So as you may be well aware this little tweet that shook the hockey world:
Since Gary Bettman decided to say the worst thing he could have possibly said, I thought it might be fitting to share my friend’s reaction:
“Wow, no nhl season means no Rufnex Fantasy, means no draft party, means no GM meetings, means nobody gets paid for last year’s winnings, means me and rob go broke, means we can’t pay for Rufnex ice hockey league, means rest of team can’t afford to play, means no Rufnex season, means no hockey at all, means we watch Curling, means we start hanging out in bad neighborhoods, means we join gangs and do crimes, means Rich arrests us all, means we take it in pound me in the ass prison for the rest of our lives :(“
Well that escalated quickly.
While I don’t share his murk outlook, especially the “pound-in-the-behind” prison bit, it sure is scary to hear those kind of words coming from Gary Bettman, who is up to his throat in the negotiations. Could he not have just said “No comment” ?
So here is my “Best/Worst” list concerning an NHL lockout:
1) Locker Room trash talk – Many of us play in Ice Hockey Beer leagues. We all know the chit-chat that goes on in the locker room. Some of it has to do with the wife, girlfriend, work, and other dumb things that happen in your life. Most of it though, is all about NHL. Who scored what goal, did you see that hit, who is a better player, excuses on why your team has had a poor start or plethora of reasons why your team is kicking ass. The usual banter between the fellas concerns who has the best team. In my area, it comes down to Devils or Rangers – with both of them laughing at the Islander fans…haha, Islanders. It is all in good fun, but is something you always look forward to. With the lockout we will continue to hear of how this is the year Islanders will make the playoffs and we will not get to enjoy the bitter rivalries – I would imagine people in Southern Ontario would hear the same about the Buds.
2) Hockey fantasy – As my friend mentioned above… This will mean there is no hockey fantasy for me and my friends, and we just bought a god damn trophy! My girlfriend will be thrilled that every conversation I have with my friends will not include hockey, but I, on the other hand, will be sad. There is nothing better than staring at the free agent list every single day for hours at work, trying to figure out who can be the “X” factor pick-up. The tough decisions of when to start your goalies and when to sit them on the bench or hoping that your team will not run up the score on your fantasy goalie (keep it 1-0, boys). And what about keeping up with all of the NHL games just so you can watch your fantasy players play? The stress of benching the player that gets the hat-trick, more like a nightmare, but fun experience nonetheless, would be sadly missed.
3) New Year’s Day – Winter Classic!!! The Detroit Red Wings vs Toronto Maple Leafs. What a classic game this is going to be. It is a game that will be held at the biggest venue in sports and will, just as in the past, provide an extra buzz to the game. The anticipation and the preparation for the big day with friends getting some beers, wings, and pizza. Of course, making sure to DVR the game just in case someone is running late. This truly has become a hockey holiday, a special occasion, a Superbowl sort of feel to it instead of another regular season game. When you have two iconic teams like the Red Wings and Maple Leafs, you can’t help but feel goosebumps before the game starts.
4) Not going to the games – the best way to enjoy hockey is to go to a game. No other sport is as exciting to watch live as hockey. Some of the speed and skill gets lost during a TV broadcast and some people cry about having trouble following the puck, while at the game, you can’t help but get sucked in. The beer is flowing, the crowd is howling, and the players are hitting the boards with the noise that wakes you right up. You really do feel the speed and the impact of hits, pucks hitting the boards, and the yelling of the players. It is so involving of a sport, because as a fan you hardly can take your eyes off the action in fear you might miss something. The speed keeps you focused and even if you might talk to your friend about other things than what is happening on the ice, your eyes are focused on the game. Remember that thrill of a building, full of fans, erupting after a goal being scored – that feeling is magical and is very addicting. This is what I missed the most about the last lockout. The thrill of going to games and seeing the players live. This theater is epic in my eyes and the gladiators that play out in front of us, for us, have my deepest respect.
5) NO HOCKEY!!! – Simply this.
1) Price of hockey jerseys goes down – this is good, right? I will probably buy a few more jerseys during the lockout. The prices will surely drop to a reasonable amount. Right now a Rick Nash New York Rangers jersey costs about $160. The price would drop to about half of this, as merchants try desperately to move the product. This would be a good time to increase your jersey collection.
2) I will be more productive at work – since there will be no fantasy hockey. I work in IT and since most of my time revolves around the water cooler and my computer desk, I spend most of my time researching hockey players. This has had a negative impact on my productivity, but I don’t care, since fantasy is more important than everything, right? If there is no lockout, I will be forced to spend time working, and who wants that? This will surely increase my productivity by no less than 150%. My boss will notice the increase and ask me why am I being a more productive employee, causing me to create an action plan that will include a positive attitude, a more efficient work flow, and banning all none work related websites. The productivity of our department will improve and I will be promoted. I can see myself becoming a CEO in about 4-5 years, as long as there is no hockey to distract me. I will retire by the age of 45 by selling my shares of the company and spending the rest of my life somewhere in Hawaii. Maybe I’ll be able to buy some struggling hockey team for a few dollars – who knows!
3) My girlfriend will be happier – I will no longer have hangout blackout nights due to hockey games being on. This is especially an issue during the playoffs. The schedule is usually emailed – as per two weeks notice – ahead of time or as soon as the playoffs schedule gets updates letting her know of the days that it is okay to make plans and days I will have a date with my couch. It is nice to have her come over and watch the games, but she can get bored while I try to explain to her the two-line pass and why the face-off just happened for the 50th time. If the lockout happened she would probably be much, much happier and as the saying goes, “A happy wife, is a happy life”.
4) I will save money – lots of it. I doubt anyone really counts the money they spend on the games, beers, and food while going out to see a game, but in NYC that will run you a cool $200 almost every time. Not to mention having the fantasy pool cash buy-in, buying the food and beers for the fellas who come over to watch the game, and going out to bars to catch a particularly big one. This all adds up. The fact is that the prices are going up. Not having a hockey season means I will save about $100-200 dollars a month. Some people will save more. Football fans have a game once a week, while us hockey fans have three and sometimes four games in one week to deal with and the season is 82 games long (big, big money). This will help me pay off the credit/student loans, while improving my credit score and helping me to save up to buy a $2 million dollar mansion in upstate New York or half of a room in a Manhattan apartment. Nice.
5) NOTHING IS GOOD ABOUT IT!!!
Let’s be honest, nothing is good about the lockout. I will gladly work the rest of my life to be able to watch hockey this season and no matter how expensive the games get, I will always want to go see my team play a few times a year. My girlfriend will have to deal with me and my hockey time as will I with her “Housewives” marathons. I have tried to pretend that there could be something good about it, but there simply isn’t. This would be an awful scenario that provokes only tears of anger from me and I am sure you feel the same way. Look Gary, and I can call you Gary by now (better that than the Russian obscenities I had in the unedited version), we simply cannot have this.
No matter who is responsible, or who is being the greedy bastard here, if the lockout happens no one wins. Gary Bettman is the commissioner and it is his responsibility to get this deal done. He can not use the excuse of “I re-confirmed something that the union has been told multiple times over the last nine to 12 months. Namely, that the time is getting short and the owners are unprepared to operate under this collective bargaining agreement for another season so we need to get to making a deal and doing it soon. And we believe there’s ample time for the parties to get together and make a deal and that’s what we’re going to be working towards.” This is not okay. Git’er done Gary, Git’er done.
…and that is The Last Word.
Follow me on Twitter – @maximus91 and check out my column “NHL Happy Hour”