What Are Hockey Fans To Do? The Options Barely Please Me

Copyright Justyna Gluch 2012 Midway Madness

Raise your hand if you like the feeling of impending doom. Okay, 13 of you are strange and nine of you are now my best friends. Two of you thought I meant the video game.

Hint: this is an analogy to get you hooked.

Personally, I’m not a big fan of doom. In any variety. If there must be catastrophe though, give it to me randomly. None of the anxious, wringing of the hands, or thumb-twiddling. I want the bad news to hit me so I have no reason to say anything other than, “Whaa!?”

So for me, the days, weeks, and now months since June have been garbage. I couldn’t have been too mad back during the opening round of the playoffs and subsequent finals. Hell, there was hockey being played.

The CBA and its impending deadline (see?) wasn’t the furthest thing from my mind, but I wasn’t dwelling on it. Somewhere, in the bowels of my being, I believed a deal would get done. Part of me still believes it, even though every bit of news that comes out now says this, or this, and this.

So many stories featuring basically the same content. No new substance and most certainly not containing any new agreement.

Now, fans from across North America are beginning to get used to the fact the season will not start on time, or even at all. This of course leads to scrutiny and displeasure. Basically:

Owners = bad.

Players = good.

I’m not going to even try to determine if those equations are true. Math was never my strong suit and contract negotiations rank low as well. More importantly though, it’s because I’m a fan. At my core, I am a hockey fan.

I don’t care if it’s right or wrong. If two sides can agree on something that is going to be fair, but never equal? Great. Play hockey.

Simplistic? Sure. Wrong? No. Never. The masses are upset and they want to do something about it. Initially, I had thought this would include not buying tickets, but clearly that wasn’t the case. Obviously the next choice is to take this cause to the inter-webs and go viral.

Mission accomplished.

Together we can what? That’s what has been driving me bat-shit. Not go to games? Yeah, that’s easy to say when they’re not playing. But as soon as this gets settled and the cold steel hits the ice, I’m going to games. Lockout, work stoppage, strike, whatever you want to call it, won’t keep me from following the game I love. So, then the AHL, OMJHL, CHL, ECHL, etc? Possibly. If any shenanigans last for an extended period of time and I want to see some hockey, yeah, I would seek it out.

“It’s better to watch those games anyways, because they play for the love and not the big contracts.”

Ugh. If you were sitting next to me, I’d leave. Don’t ever tell me that you’d prefer to watch amateurs over professionals. Not only does that not make sense, it doesn’t make sense. The pros are there because they’re the best. Yes, exceptions are made due to injury and call ups, but all in all, these guys are there for a reason.

“Well the prices are more reasonable…and…”

Fool. While you’re sitting at your Bloomington Blaze game with you and 37 of your closest neighbors, know that while you chose to pay $6 for a CHL game, more than 22,000 people were willing to pay upwards of $100 to see the Chicago Blackhawks. Why? Because they’re the Blackhawks.

No NHL? Yes, I’ll go to amateur hockey. Yes NHL? No amateur hockey.

The most frustrating thing about hockey fans’ current situation is that regardless of whether we were totally blindsided by another washed-out season, or, had an idea of the possibility for some time…we’re equally helpless.

So, we’re left with the only options of waiting for a miracle, watching Miracle, and whatever NHL network is showing. And that barely pleases me.

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