BarDown: Making hockey popular again

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Photo//BarDown

Although the popularity of the NHL has waned in recent years, one team of unique individuals has risen to help return the sport to its previous heights.

Underneath the TSN banner in Canada, BarDown is a collection of young writers and sports fans that create sports content, mostly focusing on hockey. Their audience is generally kids, teens, and young adults, but there is enjoyment to be found for all ages.

The team publishes articles and videos on their website with the videos also being released on TSN’s YouTube page. 

Although their articles are fun to read, BarDown’s videos are even more entertaining to watch.

The videos feature most of the BarDown staff, but there are a few “stars” that headline each release. These include Corwin McCallum, Luca Celebre, Jesse Pollock, Daniel Zakrzewski (DZ), Julia Tocheri, Eric Kirk, and Sam Gliserman. 

The stars are important because they carry each episode. The chemistry as well as the amount of fun they have together makes each video relatable and hilarious. It also makes them better than most other sports media outlets that rely too much on nonsensical debates and oversaturated topics.

Each video falls into a different category, ranging from real-life hockey to video games to quizzes. 

Most of the team plays on a hockey team in the ASHL and often records themselves doing insane challenges during games. If anyone ever wondered what would happen if their team ate 100 cheeseburgers before a game or used 100 rolls of hockey tape on one stick, the BarDown team has got them covered. 

Marissa Roberto leads their video game content, which includes NHL game reviews, party games, and ranking lists. McCallum also recently played NHL 20 against Toronto Maple Leafs forward Zach Hyman, who attended the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. 

In addition to playing hockey and video games, BarDown releases many unique videos that cannot be seen anywhere else. McCallum interviewed youth hockey players in the penalty box and got some hilarious responses. Members of the team also went on two hockey road trips across Canada and ran into Mighty Ducks legend Lester Averman.

McCallum and Pollock dressed up as coaches before hopping behind the bench of a couple of unsuspecting hockey teams. The duo did every coaching stereotype in the book and their teams were predictably not amused.

Although all of their videos are fun to watch, the BarDown quizzes are the best. Hosted by DZ, the quizzes pit the members against each other as they try to answer ten questions correctly and win the coveted BarDown championship belt.

The quizzes have covered a wide range of NHL topics, including mascots, trades, Original Six teams, and goal horns. The team has released a couple of NBA quizzes as well. 

Similar to their other videos, the chemistry of the BarDown team makes each quiz legendary. From the domination of Celebre and McCallum to the consistent poor showings by Gliserman, the quizzes are hilarious yet somewhat dramatic. The rivalry between Pollock and Celebre is also must-watch television. 

Pollock, a diehard Winnipeg Jets, Jeff Beukeboom, and Nintendo 64 fan, is the funniest of the group. He shines in each BarDown video, but especially in the quizzes. He opens each quiz with arguably the greatest introduction in the history of sports, simply yelling, “LET’S GO!” 

Through each video they make, it is easy to see how much BarDown cares about their fans as they often give shoutouts and listen to fan input. For this reason, it was rather unsurprising that the team continued to aim to satisfy fans during the current quarantine. 

They have released several pre-taped videos and quizzes as well as debuting their first-ever virtual quiz last week. 

Every weeknight, BarDown also hosts “Hockey Talk” through Instagram Live. They cover a different topic each night and feature several main members of the team. Current NHL and minor league hockey players join sometimes as well, most notably St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington and Colorado Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri. 

Through their dedication to fans, BarDown has helped to grow the popularity of hockey. 

Whether they enjoy real hockey, sports gaming, or learning more about the history of the sport, BarDown has content for each fan. They have also reached the Trending page on YouTube several times, which is difficult to do considering the NHL is far behind the NBA and NFL in terms of popularity in North America. 

BarDown is fun, unique, and is helping hockey to grow again. They have achieved much already, but it will be interesting to watch how much more they can do. 

BarDown website

TSN YouTube page