Praise be to Allah Great and Merciful, the NHL lockout is over! And my anus hurts. Now the real bullshit can begin. I have a modest proposal to keep something like this from ever happening again - (Yes I know it's the second time, and what can you expect from the one Pro-League in history that cancelled a whole season just a few years ago)?
It's a product, it's entertainment, but because it's professional sports the NHL, like the NBA and MLB, they can cause lockouts and get away with it. By that I mean, we all come flocking back demanding them to take our money. We forgive them because we tell ourselves it's more than entertainment, that it's about life lessons, teaches the kids about sportsmanship and instills values of fair play and how to be a team player which has larger connotations for the rest of our lives. If that's the case, that pro sports is so valuable a past time compared to movies, video games, etc, then let's stop dicking around.
Many hockey fans have bitched and moaned as if hockey is a right, and franchises like the Toronto Maple Leafs have shown that, like admission to Jurassic Park, you can charge whatever the fuck you want and people will pay it. It's kind of like the public school system, you complain about what your getting but you think it's important enough to still send your kid, so much so that we've made sure there are all sorts of other options along with the public system. You can send your kid to private school or home school them (we'll come back to this in a sec).
So with that analogy in mind here's my proposal to avoid a future lock-out, instate an NHL tax. Yeah how about that, goddammit? A minuscule percentage of your income will go straight to the NHL through the government so that the owners and the players union are taken care of and whatever egregious demands they have are met.
Dolla, dolla bills, y'all.
The hockey fan no longer has to worry about scrimping for tickets come game time since that tax will mean you can walk into any stadium/dome/rink so long as you flash a copy of your fucking tax return. Come around game 7 and you'll have to brawl in the parking lot in a big Battle Royal to decide who gets a chance to sit behind the players' box and shout "Wayago there boyoyoy!!"
Then you can stop playing the mental gymnastics of telling yourself, "well it's not fair to us the buying public that they deprive us." You're absolutely right, SO DON'T GIVE THEM YOUR FUCKING MONEY WHEN THEY COME BACK. They held you, the customer, down and fucked you in the ass for 113 days, so fuck them over. Don't buy shit from them for the rest of the season. Tell them you worked your fucking ass off everyday to pay a fuckin mortgage, get the kids braces, pay off your fucking car loan, and all you ask for at the end of the day is to take the kids to see a game, the closest thing you'll get to a vacation between a smoke and the annual sexual congress you enjoy in your failing marriage.
Forget Elections Canada. The only vote that fucking matters is the crumpled fruity coloured bill with a miserable old hag's face splashed on it in your wallet.
Or there's another option, to bring it back to the public school analogy. You can do what lots of folks already do and get your friends together in the street, or community rink or wherever and play the game you love. No owners, no body-check restrictions, and higher stakes cause if your team wins you might actually get laid. Every game will feel like the it did when you were a kid, GAME 7, Third Period. Get back to how it all began, just like the tiny school houses.
You don't need a vice-principal to teach you arithmetic, and you sure as shit don't need Bettman to dictate how you'll enjoy your game.