Saturday, January 19, 2013

Why Hockey Night In Canada Isn't Hockey Night in My House

A shot from last night's WHL game.
So they're back. Pucks dropped across North America. Fans flooded the stands to watch their teams lace up and get back into action. Broadcasters breathe a collective sigh of relief at having something new and fresh, something live, to put on the air again instead of reruns of old games and bad sitcoms. The blue lights of TV's across this great Nation display teams in all their glory.

But not in this house.

I could spout all the stats about money lost vs. money argued over vs. the average person's income in comparison to it all but the truth is it does not matter. It's gross, it's ugly and it's greedy. I suppose you could say that's the world we live in but I DON'T LIKE IT.

I don't think a shortened season makes a win of the cup any less significant. A win will be a win. For the better part of the life of the NHL, seasons were of at least close to equivalent length. Each game will matter - every point counts - and so, perhaps, we'll see some consistently well fought hockey.

I am thankful for all the "little people" affected by the lockout that will now be able to return to work or see a return to normal business. Store owners, rink staff and other businesses in the area. They were casualties in the whole mess. 

BUT I am disgusted by all the "sheep" fans who flocked to the stadiums for practice and are filling the stands to line the pockets of all (and I mean both sides) of the greedy millionaires that make up the NHL. I am disgusted that tickets sold faster than in seasons past (in Calgary the opening game sold out in six hours compared to two days last year). I am disgusted that we welcome them back with open arms after complaining for months about everything the lock out took from us, the fans, and from all that made up the lock out. 

It might mean nothing to anyone on either side but I will not be watching hockey this weekend even though my team is playing (yes, I still call them my team) and I have hopes for the young guns and the power ratings showing up make me happy (thank you, ESPN and friends, for putting Edmonton above both Vancouver and Calgary).  I complained through the lockout and now I will put my money (and my viewing hours) where my mouth is.

I am a hockey fan. I will be back. Just not yet. I'll come back when I'm ready, not when they decide to grace me with their presence. Not when they feel they have reached an agreement that is suitable for them. I'll come back on my terms. You had your chance. 

** Made a commitment with the Just Drop It Community. Check out their facebook page. They've been getting lots of publicity in other media as well. 11 Edmonton games will go by without me. We'll see if I'm back after that's up. And we'll see which one of us, my husband or myself, caves first.

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