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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