Everything Else

Yonder Stands Your Orphan With His Gun

I was going to do another “Lockout Insurance” post this afternoon about the Bulls, and I will probably get to that later in the day. However, those posts require something of a sanguine feeling. With the news that the NHL-owned Coyotes have just ordered mass layoffs of their employees, and the impending sword of doom with a looser and looser hold over the Winter Classic’s head, I’m robbed of any of that.

Ok, so it ended up being only the layoff of the PR guy in Arizona, which in some ways seems even worse.

There is not going to be an NHL this winter. There might not even be one in the next winter either. And what that means for you and me, I can’t even begin to dream to know.

Amidst all the anger and frustration you’ve had to witness spewing from my throat and fingers (and when stuff is spewing out of your fingers you know it’s bad), there was some hope no matter how drowned it seemed at times. Some hope that there would be an adult somewhere on either side who came to the realization that posturing and anger and vitriol only prevent understanding and an agreement, and would be able to convince enough of his colleagues to engineer the changes needed.

But I no longer think that adult exists or that if he does he hasn’t been so marginalized so far into the periphery that it would be next to impossible to get into the middle to affect the debate.

It’s sad too, because last night a lot of your tweets suckered me into watching that replay on Comcast of Game 4 between the Hawks and Leafs in ’94. And even as dejected and worried as I am, in that I at least discovered again why I cared. That there still was the 12-year old who was clutched to his radio that night within me who won’t let me let go just yet. That the part of me that still gets chills watching JR streak down the slot one more time can be awoken within me.  At least I knew why I bothered.

But there’s no sign that these two sides care or have any urgency or aren’t willing to shoot themselves it the face repeatedly to keep the other side from shooting them in the face. After the Winter Classic is gone, there’s really one thing to threaten each other with, and that’s the season itself. Does anyone out there think they care enough to save it?

So that brief memory and recognition I found last night is gone, and I’ve run out of justifications to hold on any more. I’ve said to myself that the Stones only tour to add countless millions to their bank account, but it’s ok to buy back in for their fans because they still know how to put on a show. Well, as despicable as both sides have been in this, when they do return they still put on a hell of a show. So it’s ok, right? But it’s not, or at least it doesn’t to seem to be right now.

I tried the hipster route, and thought that if this madness killed off the bandwagoners for good at least I’d have my cult back again, untouched. That enduring this, as insufferable as it might be, would at least be ok if it were just us who love it so left.  But as you know, I never really bought into that bullshit and I can’t now.

I even foolishly thought that footage and stories of thousands of people’s homes being reduced to Davy Jones’s locker on the East Coast might provoke someone important into thinking that maybe arguing how to divvy up $3 billion in revenues was kind of a stupid thing to argue over this long and in this childish manner. Where did I ever get that idea?

I’ve never wanted to think that I’m part of the problem. I never wanted to think that it’s people like me and more importantly my money that allows these jackasses to act like this, assuredly counting it in the bag. I didn’t want to think that I was a stooge being laughed at when I wasn’t around.

But I do now. And whatever I found last night, however briefly, watching Tony Amonte strip that puck away from Todd Gill, has been  viciously smothered by the complete stupidity, greed, ignorance, and lack of maturity by a bunch of people who just don’t get it It’s the callousness of it that is so shocking. Not only are they killing the game they claim to love and we actually do, it doesn’t even seem to bother them that they’re doing so. Not as long as they “win.”

And now, for the first time, I’ll face the possibility that when sanity is ever allowed back in and far too late, I won’t even be around to care.


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