When it comes to an NHL lockout, you know who doesn’t matter? You.
In the grand scheme of things, no one gives a shit about you. The NHL, Gary Bettman and their owners don’t give a shit about you. Donald Fehr doesn’t give a shit about you and your precious players don’t give a shit about you. If they did, why would they be at the negotiation table bitching over who gets the larger piece of the pie, the pie that you help bake with your money?
So while you’re sitting at home in your Bruins jersey, Bruins hat, wearing your Bruins pajama pants and waving your Bruins pennant, re-watching your 2011 Bruins Stanley Cup Blu-ray, what are the players doing? Collecting Unemployment Benefits that are probably still larger than most of our annual salaries and/or playing overseas for some crazy amount of money. What are the owners doing? Running whatever their business made them enough money to become NHL owners in the first place.
It’s a sad reality that none of us have really come to face. We like to believe that when our team puts on their designated colors that they are fighting for us. They are playing this game for our entertainment and we live and die by them. Our favorite player gets traded? It’s like someone kidnapping your child. Your team loses in a crushing Game 7 and you don’t speak to people for a week while the players go out for dinner, get loaded and enjoy themselves.
Unfortunately I’ve already witnessed some pretty stupid shit when it comes to social media and the NHL Lockout. The first is that god awful, fan-made video that asks for the lockout to end. It’s titled “Together We Can”.
No, you can’t.
After the jump, more ranting...
Making an 8 minute video set to music with clips thrown in there (and a Punisher logo, for whatever reason) isn’t going to change anyone’s mind. Do you think Gary Bettman is going to watch this video and get misty eyed, call up Donald Fehr like it’s a fucking romantic comedy and say “You know what Don? We really screwed the fans here, lets end this?” and hug it out?
No, they’re not.
Gary Bettman had the brass stones to say “We recovered last time because we have the world’s greatest fans.” and he’s right, the NHL does have the greatest fans. After locking us out for a season, we came crawling back to the NHL and ate it up like it was Sunday fucking dinner. Bettman is not a stupid person, despite what people want to think, and he knows that no matter what happens this season we will be pissing ourselves with glee whenever the NHL comes back. It doesn’t matter if it is October 2012, January 2013 or October 2013. All we want is our hockey. It doesn’t matter what the NHL does because people will still come to games (especially in big markets like Boston, Detroit, Toronto, Montreal, etc), they will still buy merchandise and they will still watch the games which in turn boosts TV revenue.
If you want to make a real stand then stop making YouTube videos, stop making terrible fucking Twitter accounts and stop giving the NHL your money. Plain and simple. Stop buying merchandise. Stop paying for season tickets. Stop watching.
Stop doing everything Gary Bettman knows you’ll do when hockey comes back.
Until you’re ready to make that sacrifice everything else is a moot point. Sitting the NHL store won’t do a damn thing, especially because some of the people who are sitting in that fucking store may even buy a shirt which will essentially make your “sit-in” useless. Fan-made videos and Twitter accounts won’t do anything. Tweeting the NHL account or signing some online petition won’t do anything.
You have two sides fighting over money, not your fandom. The only way you are going to get the message across is with your wallet.
If you’re really serious about ending the NHL lockout (or proving to the owners and players that you are serious about your stance when they come back), don’t watch on Black Friday or whenever they return. But we all will and we’ll do it with a smile on our face.