Friday, October 12, 2012
Out Of Sight - Out Of Mind
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. That is not always the case and when that absence is in reference to professional sports the issue is even more magnified.
The NHL owners have locked out its players and now it has become a showdown between Billionaires and Millionaires and how to divide up Billions in revenue. Seems like it should not be a difficult thing to do. They are not trying to change a system or make any crazy changes to the existing system it is just terminology and what pool of money should be included in the percentage breakdown. It is frustrating for the players but probably even more so for the fans who are the real victims who not only do not have a true voice and are the ones that truly suffer. It is always the most difficult on the children when mommy and daddy fight.
The thing that is the most interesting, on a personal level is the lack of interest that is felt. With the NFL in full swing, NCAA football and Baseball playoffs currently throwing 4 games in a day, missing hockey is far down the list of interest. Even when baseball winds down after the World Series there is always junior hockey . With Landsdown Park is under construction and the 67's playing at Scotiabank Place for the next few seasons we can go to the OHL games and if need be since it is an NHL venue, pretend that it is an NHL game.
It is a little surprising that, as an NHL fan that the impact and possibility of a lost season is not having the same impact as it did during the last work stoppage. This is probably not a good thing. If a longtime hardcore fan is showing disinterest how is the NHL going to overcome the same feelings from casual or less passionate fans? This is a very dangerous game of cat and mouse they are playing. The less that people are caring as this whole things plays out the less that are likely to come back when they finally come to terms on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. When all is said and done this is still a gate driven league and does not have huge TV deals like the other big sports. If people are luke warm when play resumes, ticket sales could drop and the few teams that are propping up the MANY struggling US teams may not have as much to share. If that happens it stands to reason that the struggling teams will spiral even further down and require even that much more help. If the pie gets smaller the allocation to the teams and players gets smaller teams could be in jeopardy and if that happens the number of players jobs would also fall and that would be a major blow to the League. Just remember baseball is America's Pastime and it was devastated by their lost time in 1994 and it took a long time to bounce back. The NHL got lucky their last lost season and fans came back in record numbers, even growing in some markets. It is playing with fire that the same will hold true again this time around.