You’re killin’ me: An NHL Lockout Rant

(It was only a matter of time before this post was made.) I hate the NHL.

Is the NHL Lockout still going on?

I mean, seriously, is the NHL Lockout still going on? Does anyone care at this point?

The real question is why do I still care about the NHL when they don’t give a shit about me. When they’re the ones that are fucking it up for everyone else, fucking it up for people like me.

It’s crazy how quickly hockey became part of my life. To be quite frank, I just recently gave hockey a real chance, within the last 3 years (give or take a few). Sure, there are some San Jose Sharks moments that stand out to me prior to the last 3 years, like the crazy Evgeni Nabokov save against Dallas, or the insane penalty kill versus Edmonton in the playoffs when a 5-on-3 basically turned into a 5-on-1 minus two sticks. Oh man, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Sharks PK that impressive — ever.

So yeah, I’ve had my moments where I gave hockey a semi-chance, but I never gave it a legitimate chance until a few years ago. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I changed my mind, and I don’t know exactly what changed. And why it changed as quickly as it did. All I know is once I opened myself up to the beautiful game on ice, I fell IN LOVE. And I fell hard.

I remember those nights when I would come home from work because I couldn’t wait to turn on the Sharks game and watch them stress me out in games like this*, but then make me incredibly happy when they’d pull off a win and get the all important 2 points in the standings (or in the case of the Fiasco on Figueroa, the series lead).

*True story: This game stayed on my DVR for about a year and a half. I would watch the game at least once a month. Why? Cause I’m odd.

I remember spending all day reading sports blogs and listening to podcasts just strictly about hockey learning about the important stuff like who are the rivalries and why and what a “dump-and-chase strategy” is and CORSI and FENWICK and why Steve Ott’s a bitch and why the entire Dallas Stars squad are scums of the earth and what an “enigmatic Russian” really means and why everyone outside of Canada hates Sidney Crosby. You know, important stuff.

I’m a pretty big sports fan (duh), and the Sharks are the first team I actually bought season tickets for. Yes, I spent my hard-earned money on a team that really hasn’t done shit for me except for break my heart. They would get my hopes up so high that something wonderful could actually happen, and then they just let me down. I can’t believe I spent so much money.

Clearly, this was something serious.

Now that I don’t have this anymore because of the lockout, it’s hard to say what I’m actually feeling. For a while there, I just denied it. I pretended like it didn’t exist. It’s kind of like when you’re in a relationship, and someone breaks-up with you, in order to feel better about the situation, you try to just ignore the other person. Try to imagine they don’t exist. Sometimes it works. Most of the time it doesn’t. Because it’s not the big picture that affects you, it’s the little things that start to remind you of them, and you realize you actually miss them, and then you start to get sad…

Which is where I was with hockey for a little bit. I was sad. I was sad I didn’t have hockey to look forward to anymore. Sad I couldn’t come home and turn on my TV to watch a game (Sharks game, or not). I’m a hockey fan, and hell, I’ll watch the Florida Panthers versus the Toronto Maple Leafs (yeah, maybe not). I mean, I’ll watch the new-look Carolina Hurricanes versus the also new-look Minnesota Wild. (To be honest, that game does sound somewhat intriguing now.) Oh July 1st, the summer, when everything was perfect and nothing was wrong. You seem like so long ago…

But now — I think I’m just mad. Mad that the NHL is doing this to me, doing this to their fans. They say they care about the fans, well, they’re doing an AWESOME job of showing it. You think they would have learned their lesson from the 2004-2005 season. Throughout the labor dispute, they don’t realize the real party that’s hurting here are the fans. As a hockey fanatic, it really does kill me not to have games to watch, but at the same time, I think I’m getting to the point where I just don’t care anymore. They can cancel the season for all I care, I dare them. See how I feel when they actually do it. See how much I give a shit.

I have things taking up my time anyways, such as:

  • Watching QMJHL games on NHL Network. Yes, this is for real. I don’t need to watch REAL PROS to enjoy the game, pssshh who needs to do that?
  • Contemplating going to an SF Bulls game…maybe…maaaayyybeeee
  • Becoming Harrison Barnes’ biggest fuckin fan ever. I wanted this kid from jump. There are actual text conversations of me saying I wanted Harrison Barnes at the draft, so this obsession with HB40 isn’t coming out of nowhere. I am all about this kid. He is going to be an NBA Superstar. I put good money on it.
  • Slowly watching my fantasy football teams deteriorate. While this isn’t necessarily the greatest thing in the world, at least I don’t have to think of the dimwits negotiating terms for the new CBA.
  • Slowly watching the Raiders deteriorate (Actually, this kinda sucks really bad.)
  • Becoming somewhat of a movie buff over the past few weeks watching new releases such as Cloud Atlas (meh) and Argo (Yay Canada!), while seeing some old goodies like Crazy Stupid Love (cute), X-Men: First Class (Magneto rules!), The Shining (Weird and scary as fuck) and Let Me In (Liked the Swedish version more, but awesome movie nonetheless).

So I guess that’s the other thing people do when they’re going through the grieving stages of a break-up, do other things to take your mind off of it and show you don’t need them to be happy, which is probably the best and most effective thing to do. As ridiculous as this sounds, I guess you can say I feel like the NHL and I are going through a break-up. And not gonna lie, this is harder to get past than I thought.

I miss hockey. I really do. I don’t mean it when I say I hate it and when I say “Go ahead and cancel the whole season. See if I care.”  That’s just emotions talking. Of course, I care. I’ll always care. I’m not lying when I say I developed a strong deep love for this sport in a short amount of time, and to have it taken away so abruptly kinda really sucks. And the shitty part is that it’s out of my control, and I can do absolutely nothing to change it. I just have to hope and  pray that it comes back soon.

And if it doesn’t — well, I guess it’s just like anything else. I have to move on. I have to just let it go. There are more important things in this world to focus on.

Like Harrison Barnes’ Rookie of the Year campaign, yuuppp!

But seriously, please come back hockey and please don’t cancel the season. Please.

And fuck you, Bettman.

Alright, I’m out, ladies and gents. Until next time.

2 thoughts on “You’re killin’ me: An NHL Lockout Rant

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