Written by Tim Hoffman Sunday, 01 August 2010 21:28
The Discovery Channel kicked off Shark Week, its weeklong celebration of the San Jose Sharks NHL franchise today in style, with several brand new programs about the mediocre hockey team. The yearly tradition of changing the entire channel over from nature programming to sports, and focusing on such an obscure franchise, has surprisingly worked out great for the network. Families gather around the television to tune in and see what crazy footage the Discovery cameras have captured every year.
The fun started for 2010's Shark Week with a new episode of Shark Hunters, about the brave men and women who patrol the streets of San Jose and hunt Sharks players in the offseason. Highlighting this year's premiere was the catch of a six foot 1 inch long, 213 pound goalkeeper named Thomas Greiss, who the Shark Hunters snagged coming out of a nightclub. They strung the man up in the center of town by his jaws, so people could take a look at one of the largest specimens caught so far on the program.
The show has garnered a lot of controversy with human rights groups, but the open hunting laws on San Jose Sharks players have stayed in place. The city claims that having it legal to catch and kill their hockey players is good for tourism, and doesn't really affect anyone outside of the players, as these people play in the NHL, so it's not like anyone knows who they are. They are also mostly Canadians. Besides, kids and families enjoy posing with the strung up dead bodies of Sharks players in the town square.
Other programs to be shown during this year's Shark Week include the specials:
- Feeding Time- Documenting the double decker tourist buses that carry tourists around San Jose and throw raw fish and chum over the side to Sharks players who circle around the bus.
- Ultimate Shark Jump- Happy Days star Henry Winkler attempts to jump over a San Jose Sharks practice ice rink on water skis, with the dangerous players circling below.
- How To Survive A Shark Attack- Experts tell how to stay safe should you be attacked by a Sharks player who may mistake you for his usual prey of seal.
Critics of Shark Week continue to ask why such an unpopular sport and franchise was chosen as the subject for a weeklong celebration. Discovery claims that they just beat out more popular teams such as the New York Yankees and Pittsburgh Steelers. They say that the week is so popular, they can't change it to someone else now. Also, things such as hunting men and throwing raw fish around onto the streets are probably not allowed in a real city like New York.