With hockey season at risk, Canada threatens to release a new Simple Plan album.
You know what’s been great about 2012? No ugly, prolonged lockouts. Unlike last year, all four major sports are going off without a hitch and we don’t have to concern ourselves with some endless, repetitive labor disp- wait, what? Really? You’re fucking kidding me! No hockey season, again?! God, I fucking hate Gary Bettman.
Yes, the NHL locked out its players this past Sunday, and it’s now in danger of canceling its second season in less than a decade. The story here is really no different than what we dealt with in football and basketball last year. The owners think they players are getting to much from revenue sharing, and they want to roll back the number significantly. Basically, there’s a bunch of billionaires who need some extra dough before they can splurge on that ivory back scratcher.
What bothers me about this, however, isn’t the greed of the owners. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I haven’t gone soft when it comes to loathing the .000000000001 percent, it’s just that I’m fairly used to it, and in this situation there’s another thing that burns my cannoli even more: the blatant disregard for the fans.
A lockout is not a necessary outcome of a labor dispute. The players and owners could’ve easily agreed to keep the season going while continuing to work on an agreement. So, why doesn’t that happen? Because billionaires tend to act like spoiled children. When they don’t get they want, they run to their mansions whining like the little babies they are. This dispute could be solved without a single game being lost, but it doesn’t work that way. The second the owners don’t get what they want, they take the game away. From the players, and the fans.
This is stupid because the fans have no stake in this matter; we just want to watch hockey. We’re the people who support the product, and we’re the reason you’re able to make money from this game in the first place. We scream our lungs out every night, to the point that we become bloodthirsty lunatics. Why? Because we actually give a shit about hockey. And now, we’re being fucked over again because a pack of rich old white dudes are throwing a hissy fit. Well, that’s just fucking perfect.
And let’s talk a bit about just what’s at stake here. This is a league that already canceled a season less than a decade ago. At that point, hockey was as low as it had ever been, to the point that the NHL was becoming a laughingstock. In an odd way, the lost season helped the league, if only because it came back stronger than ever.
Now, however, the tide has turned. Admittedly, the NHL is still the least popular of the four major sports leagues, but it has momentum on its side. Marketable stars like Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, and Steven Stamkos have made the league popular again. If another season gets canceled, all of that goes down the tubes, and the NHL becomes a bigger joke than ever.
And really, how seriously can we take any sport that cancels a season every time the CBA needs to be renewed? What’s the point in rooting for a team year in and year out if the threat of an entire year off is always looming? Quite simply, if this doesn’t get resolved soon, the NHL is in deep shit.
Admittedly, chaos hasn’t started yet. Most people think the issue will be settled early enough that we still have a season. I certainly hope that’s the case, but even if it is, it’s frustrating that we’ve gotten here in the first place. Hockey fans are once again forced to worry if their favorite sport will even happen, and it’s a crying shame.