I am not a die-hard hockey fan. But, I miss the NHL! More than two months of the season have already been lost due to the labor dispute and the lockout. Hockey, to me, although it does not have the stature of NFL football, major league baseball, or NBA basketball, is still one of the major professional sports in America. It did bring in $3.3 billion last year. In addition, take away the NFL and I think hockey has the most rabid fans in all of professional sports.
I do not watch or attend hockey on a regular basis, but there is something about the sport that always intrigues me when going around the dial. It is one of the few sporting events that causes me to pause and watch, no matter which teams are playing. There is the anticipation of the potential for violence and an almost surreal curiosity in the skills that the players exhibit. It is an excellent television event.
And yet, if you go to a hockey game, the sport becomes, for me, at least one of the few competitions that is better to view LIVE than watching on TV. A great deal of action takes place away from the puck that a viewer at home might miss. There is a unique “silence” as the players skate around the rink to an almost inaudible “shooshing”. Throw a big bang into the boards and the intensity of the action has you enthralled. And the fans!! The decibel level is incredible; the intensity shocking; and the involvement without compare.
So why are we left with no hockey? The issues are division of revenue, salary arbitration, and free-agency. These terms are not new to professional sports. The NFL, NBA, and MLB have all dealt with the same issues. And they have resolved them! It seems that the NHL is very, very close to not having a season at all. The New Year’s Day Winter Classic is gone, over 450 games gone, and there is no resolution in sight. Still, January hockey would be better than no hockey. Owners and players need to return to the table. They owe it to the fans!
As the famous philosopher, Larry the Cable Guy, says – “Get ‘er done!”
ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)
- Parkland, Central Catholic, and Pen Argyl all won their first round state football games this past weekend. Two of the three (Parkland and Pen Argyl) now take on the dreaded Philadelphia Catholic schools out of District
- History shows that this is the end of the line for our AAAA and AA football. Central would face Archbishop Wood next week if they win. They put up 70 points on the Vikings last year in a similar scenario. Can we finally reverse the trend? Tune in.
- Did we watch Andy Reid’s last game as an Eagles coach this past week? An awful team beat an awful team.
- I was going around the dial the other night and a Joan Rivers stand-up comedy special was on Showtime. It was hilarious, irreverent, and, at times, filthy. I was just amazed by her energy, her ability to deliver the lines, and her captivating style. How old is she? Really, how old?? It did not matter.
- Notre Dame vs either Alabama or Georgia for the national championship in college football. The ratings will be record-breaking for this one as far as college football is concerned. The games got it right this year – no computer, no old men in a room, and no playoff needed.
- Is there anyone right now who thinks they have a good handle on not only the Super Bowl champion, but which two teams will even get to the game? With injuries, upsets, and poor coaching decisions, it is anybody’s guess unless, of course, you just know it will be YOUR team.
NFL PICKS FOR THIS WEEK
(Last week – 7-9) (53-31 for the season – 63%)
- GREEN BAY
- SAN FRANCISCO
- NEW ENGLAND