Tuesday, January 08, 2013

The NHL Is Back...Yay?

This man giveth.  This man taketh.
So hockey is coming back to the NHL.  I'm still conflicted over this piece of information.

See, the NHL had things looking pretty good.  A Stanley Cup in a city where the fan base (and the overall sports scene) is lukewarm and fickle at best (LA).  A Cup frontrunner in a City with a rabid fan base with many fake corporate fans in their building (New York).  The Winter Classic was set to be a celebration of hockey in "Hockeytown" (events in downtown Detroit, and the the actual Classic was to be played in Ann Arbor).  Momentum was building for a pretty good 2012-2013 season.

Then came greed.

To me, when there is a work stoppage, there's plenty of blame to go around.  Gary Bettman and the NHL owners started things.  They locked the doors.  They insisted multiple teams are in the red.  They put the concessionaires, front office people, parking attendants, ticket takers, broadcasters, and others out...of...work.  These people, generally, do not have million dollar salaries to lean back on.

But, on the other side, sat our old friend Donald Fehr.  With each offer the NHL put out, Mr. Destroy Sports rejected it.  And games, and the Winter Classic, and common sense, and all of the good of last season went poof!

I'll say this for Emperor Goodell: he got the NFL lockout resolved before the season was compromised.  Plus, while the replacement referee official situation was bad (OK, very bad), the Emperor got it done - admittedly after damage had been done.

So now the NHL is back, and we're all supposed to kiss and make up?  Many of the lemmings have vowed to return.  YAY!  The NHL is back!  Let's go (insert team here)!

When do fans say "enough is enough?"  Hockey has seen not one...not two...but three, YES, THREE lockouts under Gary Bettman since 1994.  But I know fans are fans and they are going to come back.

Here, I say, unless a team is hiring me, I'm not going to a game.  At least not in the NHL.  I'll go the AHL, or college, or high school.  The Rangers t-shits, etc, all will stay in a bin.  It's my own small protest.

Let's see the league win me back.

One more thing. I hear this all the time: "the commissioner works for the owners."  That being said, you can't fire the owners, can you (other than an occasional dumping of Marge Schott or Frank McCort)?  But you can go after the commissioner.  My point is, who are fans (and broadcasters) going to scream at when things like this happen?  That's right - Bud, the Emperor, Stern, and Bettman.  They're the mouthpieces, just as Fehr and others are for the players.  But, and never forget this, the commissioners (and players association heads) aren't just messengers.  They're also advisers.  They give opinions.  They are part of the machine.

And thus, they are also guilty.

Enough guilt to go around.  Hockey fans have every right to still be angry.  Or, at the very least, confused.

So game on.  I guess. 

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