Alright folks, I give up. This will be the last I touch these NHL/NHLPA shenanigans because I have come to grips with the utter insanity this league, this lockout and its half-witted constituents feed. I’ve hit my breaking point, and it came courtesy of one Donald Fehr this morning with this gem of a forthcoming soundbyte.
Can we make something completely crystal clear here? The amount of things in common between you or I (the average human being) and an NHL hockey player is very little. I’m not suggesting that they’re above or below average. I’m suggesting that we are very much the majority, and they live in a wholly different spectrum of life.
What follows from this of course is that the owners also live in another different spectrum of life. If I had pockets as deep as the owners I can’t even imagine what I would do with myself, though Mr. Louis C.K. certainly has my mind working with this bit here.
It was the Fehr soundbyte that got me in a tither so I digress. Just needed a little bit of a chuckle.
On the Team 1040 in Vancouver this past Friday, Fehr went on the air and addressed some questions regarding the lockout. Shocking right? I can’t believe nobody asked him about his favorite color or perfect Sunday. You can grab the audio here.
When it came to the issue of players heading overseas Fehr offered the following insights:
The most easy way to understand it is this: The owners have been talking about this lockout for months and months and months and months. They had a year the last time the players were locked out. They had a lockout in basketball with the same format. They had a lockout in football with the same format. So when the owners say they’re going to do it again unless you make another series of enormous concessions on dollars, on player contracting rights and all those other things, they believe them.
Therefore, they’re looking in that situation to see what else can be done. It’s what anybody else would do if you’re locked and can’t go to work.
Thanks to our friends at Puck Daddy for the transcription.
Surely at this point you’re wondering which part of that got me riled up. Well, if you’ve stuck with me through this meandering, frustrated lede you know, but I’ll separate it and bold it if you still don’t.
It’s what anybody else would do if you’re locked and can’t go to work.
Is it? Are you sure about that?
The fact of the matter is that people go on strike or get locked out on a semi-regular basis in North America. It happens. Some industries are more prone to it than others, but it happens, and I have difficulty thinking of a case of a career where people can be locked out or go on strike and go do their job elsewhere.
If a school board locks out their teachers do they go teach elsewhere?
If General Motors locks out their employees do they go work for Ford?
If The Hockey News locked out their writers would they come write for Backhand Shelf?
The answer to all of these things in the real world is an unequivocal ‘No.’ The fact that Fehr would argue that this is some common bond between people everywhere speaks to how out of touch these parties are with reality.
In the real world when people are locked out they can’t just go work somewhere else because they want to go back to the ones they already have. In fact, the vast majority of people are forced to look into the standard unemployment avenues in order to support themselves and their families until they get back in their building. A good portion would take a look at this YouTube video and picket accordingly.
The average NHL salary is roughly $2.5 million. I’ll grant that expenses grow with a higher salary, but that still leaves a hell of a lot more than 99.9999% of folks reading this in their lifetime will ever bank.
Perhaps this underscores the problem with the NHL. We are inclined to say that they don’t care about the fans, but it may be more an issue of they simply don’t understand. The human psyche is very good at deluding itself when trying to get from point A to B in an argument and this could very well be an example. When the Steve Otts of the world tweet about how ‘they’re fans too’ that may be the case, but they certainly don’t have lives remotely resembling that of hockey fans.
The NHLPA would love you to think that they’re one of the gang, just like you or your pal you watch Saturday night games with, but they’re not and the comparison is so ludicrous it’s insulting.
There we go. My last bickering lockout related post, and I’m completely thrilled to be done with it.
Sports > Leagues. Hockey > NHL. Carry on accordingly. Screw these guys, I’ll take hockey elsewhere.