Friday, August 27, 2004

Idiots v. Morons

*sigh* Neither the NHL owners nor the players seem to realize what a collosal mistake a lockout/strike would be for the sport, the league, and the lives of average NHL players. Personally, I love hockey - it has an excellent combination of speed, skills, and physicality that I find very appealing. But, let's face it...hockey is a niche sport here and it trails football, baseball, basketball, NASCAR, and maybe even soccer (that might be up to debate, though) in terms of popularity in the States. The fans are loyal, passionate, and according to research, extremely intelligent.

But...if the sport doesn't have a season this year, fans are going to stay away in the markets where hockey has always been a lesser sports option (like DC, where Maryland basketball is probably more popular than the Caps - to say nothing of questionable markets like Florida, Arizona, etc.). Oh, I doubt hockey will ever disappear entirely from America...but an NHL post-lockout could be a much smaller entity. Which means a smaller pie to be cut up between owners and players.

Personally, I believe the owners are "more right" on this than the players, but...both sides need to compromise. You can't have dueling press attacks and no meetings. In an article on ESPN.com today, Scott Burnside reports the latest in dueling press conferences and allegations, including the owners saying that the players aren't interested in serious negotiations and are "lusting for a lockout." Burnside also mentions the clear momentem in public sentiment (among hockey fans) for the owners position.
Whether those riches have been bestowed by owners who cannot control themselves or not (they have), taking a 27 percent hit in salaries, doesn't seem like such a hardship, at least not to a public that can't understand why the game appears to be but a pawn in a game of egos.
Well said. Its distressing that the labor agreement is going to expire in less than three weeks and there's no end in sight. Heck...we're about six weeks from the start of the season, folks! Get it in gear!

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