Nike sells hockey unit, citing unprofitability


So Nike is getting out of the hockey business. Well, if you ask us—and nobody does, but they should—its about time. Their attempt at $700 skates sucked; you can ask anyone who wore them. Their belief that hockey would grow in the US if they brought rollerblading to the forefront failed. Good. And now they’re getting out of the business altogether. And rightly so: rollerblading, and the rollerhockey league they sponsored, isn’t hockey. It’s an all-male suck fest.

Hockey needs to stand on its own merits. The NHL is like that desperate girl we all remember from high school who runs around trying to be everything to everybody. Remember when she dated the football player and started wearing a Dallas Cowboys hat everywhere? Remember when she dated the musician and died her hair black and wore John Lennon shades?

So goes the NHL south of the border. They’re so desperate to get a national TV deal that they’ll do anything, become anybody that they believe Americans want. Examples:

  • That retarded glowing puck they forced on us that one season;
  • The fact that Nashville has a team that ain’t drawing flies in attendance, yet NHL brass won’t move it to Canada when a billionaire tries to buy them for fear of upsetting the American marketplace; and,
  • The NHL’s willingness to expand to 412 teams—even if it meant Jani Rita makes a triumphant return as third line winger for the New Orleans Flood Dodgers.

Holy cow, Gary Bettman. Rather than messing with the game and trying to remove fighting, rather than moving the nets out from the glass, then backwards towards the glass, then out to centre ice, then back where they were to start with, rather than encasing goalies in a plexiglass crease to ensure no one is in the crease… just let ‘em play.

Let ‘em play because the game of hockey is second to none. We’ve sat down to watch a baseball game, and that lasted about as long as it took us to pick the remote back up and find anything, ANYTHING else on TV. We watched a basketball game once, and we think the score was somewhere in the 783-684 region for the team of indistinguishable giants.

Hockey is a far superior game… if you let it return to old-time hockey. We’ll clue you in, Gary: Americans LOVE violence. They love it! Have you seen ANY top grossing movies in the past 15 years? Violence! Even Shrek—so violent. So much cartoon blood… Tsk tsk.

So let the players fight if you want to capture the interest of Joe Lunchbucket in the US. Get rid of the bloody instigator rules. Don’t grant a team to every southern American city. Canadian teams now account for one third of NHL revenue. The Canadian dollar is higher than Snoop Dogg at the BET awards. Grant an expansion team to Canada for heavens sake. Embrace the roots of the game and the fans who are as desperate to get wit you, as you seem to be with ESPN Ocho.

Don’t know if you noticed, but the Mighty Ducks sold in 2005 for a mere $75 million. Kind of hard to make a case that an expansion team is worth $150 million when the Ducks (who won the cup within two years of the sale) are only worth half that isn’t it? But now you have $200 million as a floor price for an NHL team because the little old Edmonton Oilers sold for that much. This adds $50-60 million in value to every franchise in the league and you know it. And why? Because El Paso finally bought what you were selling? Because Las Vegas was finally granted a team? Hell no.

Because a born-and-raised Edmontonian decided that the team was that valuable to him—and then wrote a cheque to prove it.

Embrace your Canadian market, Gary, because the American corporations will be taking note that Nike “couldn’t do it” and got out of the business. And they could take it as a sign that the NHL and pro hockey isn’t selling south of the border. But it sure is up here, playboy.

So re-dye your hair, Desperate High-School Girl. Dust off your old identity and wear it with pride. We’d take you to the prom.

We love you.

(giggles like a school girl)