Pessimism is Rising

I have officially joined the land of sceptics (on this topic, for most others I have held the presidency for years– I usually try to remain optimistic in this area)  I am pretty sure there will be another hockey lockout this year.  I am a big hockey fan and the thought of no Hockey Night in Canadafills me with a horrifying dread.

Could any good come out of a hockey lockout?  Let’s see.  Last time, instead of showing sports from around the world, we got Texas No Limit Hold’em pretty much 24/7.  A little bit of this was okay.  Granted it started a whole new industry and a large number of cheap, easy to produce TV shows.  It made several gamblers quite famous.  I don’t begrudge that, but every time I turn on the TV I see the same hand of poker being played.  (You know, the one where the guy in the pink shirt gets crushed by the pros)  Obviously someone is making money from this, but I am not sure who it is. 

I do like poker, and I admit it is TV friendly.  I even have the World Series of Poker software for my PSP.  I just don’t want to see it as much as I had to during the last lockout.  If it is so cheap to produce, I shouldn’t have to face multiple reruns.

Back to the point.  Could any good come out of a lockout?  Well, last time the players caved and we got a salary cap.  Revenues are up and the cap is still taking the same percentage as before.  Sounds like a recipe for financial stability.  Apparently not.  Some teams are still not making money.  Some teams are still in jeopardy of failing.  I lost a year of hockey, and nothing has changed. Go figure.

The sticking points seem to be revenue sharing and players’ salaries.  I understand that.  If my team were in a profitable market (mine is) then why would I want to give money to a team that can’t even fill the best seats in the house at rock bottom prices?  As for players’ salaries….. They took what they were offered.  Can’t blame them for negotiating well can you.  I certainly wouldn’t like it if someone came to my work and told me they thought I was overpaid (regardless of how much money I was making).

Maybe there are too many teams in the NHL.  Fewer teams would mean that there would be fewer professional players (the players union certainly wouldn’t like that) and that would mean the overall quality of each team would rise.  There would be glut of almost good enough players, so their salaries would probably decrease.

On the down side, there would be fewer games on TV and there would be fewer minutes spent discussing hockey.  I am not sure that would be a bad thing.

This year my team is scheduled to take part in “the Winter Classic”, but that could be shelved due to scheduling conflicts.  Irony is a bitter pill to swallow.

Time will tell, but I expect a lockout.  I expect owners who travel in Limousines and eat at five star restaurants with supermodels to tell me that they are paying players too much.  I expect players who drive exotic sports cars and eat at five star restaurants with supermodels or A list actresses to tell me how much they miss playing.  I expect both sides to say they just want to do what is best for the game.  I expect the various sports channels to find something new for us to watch 24hours a day–maybe darts, or competitive skeet shooting.

Hockey season hasn’t started yet and already I miss it.  Maybe I should take up jogging.

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