It’s day 60 of the NHL lockout, a result of the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement that existed between the owners and the NHL Players’ Association. The CBA was signed in the summer of 2005 after a previous lockout cancelled the entire 2004-2005 NHL season. The NHL has seen 3 player lockouts under the direction of the oft maligned, and mostly hated commissioner Gary Bettman, loathed for his attempts to “Americanize” the game by moving and expanding both existing Canadian teams and new franchises into Southern US markets. Since Darth Bettman’s reign, the NHL has dramatically increased its revenues from a paltry few hundred million to become a multi-billion dollar industry. At the core of the current dispute is who gets how much of those billions. Owners want to rollback players’ current signed contracts, and also take home a bigger piece of the revenue pie, a 10% bigger piece, without ever getting a facewash.
I know what you are thinking: WHO GIVES A FACK???
Poor little millionaire concussed hockey players, and billionaire shmillionaire owners! Who is the real victim here? The superstar player whose name sells the tickets, jerseys, and merchandise, the guy that takes the punches for both the fans and the profits; the diehard fan who, because of owner and player greed, can’t afford to buy a ticket and watch their favorite team play live; the bald but powerful billionaire owner, whose young mistress is threatening to expose their affair if he doesn’t solve this crisis pronto and get back to shopping for her new Mercedes; the everyday employee of the giant corporate-branded facility that can no longer look forward to his minimum wage shift on the concrete stairmaster, pedaling junk food to the nacho crushing masses; the greasy scalper with the dirty jacket standing outside in the cold just trying to make ends meet and support his family, and his cocaine habit; the slutty hockey fan that parades around the arena in skimpy logo adorned outfits pretending to like hockey who, without the ogling attention of dirty old men in the crowd, is starting to question her own self worth
OR, is the slutty fan’s Facebook page the victim, starved of its usual steady stream of profile pics of slutface, sitting on strange mens’ laps at the game while she sticks her tongue out between her two V shaped fingers mimicking oral sex; is it the war narrative of Afghanistan that suffers, for without Don Cherry’s token, weekly guilt inducing patriotic ramblings on Coach’s Corner, someone just might raise an eyebrow and start asking questions; is it hockey’s famous dedicated superfans who have been thrust back into their humdrum lives, with nothing left to cheer about that are the true losers
and let’s not forget all the heartbroken hockey-player-loving cougars out there
What about the children? The innocent minor league kids, their unfettered passion for the game, and purest of dreams to one day play in the NHL, or to at least participate in a drunken hockey rape-fest orgy at a prominent American University.
And if that’s not enough to make a cougar’s head spin, here is one more frightening statistic for ya: The NHL lockout has not only taken away our beloved game and therefore threatened our national identity, but it has also deprived Canadians of way too many beer buying and beer quaffing opportunities. MOLSON/COORS has confirmed it, BEER SALES ARE DOWN it’s time to panic!
Drunken fights are at an all-time low, and BEERGUTS EVERYWHERE ARE SHRINKING! Before you know it, your middle aged man won’t even need the double-standard-of-attractiveness gender advantage that he has, he will be slimmer and hotter than you for real! BAD NHL: 2 Minutes for Undermining!
Yes we are all victims in one way or another of the lockout, but my motives in bringing this to your attention are slightly selfish. You see, I have a very personal stake in seeing an end to this insanity. There was a time in my young and needy 20s that I would have more than welcomed a lockout. Men not distracted by hockey and therefore more interested in me? Yes Please. More men on the dance floor to grind with because they aren’t glued to the screen at the bar eating wings? Sweet Action. Chick flick with the boyfriend on a Saturday night? Bring it on! But, like the 2 line pass rule, instigator penalty, and the shape of my post-three-kids-that’s-7-plus-years-breastfeeding-boobs, things change.
Sure it was fun at first having him around more, and with no hockey on television (and a little help from climate change), there was that added bonus of being able to maintain the illusion that winter was in fact still months away. I did feel kind of sorry for him though when I saw him polishing the taps on his draught beer fridge in the rec room for nothing. He claimed it was the Windex that was making his eyes water, but I knew better. For years, as in many other Canadian households, Hockey Night in Canada would warm our living room on Saturday nights with its Poltergeist-like TV glow and familiar comforting sounds, the sticks slapping on the ice, Bob Cole’s often confused but unmistakable voice with the play by play, the loud burps and muffled farts of my man, fully engrossed in the game. I wouldn’t hear from my significant other for sometimes 6 hours in a row, aside from the odd “grab me a beer babe?” if I mistakenly got too close and within earshot. So for me, the biggest casualty of the NHL lockout is my good old fashioned Saturday night ME PARTY, that up until now I didn’t even realize I was having! It’s true what they say, you don’t appreciate something until it is gone, sigh, I was so naive.
So, now instead of enjoying a glass of wine or three, and indulging in a pedicure on Saturday nights, I am “enjoying” the company of my clearly at a loss husband as he wanders around the house, poking his nose into everyone’s me-business. Last week he tried to get in on a “JUST DANCE” Wii party game with our daughters and their tween friends. You can imagine their horror. How much longer am I going to have to pretend that I like sharing my Shiraz with him, when really I want the whole bottle to myself, and seeing him lounging beside me on the bed in his pajamas, thoroughly enjoying a Real Housewives marathon- it’s just wrong. And I know I am not alone.
Yes, there is the odd beneficiary of the lockout, the entire sport of soccer for one (damn those soccer players are hot!) but for the love of Shiraz, please, let the millionaires and billionaires put down their fighting wallets, and get those sticks back on the ice.
(…and here’s one for the cougars – you’re welcome ladies!)