Today I was supposed to be starting the first real Committed Indian of the year, wrapping up work just in time to take in Flyers-Bruins before watching the Kings raise a banner instead of watching Joe Saunders try and wheeze and stumble his way through the Yankees lineup. Or the Steelers and Titans, which I don’t think anyone outside of Pennsyltucky really cares about, and that includes Tennessee.
But I’m not, obviously.
Even though these cancellations were announced a couple weeks back, and they were a forgone conclusion for much longer, it’s only when we’re actually diving into an empty pool that the pain begins. The body clock is off, something is amiss, and nothing feels the way it’s supposed to.
And the feeling of powerlessness continues to grow and spread among more and more people. Today was the first time I sensed a genuine exasperation from the hockey media. They want to be out at games just as badly as they do. They didn’t study and work in god knows what outposts at probably pretty horrific hours to earn their way into their position today only to stand outside some boardroom so they can be used as a propaganda tool by whatever side sprints to their microphone or recorder first. While it’s in the job description, it’s not what they signed up for.
They obviously have to do something to earn their checks, but you get the feeling that they’d love to just walk away, and not be there to be part of some message-sending to the other side. They’d rather it all go on in silence, and maybe Fehr or Bettman or Daly can just call when they have something new to say. Until then, we’ve heard this song and already turned the station. That’s how I wish it was now, that these negotiations went on without any attention and the two bickering, petty, idiotic sides of this could see how quickly attention will slip away from them. If it wasn’t for the Canadian media, would anyone really notice the NHL is gone? We’ll find out soon enough.
But that won’t happen. Editors have space to fill, readers and fans want the scoop from the names they trust. Which is fine, I guess I want that too. But at some point someone has to point out to these thumb-dicks that it’s insulting to the fans you claim to care about (even if we’ve all given up on that charade) to sprint out to the waiting media horde, throw up your hands, and take up a tone to suggest you’re doing everything you can but the big meanies on the other side just won’t let you settle this. You’re both culpable, you’re both at fault, and the fans have long tired of a PR War. We don’t care who wins or loses or who thinks who is to blame. And eventually, we get to decide who wins or loses.
It just might be you, owners and players together.
In the meantime, maybe it’s best we all take a step back and just laugh at how absurd it’s gotten. No protest, no unfollow campaign of whatever twitter, no tearing up of tickets is going to matter. So we might as well get a good laugh out of it. Because it’s gotten so pathetic, what else is there to do? The answers are staring everyone in the face, but no one wants to claim them. The owners can get to their higher percentage of revenue by being patient. It would only take two years or so of the players holding right where they are. Because no team is going out of business in that time. They may be losing money, but nothing is on life support here other than maybe the Coyotes, which the NHL screwed, blued, and tattooed itself anyway.
The players can realize they’re already out 6% of their salaries or so right now. They’re coughing up anyway. Maybe it’s time to deal with that.