"Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it,"
George Santayana, Reason in Common Sense
Well hockey fans, I hope you have plans this winter—or alternate plans, I should say.
The NHL has embarked on its ritual eight-to-10-year lockout plan as part of some type of experimental fan-loyalty campaign from commissioner Gary Bettman. Every decade, give or take, the NHL decides to remove itself from the ranks of the top-four mainstream sports and set new and horrible benchmarks for labor negotiation.
As the only "major" sport to forfeit an entire season (2004-05), the National Hockey League can't seem to get out of its own way. This year's labor stoppage is even more infuriating than, and equally puzzling as, its predecessors.
With a Sept. 15, deadline established, it is stunning that so many millionaires have allowed their golden goose to starve itself again.
Since 2004-05, the NHL has grown beyond the expectations of the brokers for the previous collective bargaining agreement. In that time, the powers-that-be were also obviously asleep or comatose, because September 15, 2012, apparently caught everyone by surprise.
I would love to have optimism that there will be a season, or at least, a modified facsimile of one. I'm troubled, however, by the incompetence of the people in charge of making that happen. With major work stoppages pending in the NFL and the NBA as well the past few years, the negotiating parties were able to see the big picture and compose a deal.
Their biggest advantage: no Gary Bettman at the negotiating table.
Here are five distressing signs that we might not have an NHL season this year.