As I write this month’s column, the NHL owners and the players are miles apart on a new agreement. Yet again, the only real loser in this tug-of-war is going to be you and me.
I consider hockey my favourite sport. Oh sure, I do enjoy spending Sunday watching football, or golf, but for me, hockey rules. In fact, I can count on one hand how many Saturday night games I miss in a season.
If I’m at a dinner party that night, I usually negotiate with the host to at least have the game on even if it means no sound.
If the planets are all aligned and the TV is visible during dinner, I’ll pre-plan my spot at the table to get the best vantage point. You get the picture, and I’m sure I’m not the only one that goes to these extremes.
So when I started hearing about the current problems in negotiating this new contract, I had a flashback to the last time this happened.
The only good that came out of it was that I got a temporary exemption on Leafs jokes. After all, if they aren’t playing, they can’t be in last place.
So as we all stand by and wait for the Gods of Hockey figure out how much money they’ll be raking in going forward, you and I sit on the sidelines and wait. And at the end of it all, there will be those who will tell you that they are so disillusioned by the whole process that they won’t watch hockey again. They’ll say the players and the owners have crossed the line and their greed has caused their kids (we’ll call them little Billy and Susie) to boycott hockey forever.
The sad fact is, once this is all said and done, all will be forgiven and we’ll all go back to watching our national sport. It’s in our blood, just like trucking is for many of you. TV ratings won’t plummet and we’ll tune in to Don and Ron just as we always have. By the end of the season (if there indeed is a season), all will be forgiven. I wonder if Don and Ron get paid regardless of whether or not there’s a season? If not, maybe they could team up for some colourful commentary on Bowling for Dollars. Break out the bowling shirts; it’s going to be a long, cold winter.