I was taking a shower when ‘Call Me Maybe’ came up on Pandora. Just one of those goofy songs that gets in your head, sets up camp and doesn’t want to leave. I got out of the shower and a new chorus entered my mind. ‘Hey, aren’t you Bettman, you’re friggin’ crazy. We don’t want a lockout, so call Fehr maybe.’ I think it is safe to say that I will never win a Grammy, but it made me feel slightly better about this whole mess.
In all honesty, I wasn’t a fan when the 2004-2005 lockout occurred. I had seen a few NHL games and thought it was an OK way to spend an evening back then. Bettman first (and maybe only) good call was to have the Levitt report made. It showed how bad it was for the owners. The league was not able to run under the old CBA and the fan support was behind the league enough that the players formed a new CBA by essentially surrendering a quarter of their pay.
Now it is 2012. Perhaps Bettman is attempting to channel the Mayan apocalypse by again denying the fans the joy of watching the games. It doesn’t matter I suppose. Bettman’s main sticking point is arguing for the ‘hard-core’ economic issues. He believes if the league shuts up tight and closes down the league the players will concede to whatever demand Bettman’s puppet masters will ask for.
I thought I’d offer up my own take on the ‘hard-core economic issues’. In my ‘other world’ job I make about thirty-one thousand. Once I take away rent, utilities, and all the major essentials out of life, my own personal expense line is only about twenty five hundred dollars. Last year, I bought three jerseys. One was a fully licensed NHL jersey with Marchand’s number and ‘BALL OF HATE’ across the back ($200). I bought two more home jerseys, blank on the back ($210). I went to four home games last year. ($283) I purchased five Bruins T-shirts ($115), three Bruins 2011 Stanley Cup Champions hats ($90), and another black B’s hat at the Garden ($35). I can only guess on the amount of money spent on food, beer, and transportation costs. (Best guess $400).
If my math is correct, I have spent over thirteen hundred dollars on hockey in the last twelve months. I know people that have spent that much for one ticket in the Stanley Cup Finals. If Bettman and the owners insist on that lockout, I don’t have the ability to change their mind. All this simple fan can do is to close my wallet and deny myself an awful lot of happiness so the owners might learn from this. I do hope other fans are willing to do this as well. I love the Bruins, and I love hockey, but I’ll be damned to just feed the league’s greed so they can make horrible errors in judgment and expect the players to pay for them.