I understand that I may have to give up my Canadian citizenship for saying this.
And I fully expect there soon will be a horde of sack-cloth enshrouded villagers climbing relentlessly up the hill towards me, brandishing pitch forks and oily-rag torches, punching their fists in the air and shouting nasty slogans emphasizing my shortened life expectancy.
But really, folks, what's the big deal about the big NHL squabble, anyway?
Who needs professional hockey?
Who needs the NHL? Last time the goons took over the game, they disrespected their fans by killing the entire season.
And how did the fans respond after the blood was cleaned up off the boardroom floor? They demonstrated their dissatisfaction when the next season started by returning to the arenas in record numbers.
Personally, I'm such a big hockey fan myself, that I had to check my sources. I couldn't remember which year they celebrated that lockout/strike/stupidity (it was 2004-05) or how long it lasted (as noted above, the whole darned season).
It was pointed out by my most reliable source that the current labour dispute - a term that in this context denigrates honest working folks and professionals everywhere - is the third under NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman's "leadership" - a term that in this context denigrates leaders everywhere.
The first was a relatively short, but significant (to those who care) stoppage that reduced the 1994-95 season to 48 games per team. (That's not to be confused with the pre-Bettman-era strike of '91-'92 that only postponed a handful of games.)
I am informed by some true hockey fans who will deign to talk to one such as I that the 2004-05 kerfuffle was "necessary" and "a good thing," as it introduced salary caps (which since then have apparently been replaced by dunce caps).
In the current situation, I have been astutely informed, "They're just being greedy."
It's about the division of wealth. Which comes exclusively from hockey fans who keep coming back for more, regardless of how badly they are treated. I suspect it's because they've slept through too many dreams in which they were hit in the head by hockey pucks.
Last season, a nosebleed ticket - a corner nosebleed ticket - for a Canucks game cost more than $100. That's not counting the SkyTrain/parking or the $8 burger and $8 beer (those are prices I have been quoted. like the hockey tickets, a meal of beer and burgers is too rich for my blood).
I have been shown a ticket stub for a semi-prime seat (it was for last spring's March 31 game between Vancouver and Calgary. so I know it's not an urban myth) that cost $230
Two such tickets can buy you an entire season with the Vancouver Giants.
That is, if you really need your hockey fix that badly.
In fact (I'm told, because I haven't watched NHL action - other than their job action - in years) it's actually better hockey, because the emphasis really is on the "hockey" and not on one or two ego-inflated gladiators.
Or catch the junior A Rivermen at the Langley Events Centre in Willoughby.
For $10 - barely more than the cost of a burger at NHL prices - you get to see an entire game. take along your kids at just $7 a pop. and support young players who are still in it for the joy of the game.
Not just the fat, fatter, fattest pay cheque.
At your expense.
Don't feed the greed.