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NHL Lockout? I Am Disappoint.

September 17, 2012

Hockey

I have no problem admitting this: I get irrationally mad at stuff I shouldn’t. Fly off the handle at video games?  Absolutely.  Upset when my sports team loses?  You betcha. Cut me off in traffic? I WILL EAT YOUR SOUL.

On Saturday night, at 11:59 PM EST, the National Hockey League’s Owners locked out the player’s association.  On what should have been a good day for me – my Michigan Wolverines won handily against cupcake/baby seal UMass, Michigan State lost to Notre Dame, and my beloved Buffalo Sabres had re-signed highly skilled midget Tyler Ennis – ended up with me being more upset than I probably should’ve been. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t hurling furniture, rampaging GTA-style, or anything like that. I wasn’t even ANGRY. I was disappointed.

I was disappointed that the NHL could squander such momentum.  The league has been growing since the last time the doors were shut on the season and given how much was lost that year, it’s pretty incredible just how far things have come.  The league lost a whole season, they come back, and people still give a crap? That’s pretty incredible. A solid TV deal with a big network that wants to feature hockey (NBC Sports Network; ESPN can suck on it), a fast, more exciting game (though the clutching and grabbing is slowly coming back and concussions are becoming an epidemic), and one of the countries biggest markets becoming relevant and winning the Stanley Cup (Los Angeles Kings, though they’ll be off the bandwagon the minute the Kings slip into irrelevance). They threw that all away because BOTH sides are greedy. People want to blame the owners for crying poor but the players are just as much at fault. They’re right when they say they’re fighting for their livelihood but guess what? Without us, the fans, you have no livelihood. So figure it out.

What really disappoints me is that everyone saw this coming for more than a year yet neither side got together until after the season ended. I was like the squirrel that sees the pickup truck coming and just stares at it like a moron until I’m a pancake on the road. This couldn’t have been nipped in the bud far sooner? What could’ve been done with more time?  Just seems like common sense and that’s coming from a guy who does uncommonly stupid things.

I’m disappointed I won’t have the Sabres in my life. They’ve been there for me for a long, long time and I always looked forward to the season. I love the team but more than anything, I love the GAME. I still play when I can, even though I’m far fatter and get far more tired than I did as a kid and there are guys 2-3 times my age who are in far better shape than I am. I watch several non-Sabres games a week because I enjoy the game.  And now it’s gone again for the 3rd time in the 20 years since Gary Bettman has taken over.  Which, don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame the guy for all of this. He’s the owners’ puppet.  He jumps when they tell him to. But the fact that there have been 3 labor stoppages under his watch says everything.

Most of all, I’m disappointed in myself. Because when this labor stoppage ends, be it next week, just before the Winter Classic, or next summer, I’ll be there.  I’ll be happy to watch Sabres games again, happy to watch the best players in the world, happy that something I love is back.  Like any abusive relationship, no matter how many times the league flogs me, it’ll be right back to stroke my hair and tell me it’s sorry and that it’ll never happen again. Stupid me will dry my tears, make them promise, and believe them when they lie through their teeth. I love the game too much to walk away.

What should’ve been a good day for me was disappointment all around, but I’ll just be waiting by the phone for the NHL to call telling me they want me back.

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  1. New on TheFarmClub — NHL Lockout? I Am Disappoint. | Grab Your Balls - September 17, 2012

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