School was finally graduated, the job was finally good and it was time to get in on the Avalanche ticket pools that I had only been a periphery member of for a couple years. This was the height of spending decent amounts of my income on tickets. I had signed on to the waiting list in anticipation of this day, depositing money that the Avs would hold for two years before I got my chance. One reason I was motivated: I wanted playoff tickets, well that was hard to come by in a pool I wasn't running. When I got the call for season tickets I struck out on my own, signed up for a full season of tickets and wrangled my pool together. No, no, I couldn't afford a whole season on my own. I signed up 4 or 5 other people. Collected the money, sent it all in to the Avs and BAM! The lockout was a reality.
As the potential for a season dwindled I got adept at dividing up the refunds for all involved. What a giant pain in my ass! So here we have a defining moment. Yes of course I came back from that lockout as a fan. Still a big fan, but something died. I wasn't willing to run that circus that involved a full season of tickets. I signed up for the smaller package of tickets and kept them all to myself.
And I know for sure it was the lockout. I was pissed, but willing to forgive.
Here we are years later and I can feel the anger and the disappointment in my soul over this labor dispute. I was unhappy last time that I was missing out on hockey, I pretty much blamed the owners but I also pretty much didn't care once it was over. Pretty much.
At least that's what I thought. But apparently there was a seed of antagonism left behind. And it's been aggravated. I know now that I will be less of a fan when this is over. It makes me sad, but it ought to scare the two idiotic sides in this dispute. I don't have a ticket package anymore. Nor plans to buy one.
The owners and the players are killing a little bit more of my hockey soul. I don't have to make hyperbole statements about refraining from buying merchandise. I don't have to sign pointless internet petitions.
The ice is cold and painted. It’s ready for NHL hockey. But the lockout has begun melting away the chances of a season. Just like it did back in 2004.
I know what's happening to me: I know that a little bit more of my hockey heart has started to melt away.