Because apparently Islanders winger Matt Martin is involved in the promos and red-carpet intro to this year's VMAs along with Barclays Center event lady Alyonka Larionov.
And this is a good thing.
I mean, I obviously don't give two Averys about the VMAs or MTV or whatever NFL camp ESPN is embedded in this week -- RUMOR HAS IT THAT PLAYER IN QUESTION IS QUESTIONABLE FOR PRESEASON GAME #2. UPDATE YOUR FANTASY ROSTER ACCORDINGLY AND LOOK FOR STEPHEN A. SMITH'S TAKE -- but a little exposure for the Islanders and their future home is good for the bottom line. Once the dream of staying Long Island's little hometown, Coliseum-based team died and the Isles joined the new reality of hockey as business, then it became inevitable to accept some off-ice marketing promo shenanigans, especially if they don't actually affect the on-ice product.
Go Barclays. Run with that business side, milk your inner P.T. Barnum. Bit by bit, maybe that means more money for a free agent later, maybe it just means being better able to absorb the cost of a free agent mistake. Either way, good for the Isles.
(Sorry, had to get that off my chest after learning the VMAs still happen. And besides, girls are crazy 'bout a sharp-dressed-Matt.)
- Of (eventual) on-ice interest: Arthur Staple of Newsday will have an online chat this morning at 11 a.m. EDT.
- But back to Barclays and the business of hockey, Crain's New York covers the Bruce Ratner battle with MSG for the new Nassau Coliseum. If you expected to read that sentence 12 months ago, you are prescient.
- A historical what-if at Eyes On Isles: 1980 Islanders vs. 1994 Rangers (I think he means Oilers East, of course).
- Stan Fischler covers the anxieties for each metro team, and though he loves "Smiley Nabby" he acknowledges that goaltending is a question for the Isles.
Ex-NHLer Jason Strudwick on the time Marty McSorley went Dale Hunter on Donald Brashear, with a bit about a feisty future Isles GM:
Our guys on the ice didn't really see it because it was behind the play. The only guy who saw it was our goalie, a tough goalie, Garth Snow, now the GM of the Islanders. He went after McSorley. I loved Snowy for doing that.
It got a little crazy at that point. On the bench we are starting to lose it. For a few minutes I thought this was going to end up in a bench clearing brawl.
United States of Hockey on Isles 2013 pick Taylor Cammarataat the WJC evaluation camp:
My first glimpse of Cammarata in camp was the final game before cuts and it was a good one. Cammarata was showing off his skill and creativity against Finland and helping USA White dominate the game. After that, he was more difficult to pick out. He had fewer puck touches and without the puck on his stick, there's not as much Cammarata can do at this level. At times he looked overmatched physically as well. Unfortunately, he was scratched against Canada, which was the opponent I was most hoping to see him against. I think he's still heavily in the mix for the team, but he has to show he's going to be the guy from that USA White vs. Finland game and not the one from the last two he played in.
More video from Cal Clutterbuck meeting the fans (and signing left-handed, by the way):