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S.D. Sportscaster Gives Pro Hockey a Bad Name

February 16, 1991

Having moved to San Diego from the East Coast, I was pleasantly surprised with the enthusiasm toward professional hockey, not only with the L.A. Kings but also with the rebirth of the San Diego Gulls of the IHL. The thought of not having what I consider the most exciting sport in the world available to me was upsetting. However, my fears were allayed as I, too, became ungulfed in Gretzkymania as well as in the added talk of landing a NHL franchise in San Diego. It's remarkable what Gretzky has done for American, and, in particular, California, hockey interest.

However, in his quest to spread his motherland's great game, Wayne forgot about one thing. He forgot to get Channel 8's ludicrous sportscaster Ted Leitner off the air. Leitner constantly puts negative propaganda in the minds of unknowledgeable hockey fans with all his unnecessary butchering and badgering of hockey. For example, on a night when there are 10 games on the hockey schedule and Brett Hull incredibly scores his 53rd goal in his 51st game, Leitner decides to show a seven-second fight with a Roman Coliseum play-by-play instead.

Hey, Ted, wake up. You obviously know, since you used to cover hockey, that fighting takes up less than 5% of the game. A small, yet sometimes inevitable of a very, exciting, physical game. Now, if your weak stomach can't take it, or you have to get back at the hockey people who dumped you, then do it in another city. Who died and left you in charge? Why should your negative propaganda be aired every night? If you don't like hockey, then don't cover it. It's really that simple.

MARC HEDQUIST

San Diego

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