As the Saturday deadline approaches, yet another NHL lockout seems inevitable.
What a crock!
I thought that the NHL had learned its lesson back in 2005 when it basically had to beg for a TV contract by then signing with the little known Outdoor Life Network. Ratings for the NHL were never something to brag about to begin with, so it's no shock that hardly anyone noticed when the NHL put its programming there.
I have a supreme sadness for the hard core NHL fan. Like no other fan, the NHL lifer is a dedicated fan. Even when this lockout ends, he or she will be there, waiting to root on his or her favorite team. The fans deserve better. They deserve a league that won't walk out on them for fighting over millions of dollars.
The issues of the lockout (mostly hockey related-revenue) aren't an issue with fans. While most fans certainly can understand both sides having their complaints, it should never be taken out on the fans. Whether the players or owners want to admit it, without the fans giving their hard-earned money, they would have nothing to fight over.
It's almost hard to believe that in today's hard economic times a pro sports league, used primarily for entertainment and AT BEST for fantasy sports value, would penalize its followers in this matter. Do the players and owners not realize that, in the real world, people are fighting to keep their houses? Many are without jobs, forced to live with other family members and depending on corrupt governments to provide assistance.
I recently wrote an article about Direct TV and Playstation 3 being greedy pigs by not offering a payment option to NFL fans for the NFL Sunday Ticket. While I feel strongly about PS3 and DTV screwing over the fan, this is an entirely different argument.
At least the NFL fans, if they can afford the one-lump sum charge, can watch their favorite sports league (my argument wasn't necessarily the price—which is too much—but the option on how to pay). The NHL isn't giving fans ANY choice.
This also affects people who depend on the NHL to support their families. What happens to the vendors who rely on the extra or only income that job provides? What about ticket-takers, arena security, etc..etc...What a shame!
What makes this even more disgusting is that the NHL fan feels powerless. After finally earning some loyalty and respect back from the league in the exciting past few seasons, the fans now feel scorned again.
I could take the time and map out the arguments about who is more wrong, but that would be a major disservice to the NHL fans. They deserve better. Much better.
The only thing we can do is hope that the NHL (both the players and owners) come to their senses and realize that without the respect and loyalty of the fans, they have nothing. I wish that there was more I could suggest to the NHL fan about how to get the attention of the NHL and make them more aware of how damaging this lockout will be, but I don't.
All I can do is offer a sincere, humble voice to the fans that were looking forward to watching their favorite team take the ice in October. Even if the NHL doesn't respect your loyalty and support, I do.
If anyone has any ideas what the NHL fans can do to make their voice heard, please speak up. Maybe, just maybe if enough of you speak out, they can avoid a lockout that will severely damage an already abused fanbase.
Please share your thoughts on what NHL fans should do.