I keep denying that I'm depressed about the hockey lockout. That is, of course, until game night. Tonight I'm missing what would be my eighth game, the Hurricanes twelfth home game, and the team's 19th game overall.
I miss the hour and a half drive. I miss trudging through the free dirt parking lot to the arena. I miss suiting up for the game. I miss all the people who sit near me. I miss the $8 beers. I miss getting all fired up about a botched power play. I miss the agony of watching a breakaway result in clanging one off the post. I miss the heartbreak of watching us lose. I miss heckling Kerry Fraser about his hair. I miss Chuck Kaiton on the radio. I miss the drive home, listening to the post-game report on am radio. As much as I hate to admit it, I miss Tripp Tracy and John Forslund do the TV play-by-play. I just miss my Hurricanes and I miss the NHL. I'll really feel it again tonight while I'm at work instead of at the game, watching us play the defending Stanley Cup champs.
I like watching football, and college basketball is okay, but they can't do for me what hockey does. My optimism about a saved season is waning every day. We already know there won't be an all-star game. Our only hope is to have this sucker resolved by the middle of January. The last NHL labor dispute cancelled half the season and was finally resolved on January 13, 1995. I'm sort of thinking that that's about as far as we can go without losing the entire season.
I really despise the NBA, and the recent fiasco in Detroit washed away any chance for me to give them another chance. Now there is talk of the NBA heading into a labor dispute. My opinion here is quite different: Let them strike. Good riddance.
I feel really bad for folks who work at NHL arenas, though. The popcorn vendors, the ticket takers, the ushers, the custodial staff. All the people who make some of their living wages by working hockey games. Hotels, restaurants, bars. They're all taking a hit, too. I'm sitting over here crying about not being able to do something recreational, and meanwhile there are people missing part of their income.
I pray to the hockey gods ----- make it stop! Let them play!