Kukla's Korner

The Puck Stops Here

How To End A Lockout

The recent lockouts in pro sports have been blatant cash grabs by the owners in their respective leagues.  Owners may or may not have issues with the bargaining agreements in their sports but that is secondary to reducing the amount of money they must pay out. 

A minor lockout ended this week in the NFL.  The NFL had locked out their officials.  The amount of money paid to officials is a small portion of their costs and it was mostly about breaking the officials and getting them to accept whatever the NFL wished to give them. 

The problem for the NFL was that there were many problems with the replacement officials.  They were not NFL quality.  There were many blown calls in the early NFL games with replacement officials.  This came to a head when the NFL's flagship Monday Night Football game was incorrectly decided by bad officiating.  The Seattle Seahawks defeated the Green Bay Packers by a score of 14-12.  The game was decided on the final play of the game.  A pass was thrown into the Seattle endzone.  One official called the play a touchdown for Seattle.  The other official called it an interception for Green Bay.  The correct call was an interception but the touchdown call was the one that stood.  That touchdown gave the Seahawks the last seven points in their 14-12 victory.  It wouldn't have come to that point without a couple of blown calls against the Packers during that drive.

The NFL was embarrassed in the most significant game of the week.  Its result was front page news throughout the US - even outside of Seattle and Green Bay.  That prompted the NFL to decide to end the officials lockout.  Serious negotiation finally began between both parties and after two days of almost around the clock negotiation a new eight year deal was reached.

What do we learn from that?  If the NHL can be sufficiently embarrassed that may end or help to end the lockout.  This lockout is much more significant financially to the NHL than the officials lockout was to the NFL so it will take more embarrassment to have a result.  Nevertheless we see a way for fans to possibly be involved in bringing about a quick resolution to the NHL owners voluntary lockout.  Embarrass them.  Embarrass them a lot.  That may help stop the lockout.  It ended the NFL officials lockout.

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Dakkster's avatar

Yeah, but how to embarrass them? I mean, the last time they lost an entire year and that wasn’t enough of an embarrassment. What’s the silver bullet?

Posted by Dakkster from Southern Sweden on 09/30/12 at 09:51 AM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

Obviously I don’t have all the answers.  If I knew exactly how to embarrass the NHL to bring NHL hockey back I would be out doing it.

One thing that is different this time around is the court of public opinion.  In 2004/05 a lot of the public blamed the players for being locked out (and regularly referred to things as a strike).  This time it is clear that the owners are responsible (and it is clear that the public blamed the wrong side last time).  It would be a bigger embarrassment to the league to lose a season and have the public blame squarely pointing at them.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 09/30/12 at 12:25 PM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

When teams like Minn and Nash are offering 100m dollars contracts and then voting to lockout the players to get 20% of that back

How widespread is the knowledge that this is what is happening?  Sure the more hardcore fans that would talk about it on the internet know but a lot of the more casual fans have not made the connection between these events and may be unclear about contracts signed by anyone this summer.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 09/30/12 at 04:13 PM ET

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imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.

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Email: y2kfhl@hotmail.com