Why is it that perception and reality rarely match up? I almost always perceive a situation as a more positive situation than the reality. For instance, I told myself there would be no lock out. I even went so far as to say the Chicago Cubs would win the World Series in 2013 if there is another NHL lockout. Well Chicago get ready for your city to burn down with excitement because I was wrong. So very wrong. My positive perception is slowly turning into negative. There is not one group involved in these negotiations that has the light of positive perception shining on them. As a group the players and owners are making me feisty. Not only are the fans affected by this but so are my friends who work for the organizations. You are holding the futures of those who depend on their jobs with the NHL to pay rent in your hands. Do you not realize that fact?!
So now I bring to you my open letters to both the players and the owners. I will do my best to not unleash my inner Chicago shrew.
A great man named Patrick Henry once said “United we stand, divided we fall”. I want you to chew on that statement for a moment. Let me know how it tastes. It should taste delicious. You should want more of it but you don’t. Not all of you do. Whatever happened to divided we fall? All of you stood up there and said you were united. You made us believe you would stay and fight for not just the fans but the people in the organization who would lose their jobs. You made us believe you cared. Then hours before the impending lock out many of you fled to Russia. The day after the lock out was announced even more of you signed with European teams. I wish I could run away from my problems the way you did. I can’t. The world can’t. Being an adult means not running away from your problems. It means staying and fighting your hardest to fix them. The perception you’ve given the fans is that you are a bunch of greedy little boys who want what they want and will hurt anyone to get it. The reality may in fact be you are going to Europe because you have family overseas or to train with your Olympic team. Maybe you’re going overseas because now you have no health insurance. What I don’t understand is even if those are the realities why you wouldn’t be in that NHL office everyday fighting for your dream. If you wanted to play in the KHL you would be playing there before the lockout. Most hockey players dreams are to play in the NHL .WHY NOT FIGHT FOR YOUR DREAMS? You are squandering your dream away.
To the players who are not going overseas: I want you to tell your teammates to stay. I want you to go “Les Miserables” on them. I want you to go to their houses and ask them “Will you join in our crusade? Who will be strong and stand with me?” I want you to stop them at the airport and say “Will you give all you can give so that our banner may advance? Some will fall and some will live? Will you stand up and take a chance?” Come on players unite and take a chance to make a change. You can not expect things to work out on their own. Sit in the NHL office all day long and fight for your right to play hockey. If you don’t you’re going to lose a lot of fans.
What in the world is going through your head? You say you’re hurting for money yet you sign these absurd contracts. Do you know how bad that makes you look? It looks like you are signing these guys knowing you won’t be able to pay them. You look either greedy or dumb. No matter how you slice it you look bad. Were you hoping the players would agree to rollbacks? If you say yes basically what you are telling me is you tricked the players into coming to your team. Classy, very Classy. Oh wait, no it’s not. It’s Rude, very rude. Here’s another thing I want to know. Bettman claims all the owners are 100% ok with a lockout. Yet, having a lockout will hurt the smaller teams who are not making nearly as much money as they should. Also, the Canadian teams have a lawsuit out there so they can still play if there is a lockout. Someone please tell me how that adds up to unanimous? It doesn’t. So, owners if you’re against this lockout speak up. Fight against it. Go all “Tom Petty” on Bettman. Stand up to him. Tell him “You can stand me up at the gates of hell but I won’t back down.” Let him know just how much you want this season. Don’t let him control you. Go all “Rage Against the Machine” on him. Be like “Forget you, I won’t do what you tell me!” Show him the league isn’t all about him. Sit in his office everyday with the players and let him know you are serious about making this season work. Go through every proposal possible to end this lockout. Show you’re staff that you care about their futures. In the words of my friend Aaron Michael Coleman “Do the honorable thing.” DO THE HONORABLE THING OWNERS! Please for the sake of my friend the DJ and the hockey reporter do the honorable thing and get a deal done.
One upset fan because you are messing with my friends’ futures.
Elaine Grace Shircliff