Thursday, October 11, 2012

Opening Night... Not.

Hockey season should have started this evening, but it won't... due to yet another NHL lockout.  And you, Gentle Reader, couldn't possibly care less, unless your name is Andy, or Buck (that would be SN1... and he cares less than usual coz he's in the desert and won't see much hockey anyway), or perhaps Small-Tee.  (ed: Sarge, too.  My Bad.)  The lockout is already a month old with little or no movement in the negotiations; it looks very much like we're gonna have another lost season like we did back in 2004-2005 and that will suck mightily, epically.  So what's a boy to do?  This, in part (you should read the whole thing for a great overview of the lockout and its principals and coz it's just good writing, too):
Your mileage may vary, but my own solution is just to take the whole thing in, in its messy and horrible glory, like the moment when you're on a super-delayed airplane and you just give up and secretly enjoy the spectacle of everyone freaking out around you.10 Bask in what are sure to be monumental moments of idiocy and/or awkwardness. Revel in everyone's tendencies to blow each and every development, good or bad, completely out of proportion. Remember that this time last year, the same thing was happening with the NBA and that the situation looked so dire at one point in early October that my boss bought L.A. Kings season tickets. Make side bets. Watch more college hockey than you ever have before and feel creepy the first time you scream at some little sophomore. (Then feel creepier in four years when you're saying things like, "Dude, I watched him back when he was at Merrimack — kid's a horse!")

[...]

Go to minor league hockey: Stateside, the AHL will feature some pretty killer combinations of the league's young guys, from Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn on the Adirondack Phantoms to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle, and Justin Schultz on the Oklahoma City Barons. (For a fun diversion, check out some of the AHL rosters from the last lockout.) Loiter at your local rinks more than usual: Players without immediate plans have been renting ice time and existing in the purgatory of what the Minnesota Wild's Matt Cullen called a "glorified beer league — without the beer." (He was one of a number of Wild players to be shooed off the ice at a local rink the other day by a "no-nonsense, red-headed figure-skating instructor" named "Coach Marla" who wanted the ice for a private lesson with an 8-year-old.)

The lockout sucks. It sucks a lot. But at some point, it will end. You will be mad, and you will be right to be mad. You will feel that things have irrevocably changed. But a few years from now — hell, maybe even a few months — your team will come back from a shitty first half of a season to squeeze into the playoffs on the very last day, or they'll draft a bright young star who will grow into the face of the franchise, or someone will score three times in 10 seconds (or make three big saves in that span) or they'll win a big Game 7 or a Stanley Cup or a Stanley Cup in Game 7 … and whenever this finally happens, you won't be mad anymore.
That last paragraph is prolly true for die-hard fans like myself.  But, yeah... it STILL sucks.   On another note... now's the time I kinda-sorta wish I still lived in Ra-cha-cha, which is the home of a very successful AHL franchise.  There IS a minor league team near me... if you consider a two-hour drive, one way... "near."  I've actually attended a hockey game in Amarillo (back when the Gorillas were the home squad) but that was back in the day when the girlfriend served as my designated driver after a few beers.  We don't have that luxury now.

So we'll just sit here tonight and bemoan the fact that one of the few reasons I have left for living has gone AWOL.  Again.

20 comments:

  1. No Bruins. After an abysmal year for the Red Sox. Thank God the Patriots don't suck!

    Otherwise yeah, no hockey, it's gonna be a bleak winter. (I'm not THAT big a basketball fan. Probably because I sucked at basketball as a kid.)

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    1. I didn't know you're a fan Sarge. Fixd.

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  2. Not a whole lot for me to say here. You know I have a big hole in my life until this thing is over. Oh well, I guess I'll be a better dad this fall, winter and spring than I was last year.

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    1. Well, that's looking at the bright side. ;-)

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  3. How bout dem A's...?

    I usually watch the season finals in Hockey, anyway. Maybe you might look into finding another designated girlfriend/driver, in case Minor League becomes an option for you?

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    1. A's? They're done, aren't they? ;-)

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  4. We could drive (or fly, heaven forbid) to Daly City (the Cow Palace) to watch the SF Bulls (of the ECHL). That would remind me of many a Friday night in college watching the WHL Seals. But then again I can't see making a four-plus hour drive to watch a mid-tier team. Besides I still have baseball, Giants and relatively warm weather.

