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Still Just Waiting

Posted By Matt Preston On Jan 5 2013 @ 12:17 pm In Boston Bruins | 1 Comment

As Steve Carell so poignantly asked in the 40-Year Old Virgin, “Is it true if you don’t use it, you lose it?”

Well, when it comes to writing, yes, it’s true. Especially when you’re a mediocre writer to begin with.

So here we are, one month since the last rant, and despite anything new write about, writing for the sake of writing. As the hours tick by, so does the NHL lockout, with both sides still just bickering away.

Yes, there has been much to report on the NHL labor front over the past month. The president got involved. The courts, too. There were mediators, all night talks, votes, re-votes, Disclaimers of Interest and new catchphrases coined. Quite possibly, there was pretty much everything but a new collective bargaining agreement.

As soon as we thought there was no hope, we were minutes from a deal being done. Hours later things were bleak again. The league and the players association would take some time off and then the whole process would begin again. With the way both sides have played the media throughout this entire endeavor, we may never know what exactly went on behind closed doors. All we know at this point is that neither side is absolved of blame.

I have often claimed I do not know enough about business to either confirm or deny that there were not at least some technical problems with the business structure of the National Hockey League. There probably were. What I do know is that this has been a wasted four months in a battle of ego. Nothing more. Nothing less. And when it is all said and done, nothing will have been won. By either side.

Fitting the league was recently re-dubbed the “No Honor League” by Larry Brooks of the New York Post.

I have been on a lot of emotional roller coasters in my life and this recent labor dispute in the NHL is one of my finest. Yet, while I cannot shake the highs, lows and bad memories of some of those roller coasters, I no longer care about the NHL lockout.

Wake me up when it is over.

Unlike some of my bad dreams, however, this is one from which I will awake. Whether it be the rumored January 19 date or next October, there will be an NHL once again and I will go running back when play resumes. Yet, with all the flip-flopping, back and forth, “We’re almost there” or “We’re miles apart” propaganda, I just cannot do much more until that point. I can no longer handle the childish squabbling and I have yet to delve into the fact the Boston Bruins will more than likely find the core of their team in jeopardy given the new salary cap decrease and restrictions alleged to be coming along with the new CBA, meaning things might not be so cheerful even when the NHL returns.

I expend enough energy on my own juvenile problems. Wasting time on the pettiness of this labor dispute in no way improves my life or my hockey acumen. Part of me is glad no team or big time media outlet would hire me as I have the luxury of being able to turn a blind eye to all this petty garbage.

They say, however, there is just one week to go. That if there is no deal by next Friday, January 11, Gary Bettman will cancel what remains of the 2012-2013 NHL season. Though, I am pretty sure I have mentioned some kind of “end in sight just around the corner” in each of my pieces written during this lockout. Whatever is to be of the NHL, I will believe it when I see it. And until then will be watching the NFL playoffs.

No, there is no point to this other than my need to pontificate to cure a little boredom and an escape from real issues, the whole point of sports to begin with. Wasting minutes of your time and hours of mine, atop my soapbox, doing a little grandstanding about the plight of the common man, robbed and saddened by the clichéd, American sports battle of ego between millionaires and billionaires. Trying to keep my gig as a small time writer and hopefully keeping myself ready for when the glory days return.

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