The NHL is Irrelevant, as proven by the NFL Referee Lockout
In the World of Sports, your NHL Lockout means nothing.
If anything is evident over the past week, it is that the NFL referees are more important than you in the world of sports.
For those keeping score at home, referees’ importance in a game ranks behind star players, the teams themselves, the regular players, the coach, the reserve players and the front office. The refs only rank above the mascots; I cannot imagine the outcry over a mascot strike in the NFL.
The public scrutiny over the replacement referees after the blown Green Bay Packers- Seattle Seahawks game was incredible. Twitter was exploding, the NFL phone lines were flooded and the saga became the major news story across the country. Players openly protested, fans were in fits, even some commercial sponsors of the NFL were ready to turn up the heat. This was all over one blown game really. The NHL is about to blow the entire season.
Hockey fans are fiery, but they have also been put into submission by continuous work stoppages in the league. Fans complain, but petitions and threats lack the intensity and support to bring about change. If the front page of every newspaper, the lead story on ESPN and the bulk of users twitter timeline was berating the NHL for canceling games, change would have to come. Even the greedy, elusive NHL owners would be forced into a deal, as the more powerful NFL owners were.
However, the NHL sits at the bottom of the sports pile. A soccer lockout would get more coverage than the hockey one because ESPN actually airs soccer games. Gary Bettman and the NHL owners subject the league to obscurity because of their tough stance during the last lockout. Despite devotees giving the NHL more money since the lockout, fans are being treated to a “we know you’ll be back attitude.”
If any NHL owners would read the paper, they would see that their player lockout is getting no attention, while the NFL referee lockout was settled in a matter of days, and was the top story on the New York Times in an election season.
President Obama and Governor Romney are battling for votes, but neither has offered to try and end the NHL lockout; there are not enough people supporting it.
I love hockey; it’s my biggest passion in life, and I love the fans that cherish the game along with me. If the owners cannot see the gamble they are taking with these devotees, the few who truly care, then maybe it’s time to find a new passion. I’ve heard people lost one billion dollars on the blown call on Monday Night Football. Can another sport be that hard to get fanatical about?