The hockey fan. The person that pays, check that overpays for a seat in the nosebleeds section of the arena. The person that pays $20 for a foam finger for their son or daughter. The person that pays $10 for a hamburger at the game. The person that pays for a $9 beer. The person that watches hockey reruns on sports channels.
As we enter the sixth week of the NHL lockout, hockey fans continue to be snubbed by the players, by the owners and in some cases by the media. Yet another work stoppage has stopped play in the National Hockey League. Owners of the franchises want a great share of their profit (and rightfully so) as business owners. Spoiled, over-paid players (some with questionable skills) do not want to lose their 57% of Hockey Related Revenues (the highest amongst the four major professional sports). Hockey fans, as expected, are becoming increasingly frustrated with the whole process. One of the main reasons for this, possibly more so in Canada than in other parts of the world is because hockey is more than the players, the agents or the owners. Hockey for many is a key part of their lives and while merely a game, hockey is a passion for many hockey fans. Take fan John Dick for example. John posted a video about what hockey means to him and his dad and their relationship. John now lives in Australia but returned to Edmonton to visit his dad in hospital as he battles terminal throat cancer. His dad is a lifelong Edmonton Oilers fan. They just wanted to flip on Hockey Night in Canada and watch an Oilers game. That is it, just watch a game together. Each day that passes increases the odds of this father/son experience not happening for John Dick and his father. John, like myself, has no sympathy for the players.
So this is but another example of how greed continues to destroy the game of hockey, namely professional hockey. The two sides involved cannot even get together long enough to form a “compromise” and have the 2012-2013 season get underway. The quote from John’s video that should resonate with the powers that be is this: “How do I feel about the situation within the NHL? I hope the doctors and nurses that keep my dad alive get a raise, and that you guys get your asses back on the ice before it’s too late.”
John I hope that you and your father cherish your time together with or without the NHL. I truly hope that you and your day get the chance to watch many more Oiler games. With the young talent the Oilers have, excitement abounds and you, your dad and other hockey fans deserve to watch the fastest game on ice.
NHL owners and NHL Players Association, you know what to do. Get some professionalism some tact and get the deal done. Taking a stand on my dime and on the dime of hockey fans everywhere is needless, senseless and quite honestly a true waste of everyone’s time. Time to check the egos, make some concessions and truly do what is right for the game of hockey. Not just what is right for the owners, or the players or the NHL for that matter. Fans like John and his father deserve more. Hockey fans around the world deserve more. It is time for you to shine. The longer this goes on the more both sides lose (simple economics). My entertainment dollar can easily be spent elsewhere.