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    1. Yeah, but baseball's days are numbered, right? Not to take anythang away from the excitement o' October but November and the rest o' winter looms big on the horizon.

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  5. I see that you've linked to "The Other Andy," in your list of folks that don't give a darn about the lockout. And, wisely you did not get us confused...I REALLY REALLY REALLY CARE that the NHL is on hold.

    I've got fambly invested in the success of the league (both on the playing side, and the league side...it's complicated).

    Thanks for making it clear which "Andy" don't give a rat's ass. Being the HUGE hockey fan I am, I can't wait for 'em to lace 'em up, put on the pads, and kick off.

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    1. You're pretty funny, Andy. But you knew that.

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  6. We used to have the New Orleans Brass in town 1997-2002 playing in the old East Coast Hocky league. We made the playoffs EVERY year, but usually lost to an even better in-state rival, the Lafayette, La IceGators which existed 1995-2005 and now rebuilt in the Southern Professional Hocky league starting 2009 t0 present) (ex-Mayor Ray "Chocolate City" "School-bus Nagin" was one of the part owners of the Brass when he was head of the local Cox cable franchise prior to his election.) The Brass first played in the old Municipal Auditorium next to Armstrong Park off N. Rampart street. But alas is no more. When Harrahs came to town they usurped the Auditoriun for the temporary Casino while the old Rivergate at the foot of Canal Street was torn down to build the new Casino. The Brass then moved to the brand new New Orleans Arena next to the Superdome (architectural note: It shares/connects HVAC sys with Superdome thus saving costs)but got kicked out when BB Hornets came to town, but couldn't return to Muni Auditorium as It had put new floor in sans the orig icing system (Brilliant thinking!!!)so Brass folded w.o. a home.

    The Brass' main rivals were the Lafayette IceGators, Baton Rouge Kingfish ('96-2003) and Missippi Seawolves (Biloxi) Rest of league was Mobile Mystics, Burmingham Bulls, JacksonBandits and Little Rock Riverblades.

    Too bad the League and most of the teams folded... Louisiana had something going for a while with three teams..

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  7. PS: Speaking of architectural notes, the tear-down of the Rivergate Convention Center was a MAJOR dispute. The Rivergate was a unique architectural marvel when finished in68 and was studied by architects the world over. It had the largest open, non-column-supported space in the world at the time and a unique double-curved barrell-arched reinforced concrete roof design meant to simulate the rolling Missippi next door. As such it was totall unique in the world for its time. As a futuristic modernist design in an ancient city it was a "love it or hate it" affair which split the city. It was generally considered by architercts the world over as a "masterpiece" and Harrahs originally wanted to adapt it as a Casino due to its inherent flexibility, but N.O. being N.O., the fix was in as the big kids in City Hall figured more jobs could be created tearing it down and building a new facility so they strong-armed Harrahs (no buildiong permits unless..."no tickee, no laundry."lol) into tearing it down, replacing it with a Disneyfied (say its critics)version of a Casino (For a GREAT read on hist of the Rivergate Google the Rivergate Convention center and click on "The Rivergate-A Phenomenal Work--Tulane Univ".)

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  8. ***Spellcheck is my friend--I must visit her more often, lol!

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    1. I get the feelin' from reading your stories that N'Awlins is one of those "nice place to visit, wouldn't wanna LIVE there" kinda towns. Still and even, I DO wanna get back there at some point in time.

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  9. Gee, Buck, hell no, New Orleans is a GREAT town to live in--if you know where, lol. A raffish guy like you would fit right in! Bars stay open all night--what's not to like? LOL But seriously, LOTS of culture too--Nations oldest Opera House, 2nd oldest Race Track (Fairgrounds) oldest school for girls/women (Ursuline Academy on State St) Home of Americas 1st World Grand-Master Chess Champion (Paul Morphy)....I could go on, but too drunk drunk-blogging Debate in between this at Althous' AND Vodkapundits place..

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    1. That debate... Aiiieee. So, are ya sayin' I should move to The Big Easy?

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  10. I have to admit that I don't really care other than for you bloggers with the blues.

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  11. If you ever decide to come to Amarillo for another minor league game, "we'll leave the light on" and offer breakfast.

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    1. What a kind offer, Carol. Thank you!

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Just be polite... that's all I ask.