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July 11, 2004

Will There Be Hockey in October?

This won't be a theologically profound post. To be honest, I'm swamped with reading and writing right now. The sad thing is, the stuff isn't due until mid-August, but I have VBS, a visit from Mom, and a week's vacation, so I'm not going to get much done for the last couple weeks of July. I'm TRYING not to fall into my old habits and put everything off until the last possible minute, so I'm getting as much as I can done now.

And this is a VERY important sociological topic. Labor negotiations and hockey.

As far as I can understand, it all comes down to one issue. The player's association doesn't want a salary cap, and the league does. Neither side is willing to budge, so it looks like there might not be a hockey season this fall.

I love hockey. It's one of the two or three sports I follow closely -- and most of the others I gave up because of contract negotiations. NASCAR and PGA golf don't HAVE contracts to worry about; the pay is based on performance. I don't like pro basketball, and I've recently lost interest in pro football (though with the second coming of Joe Gibbs, I may have to start following the Skins again). I love watching baseball live, but on TV it's worse than watching golf.

I can watch hockey live, on TV, or on tape. Even though the two teams I am a fan of (Atlanta and Columbus) are NOT playoff contenders by the end of the season (though both looked promising this year), I still love the game. My two-year-old loves it, too -- second only to football.

I can see why a salary cap makes sense for the owners, especially in smaller markets. And I can see why the players may not want one, especially those who are the "superstars" of the game. I wish I could come up with a great solution, but I cannot. A profit-sharing plan might do it, but the larger market teams won't want that at all.

All I can do is hope that greater minds than I can come up with a solution -- because otherwise, I'll be going through withdrawl this fall.

And that won't be pretty. At all.

Posted by Warren Kelly at July 11, 2004 08:45 PM
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