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The NHL Lockout and the Insanity of Our Culture and Myself

December 8, 2012

NHL644

I love ice hockey. In particular, I love the NHL. And now I’m angry. I’m angry at the players. I’m angry that it has been 83 days and the NHL is still locked out. But even worse, I’m angry that I am angry at the players.

I said this right before the NHL lockout on my Facebook, and I still think this:

I love hockey, but the NHL players are acting like babies. I’m sorry, but if you are making more than 98% of the population playing a game you have nothing to complain about. If you really want a share of the revenue then you should also take on the risk of loss that the owners take. Why don’t you start caring about the normal people who rely on you for their livelihood like restaurant and pub employees, concession workers, cab drivers, arena staff, Zamboni drivers, parking lot attendants, etc? They don’t make enough to live on for a decade in a matter of months like you do players. Last time I checked the deal the owners offered you still promised millions of dollars in your pocket. Grow up.

Ok, I understand how at one time unions were a good thing. Back in the day when eight year olds were working 18 hour days in the mines for two cents an hour, something had to be done. I get that. But now? Look at these most recent comments by some players as quoted from TSN (Canada’s leading sports network):

“It really seems that since the start of the lockout and negotiation that the partnership we had talked about coming out of the last lockout has really been thrown aside,” Montreal Canadiens forward Erik Cole told The Montreal Gazette. “We’re here to grow the game of hockey and what they’re doing with this lockout is doing anything but grow the game.

“If you want to know when this lockout will end, only (the owners) know.”

Fellow Canadiens player Brandon Prust tweeted his reaction to the recent turn of events. “I’m done caring,” he wrote. “We keep moving and giving…This 1 way street sucks.”

Florida Panthers forward Scottie Upshall tweeted that the recent setback in negotiations has only solidified the players’ resolve, saying, “Plain and simple these owners think they can break us apart. GOOD LUCK! We r stronger than we’ve ever been and r behind Fehr %100.

“There’s no pressure yet on the owners to lose this year, that’s why they still treat us like Cattle. They’ll need a partner come January.”

A fan kindly in the comments section broke down these guys salaries last year:

Erik Cole – 4.5 mil – 61 points or $74k per point – ok – not too bad. Brandon Prust 2.5 mil – 17 points or 147k per point – Really and you dont care? Scottie Upshall – 3.5mil – 5 points or $700 THOUSAND PER POINT – WOW – if I were Scottie I would be behind Fehr too – hiding!

So, getting $700,000 for one point in an NHL season is being treated like cattle? Getting paid more than the yearly salary of the President of the United States of America to play a game is getting treated like cattle? Really?

Another commenter said this:

Give them millions of dollars, that’s not enough. Pamper them like they are god’s, that’s not enough. Make hero’s out of them for simply playing a game, that’s not enough! The players have become everything we always hated about the owners!

I’m angry that these players think being paid an average salary of 2.5 million dollars a year is not enough to play a game. There is no such thing as “moving and giving” when you are being offered millions to play a game!! Yes, I realize that most players will only play a few years and then will probably have to get “real jobs.” But when the average person only makes around $2,000,000 in their lifetime (assuming $50,000 a year for 40 years) and the minimum NHL salary per year is $525,000 I have little sympathy even for the worse off of NHL players.

I’m angry we live in a society that pays our most important jobs like doctors and teachers peanuts and the most useless jobs like actors and ice hockey players millions. Don’t get me wrong, I believe it is important for a culture to have actors and sport stars. But if what you are paid shows what you are worth in our society, then why on earth is someone who shoots a round black piece of vulcanized rubber across a red line worth more than someone who saves human lives?

But ultimately, I am most angry at myself. I’m angry that I am so attached to a meaningless game. I’m angry that I know better, and yet I just keep going down this path of being obsessed with ice hockey.

I guess this must be what le theologians call “sin”.

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2 Comments
  1. Burndog permalink

    I share your pain… so instead of watching I’m just gonna go out and play

    • Would love to have that ability! Now if only Kiwi’s would switch their allegiances from Rugby to Ice Hockey…. 🙂

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