Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Church of Hockey

Canada's Church of Hockey Ready for Mass Again. The headline on the front page of the national newspaper last week made me cringe. It was about the resumption of the season after months of wrangling by the greedy owners and the greedy players.  I have to say I hate it when a game of any kind is compared to religion, and in this country it is hockey. I heard a radio interview with an official from a national organization for children's hockey in which the interviewer began with "now hockey is a religion in this country..." Not it is akin to a religion, or is treated like a religion. Now, apparently it is a religion.

Hey, maybe they are right. If they are, I am ready and willing to label it idolatry of a false god. I am totally baffled as to why some parents want their children to aspire to the miserable spectacle of the past few months. In their selfishness players and owners revealed that the sheer joy of playing this sport at a professional level has all but disappeared. From my perspective this is a cold-hearted business, and this has seeped down through the various levels of Canada's game.

Respondents to the "mass" article picked up on the metaphor: "I have become agnostic when it comes to the church of the NHL. Please don't pass me the collection plate." "Someone else will have to say a prayer for me because I will not be attending."

Am I a tad bitter because this has siphoned families away from the Christian community and the opportunity for Sunday worship. In the words of Sarah Palin "you betcha." There was a time when I wouldn't miss the Buds and the Habs on a Saturday evening, even if I knew I would be yelling "bums!" at the Leafs before the end of the first period. Not tonight.

Any thoughts?


IanD said...

Recent polling suggests that a lot of people have been turned off, long term, to the NHL. Most adults I know are largely indifferent to the return of the season because they're over it.

In the early stages of the lockout, I watched all of the 'vintage' games the CBC played and what an excellent experience! Guys like Lafleur and Robinson, Brad Park and Gerry Cheevers ... those were the days when history was being made. Now? It's about dollars, not history.

I am refusing to tune in at home and will not be purchasing any Leaf swag, either. I hope other fans do likewise to send the League a message.

roger said...

David yelling "bums"? I have a hard time picturing that....but at least he was yelling it at the right team!!

I, too, would never miss a Hab vs Leaf game(cheering for the Habs of course), but I am deciding not to pay attention tonight. It's seems to be all about contracts and outearning others, rather than the game itself. I hope that my feeling of indifference continues, but like many others who are swearing off hockey, I'll probably eventually get back to cheering and watching.

Being more of a football fan, if they striked, it might be more of a challenge to feel the same way.

I hope the bums lose tonight.

sjd said...

I enjoy watching hockey. It is the fastest game going.
I see the Greed from both sides. The players are more sofisticated now than 30 years ago, but I can only blame the owners.
It was the owners who locked out the players.
The players accepted contracts that the owners offered. If they didn't like the contracts they shouldn't have offered them.
This revenu split they always talk about. 75/25, 57/43, 50/50. It baffels me. The owners allowed the general managers to sign contracts that created this imbalance. Now they ask the players to suck it up.

If I owned mt own business, and found myself in a position that my payroll was 75% of total revenu I'd shut the doors.
If my boss came to me a week after giving me a raise, and a new contract, and asked for it back I'd remind him that we signed a contract.
If the owners don't want to pay, I can understand why. What they need to do is stop offering crazy contracts. They usually don't pan out anyway.
Look at the NYI goalie who has 12 years left at 5 million a year, and didn't make the cut out of training camp.
Look at Scott Gomez in Montreal. He cost $3.5 million per goal last year, and now was given 21 million dollars to go play somewhere else.
I think I'd get fired if I did something like that at my work:)