Monday, September 10, 2012
It's Crunch Time - Speak Up
The NHL, led by commissioner Gary Bettman is just days away from locking the players out and putting the entire 2012-13 season in jeopardy.
I've been trying to be as optimistic as possible, mentioning the lockout talks in passing, but mostly just focusing on the positive aspects, such as trades and contract extensions. But with the deadline set for Saturday, I can't take it anymore.
“We recovered last time because we have the world’s greatest fans,” Bettman said a few weeks ago. Recovered? Hockey is still working its way back into the mainstream. Apparently the "commish" doesn't realize that cancelling an entire season of hockey less than 10 years ago does nearly irreparable damage to the sport. As it is, hockey is fourth among the four pro sports in the US, and isn't even close to the other three as far as the average American is concerned.
I'm not about to get into the numbers or any other nonsense being thrown around by the NHL to the Players Association, but if you haven't been following, allow me to get you up to speed. Essentially, the commissioner has come out and said that he thinks the NHL is paying its players too much to play the game. Too much to go out on the ice, give their all and get knocked around. Too much to play for a Stanley Cup for their entire organization, their families and the fans. They want to cut the players share of hockey-related revenue from 57 percent down to 43. Oh wait, they amended that -- 46 percent. Much better.
Hockey fans really are the world's greatest fans, because they love the players and love the game. Fans shouldn't have to start petitions begging the league to think about them. The league should have fans' needs be a top priority. Easier said than done, I understand, but really, without fans, the league crumbles, and this conversation doesn't even need to happen.
Watch the video above, sign the petition at www.change.org/nolockout. Do show this post or this video to any other hockey fan. Get mad. Get loud.