The NHL Still Deserves to Pay for This Lockout

01/06/2013 02:43 EST | Updated 03/08/2013 05:12 EST


I know the NHL is really happy with itself right now, and I can't stand for that.

The lockout may be ending -- pending approval and some seriously important paperwork -- but the NHL still has to answer for the past few months, and the years before that.

The NHL can't hide from the fact that it betrayed millions of its own fans and its product.

The league deserves to pay for the lax approach it took to this lockout, and to its own business. The owners suddenly got all Socialist Obama when they realized they'd signed underwhelming players to intensely overpaid and bloated contracts. One day, they're a ruthless executive. The next day, they're Jamie Dimon begging for more buyout cash in front of Congress.

Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr were eerily similar to nine-year-olds fighting on the playground. They thought they were both right, and nobody else could understand.

The players, meanwhile, launched their greatest-ever assault on fans' intelligence.

They actually tried to swing our emotions by donning jerseys tattooed with "#ThePlayers" on it. They actually released YouTube videos informing us that the owners were locking them out, not the other way around. The players actually tried to handle billions of dollars in revenue with about as much grace as the side of a building handles a cannonball.

The players think like blunt instruments because the players are paid to be blunt instruments.

The owners think like corrupt businessmen because, well, they are corrupt businessmen. Unfortunately for them, however, their jargon is too far above their employees' uneducated minds.

This was a battle of Cheese and Cheddar, and neither one realized how much they had in common. Neither one realized their fans were the ones grading them. Neither one gave each other -- or their viewers -- any modicum of respect.

They didn't learn anything and they won't learn anything because they won't pay for their sins like the rest of us do.

It was a damn shame this had to happen. It's even more of a shame it will happen again when this new agreement inevitably expires.

(This article was originally posted on White Cover Magazine.)

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