What’s that thing called when you break up with someone, both see other people and then decide you are going to get back together and have to pretend like the last 6 months never happened? Yeah. It’s time for about 1000cc of that.
BACK FROM THE ICE
We went ice fishing today of all things. This is the level that the 2012-13 Lockout has reduced us all to. Trying to find other things to do while we waited for the stewards of our beloved NHL to wrap up ruining the game we love and charitably decide to get back to making billions and millions of dollars respectively.
While we sat in this little shack waiting for a fish to grace us with its slimy presence we were completely unplugged from twitter, internets, cell phonery and everything to do with communication.
You would have had to send a telegram to the local general store and had the pony express clip clop it out onto the ice to get us any news. In this most remote of locales the NHL lockout ended and we wouldn’t know until about 3 PM MST.
The conversation with our fellow temporary fishermen centred on the obvious: the lockout and how we would all respond when it inevitably ended. Some of the boys were understandably frustrated with how long things have dragged on, the complete indifference from both sides to all us fans and swore that they would penalize the NHL one way or other when it finally got it’s act together.
We will now write an article version of what we ranted at the top of our lungs. Oh and maybe a Lil Wayne video for some music.
Often times life can be a grind of day jobs, car repairs, jackass bosses and costly ear medicine bills mounting to the sky. Some of us may even have more serious issues to deal with – money problems, health scares, problems with the wife, dramas of so many sorts. The NHL provides an excellent distraction from all of this and has done so for many many years.
As an elementary school kid we used to shovel most of the neighbourhood’s snow to afford season tickets to the Mighty Oil. Undoubtedly the youngest self paid ticket holder in the history of the club, we would go to games with our near totally blind Grandma on the bus and would sit up high in the seats of Rexall Place and cheer on some of the worst clubs in Oilers history.
Grandma Wanye listening with massive headphones on her portable radio and Young Wanye screaming and yelling a non-stop barrage of insults (the 2012 version can be read @wanyegretz) We would then make our way home and listen to the post game show until the angels carried us off to slumber. We missed probably 3 games in 5 years until high school and the prospect of University forced us to save our hard earned dough for other things.
These long seasons of losses piled to the sky in front of a half filled building with our Grandma forged us into an Oiler fan made of steel for all eternity. When we see King Jordan of Eberle super snipe a goal, the Nuge dingle dangle around 12 people or Devan Dubnyk muff an easy save we are brought back to those golden days and often smile thinking about how our now departed Grandma would be beside herself with excitement for this new team.
HERE’S THE THING
Why we are all super hockey fans – and make no mistake the Nation Network is the biggest of its kind on Earth so there are more of us here than anywhere else – has nothing to do with the Gary Bettman’s and Donald Fehr’s of the world. It has nothing to do with CBAs, economics, HRR or any of the other brown bananas we have been forced to watch and read about these past several months.
Our reasons for loving our particular team, particular players and why many of us will welcome hockey back with open arms is a personal tale and no two are the same. Make no mistake – we could give two shits about either side involved in this amazingly embarassing lockout. Both parties are riddled with the cancer of self entitlement who take us as fans completely for granted.
They have done irreversable damage to the business in many already shaky markets and it will take years to rebuild their fan basesif it can even be saved at all. Serves them right the bunch of jerks.
But we don’t care.
THEY AREN’T HOCKEY
As superfans we cheer for something bigger than all of the nonsense provided by the NHL. These people are merely employees of the game we love – not the game we love and that is an important distinction.
The most important thing for me is preserving the happiness, excitement and pure joy of watching the Oilers win/lose/tie that they have provided my entire life. Other sports don’t do it. Other teams don’t do it. Watching A&E marathons of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo or whatever other BS we have all busied ourselves with during the lockout doesn’t do it either.
If that flame ever goes out a massive part of our life will be lost forever. It’s far more important that ignore the clowns in the NHL/NHLPA and preserve that happiness that transports us back to being a kid because being happy is a choice not a right.
And so we choose to welcome back the NHL with open arms. Not because we agree with either side or because they appreciate all our attention, money and worship as fans. They are merely the tenants in the house we all love so much not the house itself. We will go back because we love the game.
It’s the reason we started these sites, spent a ton subsidizing losses throughout this stupid lockout and will lead the team to bring them back stronger than ever with all of the supremely talented folk that write here and who can’t wait to get back at it.
So protest if you want. We completely understand. But we are going back to business as usual.
Game on bitches.