So there's a union dispute in the news right now that could have far-ranging consequences. No, I don't mean Hostess/Wonder Bread
closing down and the hit our nation's morbidly obese could take due to a sudden Twinkie
I speak, of course, of the NHL lockout, and the literal dozens of hockey fans who are forced to watch other ice-based sports while their passion is in limbo.
Quick, name as many ice-based sports as you can, right now, off the top of your head! Chances are you crapped out somewhere after the luge. Which should give you some idea of just how sad the average hockey fan's life is right now.
Is there any hope on the horizon for those of us suffering from NHL withdrawal? Well, maybe. But, I wouldn't hold my breath.
The NHL and the NHL Player's Association
have continued to meet, despite commissioner Gary Bettman
's (aka the Most Useless Man in All of Sports), proposal the two sides take a two week hiatus from negotiations. Considering the league has already cancelled all games through the 15th of December, taking two more weeks off from talking seems, to me at least, to fall somewhere between 'utterly moronic' and 'deliberately destructive'.
The good news, though -- such as it is -- is that the league expects to have a new proposal from the union on the table today, meaning as soon as this very evening we could have an entirely new round of statements from league officials decrying the players' sincerity in resolving this matter. (If you aren't familiar with how these negotiations have gone, picture Mel Brooks's mayor of Rock Ridge from Blazing Saddles leading the room in a chorus of 'harumphs', over and over. It's pretty much just like that.)
Cynical half-jokes aside, it is at least encouraging to see another proposal forthcoming. As long as the two sides are still talking, things have at least a chance, however slim, of getting worked out. With the season hanging very much in the balance currently, it needs to be soon if the NHL is going to avoid losing their second season in less than a decade. Whether the two sides can actually put their real differences aside (as well as all of the saber-rattling, not to mention dick-measuring, that has made this such a quagmire), and get something done soon enough to play actual hockey games this year is a question I honestly have no answer to. I'm not particularly optimistic, to tell you the truth.
Still, there should be a proposal today. And, no matter how pessimistic I may be anyone in this mess is smart enough to realize that something is better than nothing, I'm going to go the Lloyd Christmas route
and believe that there's still a chance.