THE BLOG

Fed Up With NHL Lockout? Another Sport Is Just A Stone's Throw Away

11/26/2012 04:06 EST | Updated 01/26/2013 05:12 EST
AP
FILE - This Sept. 16, 2004 file photo shows an Ottawa Senators employee walking into the player's empty dressing room with goaltender Dominik Hasek's equipment sitting on the bench, in Ottawa, on the first day of a lockout. With a lockout drawing ever closer, the NHL and the players' union are in touch with each other after a day of internal meetings. But no new negotiating sessions are scheduled for Friday, Sept. 14, 2012, one day before Commissioner Gary Bettman has said he will lock out the players. This would be the NHL's fourth work stoppage since 1992. (AP Photo/Tom Hanson, FIle)

With no end in sight to the NHL lockout, maybe it's time for Canadians to make the ultimate protest -- just switch ice sports. It's a radical idea, but it has merit. Hear me out.

After curling as a youth and working for my provincial association, Curl BC, for the past few months, I have come to the realization that curling is the answer. It is a great game with a proud tradition in Canada. And not only is it fast-paced and exciting to play, it also makes great TV.

Sportsnet recently bet on curling by purchasing Grand Slam of Curling events and signed 10-year agreements with four provincial curling associations to broadcast their curling championships. It means all B.C. curlers at championships run by Curl BC will be on network television for the first time.

TSN, meanwhile, is still committed to broadcasting numerous national events like the Tim Hortons Brier and the World Financial Group Continental Cup, which pits North American curlers against the Rest of the World.

I know what you're thinking.

Yes, clearly Canada is a hockey country. Everybody knows that.

When our hockey players take to the ice wearing our team's or country's colours, when Don Cherry has taken up his rightful place on our TV screens, and when we can wake up in the morning content in the knowledge that 70 per cent of the sports news we get won't mention union talks, we are at our happiest.

nhl lockout 2012 2004 The NHL lockout is in its 11th week. (AP)

But the game loses its charm when an argument over a few percentages of revenue generation can put a stop to an entire season. Hockey fans across the country are ticked off and they want to know what they can do to show the NHL and its players they're not happy.

If this was Brazil and someone had cancelled soccer, we'd be taking to the streets in protest. If this was Texas and someone had cancelled football, we'd be chaining ourselves to the league's headquarters in protest.

But this is neither Brazil nor Texas. This is Canada -- and we're much too polite for that. Still, I think a protest wouldn't go amiss. But what I am advocating is a far more radical form of protest. Just switch sports.

Curling is a fantastic game. Hundreds of thousands of Canadians already know this because they're out there on the ice on a regular basis. But there's always room for more. Curl BC has 93 curling centre as members and they all welcome beginners with open arms.

Find your nearest one (our website has a full list), sign up for a league, and show the NHL and its players that you won't let them get you down.