January 8, 2013

It's hard to care when they just want you for your money

You know, I just cannot get myself excited about the NHL lockout ending. I really can’t. I was genuinely pretty happy following the AHL and not having to write very much.

With the NHL, it’s like dating. If you do something to get a guy’s attention, but he does nothing to show he’s interested back in a similar fashion, then why keep pestering the guy? We can take a hint – you’re just not that into us, NHL.

And for me, that’s pretty much it. Why put effort into something where you’re just getting shamelessly taken advantage of? There’s pretty much no point. I realize that that’s always been the case – the getting taken advantage of part, I mean – but previously, at least the league tried to make it look like they cared about their fans.

There’s only two ways to deal with people who try to take advantage of you. One is to try to take advantage of them back, and the other is to simply walk away. And I have to say that walking away is really awfully tempting right about now.

In all honesty, there’s pretty much no bribe that will make me reconsider my stance. Free Center Ice? More access to the players? Lower ticket prices (which will never happen)? Sure – but that doesn’t mean I’ll run to you with open arms.

(Though, admittedly, I’ve always preferred the minors and college sports. The lockout just gave me a reason to rediscover that when it comes to hockey. And it help that I live within driving distance of AHL teams, too.)

I’m sure the players can understand this. I mean, when people just want you for your money, you’re not exactly interested in sticking around. Well, that’s all that the NHL wants from its fans – their money. We’re their guaranteed source of funding, and that’s all they want us for.

I sympathize with the players. I really do. They didn’t want to have a lockout, and they’re the ones who are going to have to constantly face the fans over it. But in helping them I’m also helping the NHL, and that’s just not going to happen very often.

In a way, it’s like dating a married man and expecting him to get a divorce for you. Why should he, when he can have his cake and eat it, too? There’s no incentive for change if you play someone else’s game to your own disadvantage. So, why play the NHL’s?

I’m actually not angry about this. I’m more ambivalent than anything else. It’s hard to work up any emotion over something that doesn’t really mean all that much in the grand scheme of life.

I’m not going to give up on the NHL entirely. I’ve still got a hockey blog to help run, after all, so I’ll keep up on news and watch games online. But unless I have a very good reason to go – like maybe to see some Syracuse players finally reaching their dream of playing in the NHL – then I probably won’t go to any NHL games this year.

As for next season…we’ll see.

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