Otto Greule Jr - Getty Images
Rather than write five or six crappy articles, here's one.
I have no idea what I want to write about. This sucks because I'd have plenty to write about in preparation for what would have been a grudge match on Friday, but there's that other thing going on that I don't really want to write more about, but I kind of have to because it's the story.
Here's some assorted bullshit:
The Players are humping doorknobs and Bill Daly looks like the voice of reason
Boy howdy is the NHLPA doing their best to shit on the PR war advantage they held in early September. Some of it is media driven, but in general, the crap coming out of the players makes them seem more-disconnected from the fans than ever. Considering they're essentially fighting a cabal of secretive billionaires, it's kind of insane how flat they're falling. When Don Fehr hints at things like eliminating the salary cap, it sounds like more of a dare aimed at the owners to cancel as many hockey games as they can. When Bill Daly tells the press that he's disappointed there's no hockey happening and I'm not filled with the desire to alternately cover him with tiger sex pheromones and fire ants, then the PA has seriously fucked up. Dear NHLPA, you're not like us. Stop patronizing us.
ESPN is making fun of you
Yesterday afternoon and last night, ESPN nationally aired a KHL game called by Steve Levy and Barry Melrose. The duo sounded like Harry Doyle and Monte from 'Major League' without a hint of the charm or a touch of their amazing chemistry. Maybe it's because it was thrown together at the last minute; maybe it's because Barry Melrose cares as much about Russians as Apollo Creed; maybe it's because Steve Levy is a bit rusty, but that broadcast was just awful. The whole thing felt like 'American Dad', where the show is just as much about making fun of its own audience as it is about trying not to be shitty.
I don't know how to protest
Puck Daddy's talking about it. Pension Plan Puppets is talking about it. It's going to be mentioned a lot more come tomorrow and following days when blank calendar days actually mean the loss of regular season NHL games: How to best get the message across that you just want hockey, damnit. Conventional wisdom is that there's basically nothing you can do. I like this because it fits my laziness. Tell you what, I'm still at that point where I'd come back and eat up hockey, but I'm sure more interested in playoff baseball than I ever have been before. Is that going to translate in the future? I'm not making promises. I'm not happy there's not hockey right now, but I'm not giving myself ulcers over it. The change in most people is going to be subtle. I'm sure there are people who have angrily written off hockey and will never come back. That's not me though. It's just that there's going to be a point where the money I've budgeted for hockey is going to get spent on other ways for me to pass my time and my life will be enriched by that instead. I'm not going to announce it. There's not going to be any fanfare. One day, it's just going to happen.
I want to be more sad about his passing, but the dude lived to age 95 and was the kind of person we should all aspire to be more like. Budd's life is definitely something worth celebrating. That said, it sucks that great things sometimes have to change. Budd was great.
Dan Shaughnessy the Dip
The Boston Globe is at all-out war with bloggers and it's apparently anonymous people who drove Chiefs fans to cheer when Matt Cassel got hurt. I don't know. the guy's right that anonymity lets people say things they wouldn't otherwise say, but it was actual faces of people in the stands who were cheering. They were part of a mob, but they certainly weren't completely anonymous, nor were they on the internet. Then, after that happened, the internet practically ate itself arguing the merits of what happened (i.e. policing itself). Sure there are jerks willing to say some awful things and since I'm anonymous here and don't have to say it to their faces, they can get fucked.
But, anonymity has a bright side too: repercussions aren't always fairly dished out and can be used against names and faces for some really shitty reasons. Shaughnessy is sure to point out that he's said mean things to people who have deserved it, but that comes across as though he's only free to really call somebody out when even he's got the relative anonymity of the mob to cover him (when the criticism is so evidently deserved that it's unassailable). The mainstream media has a very tough job in covering teams who don't have to give them any access at all. What they do is incredibly valuable, but let's not pretending that trading putting on a filter for access is quite as noble a barter as you'd like to portray it.