Friday, Nov. 02, 2012 -
With the present aftermath of Hurricane Sandy touching the hearts of millions of North Americans, any negative news pertaining to the NHL's ongoing CBA fiasco is a distant second fiddle. Peoples' homes and livelihoods being destroyed or nearly succumbing to the full wrath of Sandy tends to humble each of us and really puts what's important into perspective.
Those with the means to donate their time and/or money to the restoration truly define the phrase human nature. With every devastation comes and rises reclamation. Hope and cultivation are rehabilitated in the souls of those unfortunate enough to have experienced the unforgiving elements of our world. Many could argue that the true fiber of humanity is spun from selfishness, greed and antipathy. But in the face of pure desolation, blind hands stretch from the hips of despair and are warmed by the benevolent arms of society.
It's an example we can all learn from and pay forward to not only better mankind today, but to instill an excelling morality for tomorrow.
I felt it. And I hope the majority of you did, too. But the NHL missed that memo.
Whenever there's opportunity to prove skepticism wrong, you're disappointed when the opportunity is not taken. Just earlier today, Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly released a statement after the official cancellation of the NHL's 2013 Winter Classic --
"The logistical demands for staging events of this magnitude made today's decision unavoidable. We simply are out of time," said Bill Daly in a statement. "We are extremely disappointed, for our fans and for all those affected, to have to cancel the Winter Classic and Hockeytown Winter Festival events."
At this point it's nothing less than a slap in the fans' faces whenever one of these CBA officials mention how disappointing it is for us. It is not something we want to hear, nor is it something we need to hear. Our favorite sport is in the midst of its own natural disaster, and the only thing we can do is sit around and wait for the smoke to clear, and the aftermath to show itself.
So far, the storm surrounding the NHL has the potential to destroy it from a cellular level. Complete, unadulterated abolishment. But unlike a real world natural disaster, this cataclysmic labor dispute can be controlled, fought and stopped by those few who refuse to seize the opportunity. Once the last drop of rain has fallen on this lockout, we fear there will be no possible way to restore the face of the League. It's beyond recovery.
The cancellation of the Winter Classic cuts the last thread of hope for an abbreviated 2012-13 season. Not that that's in any way what we hoped for in the beginning. But disasters happen. It's how you prepare, fight, and salvage from it that truly defines a person or corporation's moxie.
Between the NHL and Players' Association, the urgency to defeat this disaster and come out on top does not exist. That much is blatantly obvious. Instead, the debilitating rhetoric from both parties paints a canard picture which tries to fool the fan into thinking each side is doing everything in their power to weather through the storm and save professional hockey from an embarrassing demise. The finger-pointing, I'm sure, will follow today's low-blow in a way that's equal to the demeanor of a schoolyard feud.
It'll always be "their fault."
"It's their fault the Winter Classic got canceled. Not ours."
As each of you know, the Classic was supposed to be hosted in Detroit between the Red Wings and the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs. Being the cash cow that it is, this particular Winter Classic was set to break all revenue records of the event's past. Not only was it being housed in Michigan Stadium -- a venue with an attendance capacity of over 107,000 -- but Hockeytown was putting on a week-long Winter Festival which would be celebrating the New Year's NHL tradition.
Our city of Philadelphia grossed over $30-million when it played host to the 2012 Winter Classic. According to reports, "combined events were preparing to welcome nearly 400,000 guests to Detroit and Ann Arbor over the holiday period," so you can only imagine what kind of "economic impact" the Classic would have had on an up-and-coming Detroit Rock City.
The bank accounts of many local workers and mom & pop businesses were depending on this hot flux of cabbage to paint their respective streets green. Oh, but don't fret, Detroiters! Because the NHL promises they'll try to make it up to you in January, 2014!!!
This work stoppage has gone from affecting the wallets of every arena worker....to dropping a bomb on every local commerce in the Detroit area. Meanwhile, NHLers continue to sign overseas in Euro leagues, and the Owners continue to puff their cigars from their armchairs.
But hey, just as long as those guys get what they "need" in the end, this potentially murderous onslaught is all worth it. Keep feeding the storm, fellas.
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