The Damage is Done: How Hockey provides a symbol for our faults.

The Damage is Done: How Hockey provides a symbol for our faults.

6 owners and two handfuls of players met this week in the hopes of actually talking about getting this mess cleaned up, and it looked as though they might have even spoke to one another. Deciding to leave their generals on the side lines, no Fehr or Bettman, was from most perspectives, a smart choice, and most were hopeful that they would get somewhere with it, not that it matters anymore really. The art of negotiating, of building healthy conversation, of debating, and arguing is a common theme in our culture as 2012 comes to an end, and the thermometers hit 70+ degrees in December, in Chicago!. A shout out to our Polar Bear friends is obviously overdue. The world is in transition and where we are headed has not been decided yet. Our political symbols can't communicate very well, so why should anyone else? I just can't help feeling that we have bigger fishes to fry, and I don't eat fish. It feels like the warming of our Earth, wars in the Middle-East, and our terrible economy might be of bigger concerns.

While none of that seems to be getting anywhere, signs were looking good for our NHL friends after talks on Wednesday, but that all went to crap really quick, just like any other dispute these days. All because Bettman and the owners wanted Fehr to stay out of the dealmaking process. It seems that Fehr has knocked the owners, and more importantly Bettman, off his feet. I have heard that Bettman is the man behind all of this mess, that he told the owners long ago that he could get the players to fall into a more lucrative contract with them very easily. He might have even made a promise in fact. Now, nothing is going the way that Bettman planned, or the owners, and everyone is losing their heads.

Bettman might be losing his job, because I don't think any of the owners were up for this. If he was wise, he would get out of it already, because I just don't see how he repairs his image, or the leagues after all of this. Some owners have a lot to lose, and are doing just that, while the players might have found themselves the driving seat for once. Frankly, it seems they called Bettman's bluff, and now he will not admit to his faults. Just as it is with so many stand-offs, and feuds, pride is screwing it for everyone else. I hope that we are all taking notes as our issues with greed, stubbornness, privilege, and communication are keeping so many aspects of our societies from moving forward. We need to learn how to listen, how to see the other side, and be reasonable people, maybe even how to admit when we are wrong. We have cultivated something very dangerous in our culture, and if we don't find the cure soon, it might do more damage than we can take.

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  • Nice piece HH, I especially liked your last para. If I would rephrase what you said about out culture, I would say we have become a nation of "Stand Your Ground". At the first tingle that we might be getting slighted, it becomes an all or nothing engagement. As I mentioned in the last piece, I have lost sympathy for the players. Anyone who does a shred of volunteer work or simply opens their eyes while going to work sees a lot of people who are not doing well. It puts the dialogue between the players in owners in some real perspective.

    Sometimes, to really help someone out who is close to you, you need to cut them loose. The reality, of course, is that the players and the NHL could give a shit about what we think. Some, I'm sure, get it and would vote tomorrow to end this if they were allowed to. Regardless, I think the best I can do right now is to invest whatever I can in something more worthwhile. I can't hurt the NHL by not buying another jersey I don't really, but I can help someone by making a donation to something like Rolling Jubilee or countless other charities. Tying to what One Team said on the last thread, how bout instead of making a meaningless gesture of burning our tickets, how bout finding a way to send thousands of disabled kids to the rink for opeing night and let the players contemplate THAT for awhile.

    You say it very well here HH, "We have cultivated something very dangerous in our culture, and if we don't find the cure soon, it might do more damage than we can take." I'm convinced the cure, if there is such a thing, will not come from making the entitled suddenly pull their collective heads out of their ass. Instead, I think that energy needs to be pulled back and fully invested in people who do need the help.

  • Losing more respect for everyone involved. According to sources, Bettman makes around $8,000,000 per year... and this is the result of his valuable work?

    And how about the ridiculous quotes from Patrick Kane. He's so far from reality it's ridiculous: "You don't realize how good you have it over here in Chicago... It's definitely a little bit different over there with things like packing up your own bag and putting it on the bus and then taking a three-hour bus ride to a game and having to play as soon as you get off the bus..."

    The poor guy has to pack and carry his own bag. Wow. How quickly they forget the real love of the game.

  • In reply to iplagitr:

    And somehow, I am not surprised. This is just it, isn't it? We are all guilty of losing perspective once and a while, taking life for granted, and devaluing others, but some are more guilty than others.

    BTW, this is interesting

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