Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry


title or description
Some fans are delighted the National Hockey League's lockout is over.

After more than a hundred days, the greedheads who own National Hockey League franchises have finally reached a new collective bargaining agreement with the NHL Players Association.

I've been a hockey fan for almost 40 years. You could precede the phrase "hockey fan" with words like avid, obsessive, and devoted. I love the game.

I should say "loved" the game. Not anymore. The long layoff gave me a chance to find other activities that are more enjoyable than watching hockey on television. When I first started watching the game, it had speed, flow, grace and beauty. The sport as it is now played is boring. Last season, I don't think I watched all three periods of any game, not even in the playoffs.

National Hockey League hockey will be back soon in a rink near you. I have just one prediction to make about the upcoming shortened season: lots of groin injuries from players being out of skating shape.

But who cares?


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 7th, 2013 02:57 am (UTC)
The entire nation north of us... :)
Jan. 7th, 2013 04:31 am (UTC)
There's a lot of bitterness north of the border. A lot. Of course, it could just be an excuse to avoid watching the Maple Leafs.
Jan. 7th, 2013 02:30 pm (UTC)
It's in Canadian DNA though - there is no life without hockey. Are they mad enough to start a different league?
Jan. 7th, 2013 05:13 pm (UTC)
I think more damage to the NHL brand has occurred in Canada than in the U.S. Visit tsn.com and take a look at some of the fan comments after lockout-related stories. In the U.S., hockey isn't even a major sport; it appeals to niche markets, so I don't think the damage has been as extensive here.
Jan. 7th, 2013 05:34 am (UTC)
I'm with you, pjv. During the previous lockout/CBA debacle, I remember both sides harping on the idea that missing an entire season was a necessity, and the owners and players planned to "fix" the game and bring it back better than ever.

How did they make it better? The shootout (the most gimmicky of all sports gimmicks) and another lockout less than a decade later. But, hey, let's cram 50 games of sloppy, reckless hockey into 12 weeks and absolve everything (or suck some more money out of the desperate fanbase).

I still love the game. I'll still tune in, but it's just not the same.
Jan. 7th, 2013 05:10 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the shootout—I think Stu Hackel over at si.com refers to it as the post-game skills competition. It's no way to decide the outcome of a game. I don't care for regular season overtime, either, because it makes playoff overtime less special. I say play 60 minutes, two points for a win and one for a tie.

I will not follow hockey at all this season: no daily reading about the Bruins in the Boston Globe, no reading Stu Hackel every day, no more checking tsn.com. I'm finished.
Jan. 7th, 2013 08:32 pm (UTC)
Couldn't agree more. The league lacks a certain charisma and personality post-2005. It's not the game I grew up with, and it's certainly not the game my father grew up with. It's been neutered -- the league sold out for ratings on an obscure sports network and now caters to a new viewership to line its pockets. Rule changes, maybe even a "culture" change if you want to go that far.

I think back to last year's Stanley Cup Finals. Boring. So, so boring. I don't think I watched more than a game or two, and even then, I was only half-paying attention to any of it.

Will I watch this season? I'd be lying if I said "no." But there's no way I'm scheduling my life around games the way I did before. Maybe it's due to the lockout. Maybe I'm just growing older. Who knows.

Ever since the B's won the cup, I feel like my fandom has subsided. Not completely. But enough.
Jan. 7th, 2013 08:43 pm (UTC)
Right you are, Alex. One of my most vivid hockey memories involved the Flyers and Islanders playing a big game back in the early '70s. Rick MacLeish got sent in alone from outside the zone, and as he skated in, his black hair was flowing behind him. Lafleur used to play like that too, zigging through players in the offensive zone with such skill that it looked like he was moving in a strobe light. Hell, there were so many speed demons back then; the game had a flow and grace that made it a treat to watch teams like Montreal—even, begrudgingly, as they took the Bruins apart in the playoffs each year.

Now the game is clutching, grabbing—"neutered" is a good way to describe it. Clean breakaways are uncommon. And the power plays? Almost a stereotype: dump the puck into the corner, send someone in to dig it out, and feed the point for shots. Did you ever see video of the Stastnys on a power play? They were like surgeons: crisp, clean passes: tic-tac-toe. And they played between the circles, not in the corners and at the points.

Those days will never come back. I was a huge pro basketball fan in high school and college. Now I don't even follow the game. I'll be able to do the same with hockey pretty easily.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

March 2017

Wish I'd Said It

Nota bene: “Fear has governed my life, if I think about it. ... I always feel like I’m not good enough for some reason. I wish that wasn’t the case, but left to my own devices, that voice starts speaking up.” – Trent Reznor

“I hate to say this, but not many people care what you do. They care about what you do as much as you care about what they do. Think about it. Just exactly that much. You are not the center of the universe.” — Laurie Anderson

"The path's not yours till you've gone it alone a time." – William Carlos Williams

“Filling this empty space constitutes my identity.” – Twyla Tharp

"My definition of peace is having no noise in my head." – Eric Clapton

"The wreckage of the sky serves to confirm us in delicious error." – John Ashbery

"We are all here by the grace of the big bang. We are all literally the stuff of the stars." – Dwight Owsley

"For my part, I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream." – Vincent van Gogh

"It is only with the heart that one can see right; what is essential is invisible to the eye." — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

"Forget about being a perfectionist, because entropy always wins out in the end." – Darren Kaufman.

"Impermanence. Impermanence. Impermanence." – Garry Shandling

"Fame is a vapor; popularity an accident; the only earthly certainty is oblivion." – Mark Twain

"There is no realm wherein we have the truth." – Gordon Lish

"Actual life is full of false clues and sign-posts that lead nowhere." – E.M. Forster

“Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe." – Frank Zappa

“I try to leave out the parts that readers tend to skip.” – Elmore Leonard

“The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.” – Voltaire

• Journal title and subtitle: Ian Hunter, “Man Overboard”


Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow