Let’s face it folks, we’re all here for basically the same reasons, we love not only the Penguins, but we love hockey. We love everything about hockey. We love hockey so much that we shell out inordinate amounts of our hard earned money to attend games, buy jerseys with our favorite player’s names on them, purchase Center Ice packages on cable/satellite so we can watch more than just our local team, and play in fantasy leagues.
But just like being in most bad relationships, we’re coming to find out that this love is unrequited. Unfortunately, hockey doesn’t love us, its most ardent fans, nearly as much as we love it. Hockey is an enabler. It is more than willing to take our love and exploit it for all its worth, but for the second Christmas in the past seven years, there will be no presents under our trees.
Oh, I’m pretty sure that Gary Bettman, Bill Daly and Donald Fehr’s families will all still be having nice Christmases. I’m pretty sure that Ron Buerkle and Mario Lemieux’s families will all be staring at Christimas trees on Tuesday morning overflowing with presents. The same goes for the families of Sid Crosby, Geno, Cookie, James Neal and Flower. Unfortunately, we the fans, the people who support 85-90% of the revenue that the NHL exists on are not only getting coal in our stocking this year, but it’s being delivered in nose thumbing fashion by all of the above mentioned individuals.
And while we’re on the subject of getting the shaft for Christmas by EVERYONE involved with the NHL, Owners, league officials and players alike, let’s try and remember that most of us are only going without hockey. The folks who are really getting screwed are the people who make their living because of the NHL: The guy who supplements his income by selling programs at the arena, the vendors, the parking lot attendants, the people who have now empty restaurants and bars that would normally be packed this time of year on game nights. Let’s take a moment and think about how bad their Christmases are going to be. Do you think for one second that any person involved with the strike, you know, the billionaires that are squabbling with the millionaires over how to evenly split up $3.2 billion in revenues, gives a rat’s ass about these people or you and I for that matter? If you answered anything but NO, it might be time for you to seek help because you are in an abusive relationship and don’t realize it.
When the NHL pulled this same bullshit seven years ago, did we hesitate for one second before flocking back like a cheated on lover saying to the NHL, “Oh, we forgive you, and of course we’ll take you back”. Guess what folks? The NHL is cheating on us again. Only this time, I’m not sure I can take them back. You know, fool me once and all. This time I might be done for a while. When baseball canceled the World Series on us in 1994, it was almost five years before I even cared to watch a baseball game again, and to this day, I still don’t care nearly as much as I did before then. It may have to be like this for me and hockey for a while. I mean seriously, how long can you go on buying flowers and presents for someone who obviously just doesn’t care about you as much as you do about them?
If anyone out there thinks they can talk me off the hockey ledge, I’d love to hear your persuasions.
–Disco Stu wishing all of our Penguin Poop faithful a Merry Christmas and a happy 2013(And if you can catch any of the games of the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championships, do it. You’ll get to see kids playing for the love of the game that we all love)