Sunday, December 30, 2012

NHL: Get Your Priorities Straight

A fight during last night's game,
via Denver's Facebook page
  I've been checking out some local minor league hockey games lately because of the NHL lockout that has persisted through three months of what would have been the regular season. The team here is actually pretty good--the games are fun to watch, and the atmosphere is pretty entertaining. Yet, it's not quite the same. I miss watching hockey on TV, and I miss the pace of NHL hockey. These games are a little more lawless--the refs seem to play favorites even more than in the NHL, meaning guys get away with stuff a lot more often.
    Some of the entertainment (contests, t-shirt tosses, giveaways, etc.) is a little cheesy, but it's all in good fun. The way the arena is set up, it's more like a football game than a hockey game, and it allows for more entertainment options than a game at the other ice arena. the mascot gets a lot more involved. The entire experience is much more personal than an NHL game, but somehow, the NHL games are more exciting. There's more at stake, and the players stand out more.
Angry hockey fans, via CBC
    All of which makes the lockout all the more upsetting. These guys are douchebags dividing up all this money and they are just being greedy. I would rather support a smaller team by attending the games because they can't fill the house. Not even close. They play even though they don't make millions of dollars a year. They get whacked in the face with a stick more often because the refs don't call as much and there's no league calling for major reprimands and fines when it happens.
    So, if Bettman gets off his ass and does his job to protect the SPORT and not the owners, if everyone involved realizes that the fans care about the sport, and won't want to support a game or a team that shows it's more interested in their money than their entertainment, maybe the season can be salvaged. If not, I'll be happy to see it come back next fall. But I will be doing it from my couch at home.
    I am not paying continually higher ticket prices, abominable concessions and merch prices, plus extra for parking at the fancy arena, to go see a team who continues to send the message that their paychecks are more important than the game, than the fans. You don't need $2 million a year to get by. You don't need an 80 thousand dollar car. You don't need two houses or fifty thousand dollar pieces of jewelry. If that's more important than the game, go be an investment banker. Go open a corporation that makes jumbotrons. But don't participate in a sport that means so much to so many people and pretend like you care about more than those matching Rolexes for your birthday.
Get your mind of your money and your money off your mind.

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