Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/30/12 at 05:55 AM ET
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
Players and owners both know angry fans will return, because anger is a telltale sign of passion, commitment. Frankly, it’s that anger and passion that served as the co-enablers of this lockout. Gary Bettman and his brazen band of billionaires wouldn’t resort to shutting out the house lights so often if they truly feared fans would walk away for good.
But apathy is the canary in the industry’s coal mine. If all these “Never again!’’ and ‘”Who cares?’’ and “I’m done!’’ e-mails and tweets are true — and if they serve as fair and accurate reflection of what has happened across North America — then the league, the players, and their union will be returning to a massive M*A*S*H unit when business resumes. That’s when they’ll find out whether all the angst, arm-twisting, and chokeholds were justified.
Too often forgotten in these bargaining wars is that neither side is actually fighting over its money. It’s the fans’ money, every penny of it, be it directly through ticket, cable, and merchandise sales, or via corporate/advertising sponsorships that are also funded by consumer dollars. Both sides are fighting over your dough, and it seems more and more NHL fans comprehend that now after a third tango here on “Dancing with the Dunderheads.”
All these games and leagues are built on dreams, magic, and nostalgia. To be reminded time and again that those elements only serve to mask just another North American business, a profit/loss sheet, ultimately erodes the patina and the passion.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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