As August fades into September and September slides toward October, I usually start getting excited.
Not this year.
This year the fall appears bleak and gray; the winter looms silent and icy.
The NHL has locked out the players. Neither side wants to budge, with the sticking point being the division of revenues. The players currently receive 57%; the owners want to cut that to 47%. In effect, that's about a 17% pay cut.
Neither side is budging. Both sides have sent letters to the fans expressing the hope that the season will begin soon.
You know what? Players, owners -- just get it done, please. It's my money you're fighting over. I bought season tickets because I love the Caps and I love the game. You all make a lot of money; even the entry level guys make more in a season than I will ever make.
I know. Players have a narrow window in which to make money. They play hard and they train hard. I wouldn't want to take a 17% pay cut and I don't blame them for not wanting to take a 17% pay cut. But surely, for the sake of the game and the fans, couldn't you give a little?
And owners? You guys are even richer than the players. You make money off me, not only from my season ticket purchase, but from every hot dog, beer, and hot pretzel I eat and every jersey, toque, and pair of lucky socks I buy. Surely, for the sake of the game and the sake of the fans, couldn't you give a little too?
Both sides say they want a season. Both sides admit it's the fans who suffer. If you really believe that, then get this collective bargaining agreement done, goddammit.
I want to watch some hockey.