First of all, let me begin by stating that I am over-the-moon excited to be joining the array of prodigy wordsmith's and master debater's that compose and comment on this magical forum of dreams. As a long time reader/first time contributor, my only wish is to uphold the highest of standards that you yourselves and my fellow composers have established within these hallowed walls. It truly is an honour and privilege to join these ranks and my promise to all of you is to continue to strive for the levels of excellence you've come to expect from JS&BM.
Now that I have sufficiently greased the wheels of the resident deities, my Ziggy calendar (google him) tells me it's time to talk hockey! At least it would be, nay SHOULD be time to talk hockey. If a certain group of ridiculously wealthy individuals could remove their collective heads from their wallets, stop to take a breathe and get back to the most important venture they will ever partake in in their entire lives. Providing you and I with 60 minutes of mind-numbing entertainment 3 to 4 days a week, twice on Saturdays, for 2460 games a year. So it is written, so shall it be.
Cards on the table there may a C- next to ECON101 on my transcript, but even I understand the concept of what is at stake here. These issues have been well documented and dissected by men far more adept in matters of both hockey and business then this simple mind, so I will leave them to it. Nevertheless it's not difficult to notice something lacking at the CBA bargaining table. Something neither Mr. Bettman or Mr. Fehr wish to acknowledge in any sort of public forum.
Empathy. A little goes a long way gentlemen.
Such a wonderfully distinct human quality that empathy. Mr. Winger agrees. I understand that on a fundamental level the key points of this argument do not pertain to me and have no impact on my life moving forward, unless you are willing to count the giant chasm in my soul that will exist between now and the time the puck finally drops on the 12/13 season. Now it is through this empathetic disconnect that I am able to remove my own selfish viewpoint from the equation and consider the adverse affect this tragically inevitable lockout will have on all parties involved: players, owners, fans, referees, executives, trainers, marketing, PR, zamboni drivers for the love of all things holy! You name it these people are paying for it in more ways then you and I ever take the time to think about.
Well this intrepid writer took the the time to slam his head against the wall and really take some time and thing this through. Once it was clear he would no longer be able to do math (see ECON101 grade) the fact remained that as fans we are ultimately the ones responsible for the three+ billion dollar juggernaut that is HRR, yet we stand to lose nothing of any tangible importance. Other than having more money in our pockets this winter and an extra nine hours a week to do...I don't know...productive things, life goes on. At some point I realized that ultimately no matter how much of myself I feel I have invested in this CBA negotiation, my wants and desires were not the only things that mattered. In fact quite the contrary. Hell, if I can do it? If the lowly, ignorant, selfish, narrow-minded fan can invoke his inner capitalist and make an attempt to understand and accept the perspectives of thirty billionaires and a few hundred millionaires why can't they do the same with each other? Why haven't they met in the middle and got this sucker iron clad by now? Why are we not going to drop the puck in early October?
Hockey is a business and this is a business decision, made by business type people, in business type suits, with business type agendas and how you or I or anyone else thinks or feels about it is unmistakably irrelevant. Heck if we found corporate accounting a thrilling spectacle they'd still charge you $150 a seat and $9 a beer to watch those guys and gals crack off cost management equations until mid June. The ability to block out their benevolence might have been what's gotten Don and Gary to where they are today, but it also does not get a CBA negotiated, and that gentlemen is what you're responsible for here and now. And yet we wait.
Here's hoping we have a swift and efficient settlement, and three weeks from now we can talk about who looks good/gaudy/god awful in training camp (SPOILER ALERT: Fedun/Yakupov/Sutton).
"Oh, the usual. I bowl. Drive around. The occasional acid flashback."