This morning I awoke to a world that once again has NHL hockey. Like all Canadians, well maybe not ALL but a good majority, I love hockey and am quite happy to see it back in my life. That being said I am unsure where hockey fits into my life now. I’ve always been an NFL fan but this year I’ve been able to focus on it without the distraction of hockey and it’s been a great year to be a football fan. Russell Wilson and RG3 looking like future superstars, Adrian Peterson coming back from a huge injury looking better than ever . I’ve also become a bit of an NBA fan, my new team being the LA Clippers due to the super talented Blake Griffin and his ridiculous monster dunks. I’ve always been a huge Motorsports fan as well and I find myself looking forward to the upcoming NASCAR season (I’m not sure that love will last though) and the F1 season isn’t that far away either. Then there’s Soccer. The Whitecaps made the playoffs in the MLS, the European season has been exciting in all leagues, I have to say, I’m not sure I have time for the NHL in my schedule any more.
I’m sure I’ll watch a few games here and there on TV. I know I’ll watch some at local bars, I know how much this lockout has affected small businesses that depend on the NHL season to stay profitable. But here’s what I WILL NOT do. I will not buy a single ticket to an NHL game. I will not buy any NHL merchandise and I will not rush home everyday to catch all the highlights on the local sports channel that has a fat broadcasting deal with you.
My question to you, the players and the owners, is what are you going to do to make this up to the fans that make your game possible? The fans who are the reason the NHL and NHLPA exist, the reason owners buy multi-million dollar teams. the reason players collect million dollar salaries, the reason corporate sponsors pony up huge dollars to advertise in your rinks, it’s all because of the fans. Painting “Thank you fans” on the ice like you did after the last lockout isn’t going to be enough. You’ve taken us for granted for too long and it’s time that we the fans spoke with our wallets, spent our hard earned money elsewhere and supported sports that actually give a damn about us.
I hope I’m not alone on this one, judging from my Twitter feed this morning I see there are a lot of folks out there much more willing to forgive than I am. The Oilers and Canucks still have my love, it’s in my blood, but it’s no longer in my budget. I’ve played hockey since I was 4 years old but you’ve ruined the game for me. Also, I stole your logos from the internet without paying.