Saturday, November 24, 2012
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
We start with words from two of my favorite poets.
"Life, friends, is boring. We must not say so.
After all, the sky flashes, the great sea yearns,
we ourselves flash and yearn,"
—John Berryman, Dream Song 14
"Life is short and should be painful as well."
Given this view of life—which I take to be more or less indisputable, pace the existence of sex, mescal, and HEAVY TUNES—, we need, and we have1, sports to divert us. They are, as Shoals recently wrote, "bits and pieces of life reassembled in a heightened, refined form...[to] make [a] life seem bigger and more unpredictable". Or, some days, bits and pieces of life cobbled together clumsily to make life feel worth living at all.
Except right now, you may have noticed, there's decidedly less sports around to make life seem bigger, heightier, and more unpredictable, what with there being no NHL hockey to watch. Why is there no NHL hockey to watch? Well, it's a money thing.
The sides look like so:
- NHL vs. NHLPA (National Hockey League Players Association)
- Gary Bettman, Commisioner of NHL vs. Donald Fehr, Executive Director of the NHLPA
- NHL team owners vs. NHL team players
- NHL Board of Governors vs. NHLPA player reps
The argument sounds pretty familiar.
Essentially, like all unions in 2012, the NHLPA has already lost the battle over money. Now they're fighting to keep their access to coffee and the occasional set of steak knives. "Fighting" in a rather restricted sense, that is, since there has been the princely quantity of "six meaningful days of negotiation in five months" and today was announced some more bad news: they're still far apart, and the NHLPA has decreed that the insta-rejected proposal they made this morning, well..."It's about as good as we can do."
Oh, wait: one more piece of bad news:
And, per Larry Brooks, the NHL Board of Governors won't be meeting again until 5dec2012. One suspects that no progress will be made before that date.
There are currently no plans for NHL and NHLPA to meet again.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) November 21, 2012
So, I would like to say this to the NHL, the team owners, the Board of Governors, Gary Bettman, the NHLPA, Donald Fehr, and everybody else who refused to negotiate until the last Collective Bargaining Agreement had expired, and who, apparently, aren't really bothering to negotiate2 now:
A very special, deep, thorough fuck you to the lot of you.
Great job, guys. Way to:
- put in very nearly a full half a day today, making—if we round up—an entire 7th day of negotiation in the 60-somethingth day of an entirely predictable lockout
- quickly determine that you don't give a flying fuck through a rolling donut about resolving anything
- and then decide to break without making plans to reconvene for more negotiations
Why don't you take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut? Why don't you take a flying fuck at the mooooooooooooon?
—Collision, NHL fan 1996-2012
1 Or maybe vice versa.
2 You could look up "good faith" if you wanted. Next to its definition, there would not be a picture of the relevant parties in this dispute.
Friday, November 9, 2012
As a quick bit of direct action against the increasing/infinite alienation perpetrated upon NHL fans by the current-and-getting-currenter lockout, I rounded up a sizeable posse to go to the first-ever San Francisco Bulls game—an experience very nicely previewed and evoked by Grantland's Katie Baker.
There were many, many firsts, and before I ran out of steam, I made it my mission to document them. My unedited notes appear below. If you want an actually comprehensive recap, I suggest you hit up Fear the Fin.
It started with some tasty pyro!
3.05: 1st PP
3.06: 1st fan yells "shoot it"
7.10 1st PK
10.44, 1st GA
16.01, 1st GF
Somewhere in there: first fight.
out of beer—the Cow Palace has been sold out of beer in the second intermission of the first game
Rawhide stood kind of too close to me for kind of a long, long time
dude behind me bellows, apropos of nothing, "SUNDAY PUNCH!"
The team's mostly been beat up a lot since that first close loss. The night I saw showed a disciplined team without a great deal of talent: an expansion team, for sure. The Cow Palace is a problematic building, too: it's absolutely huge, and that means that a crowd of 8,000 can seem kind of sparse. A number of the other teams in the ECHL have buildings with capacities of perhaps 5,000, and in there, a lively or livelyish crowd of 3,000 might make a real difference in a game. But, what the hell: it was a great night out, I bought a decent-looking hat, and I look forward to getting out to more games this year.
--Collision, sometimes having a little trouble filling the time