I liked NHL hockey once. Quite a bit, actually. I don’t give two shits about it now.
If the league and its players don’t care enough about the game or its fans to resolve their disputes and get out onto the ice I am more than happy to see them fade into oblivion. I’m what you might call a “casual fan”. I will cheer on my home team and even spend some of my hard earned scratch to go to games, buy concessions and an “item of the game” from the gift shop. What I won’t do is pine for the return of the NHL. As far as I am concerned, the players and the owners can all go straight to hell.
For the average working person it’s perfectly inconceivable that these idiots are willing to kill their golden goose over a percentage point here and a percentage point there. Maybe they have enough money in their banks not to be too worried about a few months of missing work, but the overwhelming majority of us don’t.
NHL players are young. They have their entire lives and careers ahead of them. What they fail to realize, though, is that their skills are fleeting. Careers only last so long. How long does the average player stay in the NHL? Five years? If that’s the case, then these guys are, on average, sacrificing 20% of their career earnings over this lockout. That’s stupid. If the union is being offered anything in the range of half revenues then they are idiots not to take it.
NHL owners obviously don’t give a lick about their fans. More than any other ownership group in sports, these jerks assume that their constituents are obsessed enough with the game to come back no matter what. Gary Bettman, the commissioner of the NHL, who represents the owners, has not made any public comments relating to the lockout in weeks. Instead, he allows rampant speculations and gossip speak for him.
Now games are cancelled through the middle of January. Without the Winter Classic on New Years Day, does anybody even care? That event is to the NHL as Daytona is to NASCAR. Without it there should not be a season at all. The NHL should call this season off right now so that people can just move on.
The NBA is better that ever. The NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl are on the horizon and pitchers and catchers report in 100 days. Besides, there is plenty of minor-league and amateur hockey to keep people entertained. We don’t need the NHL to come back this season. In fact, most people are to the point where they would prefer that it didn’t.
As far as I am concerned, if the league does decide to play an abbreviated season, it can count me out. I will not watch a single game, much less spend any of my hard earned money. In fact, I will not be back for next season, either. I have no interest in supporting a league that sees its fans as being dimwitted enough to allow themselves to be manipulated. This lockout is less about the players versus the owners than it is the game versus the fans.