Sunday, September 30, 2012

The NHL Lockout and my Hockey Soul

The last time the NHL locked out the players I was about to reach a new height of Avalanche fandom.  That height would be attending games.

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.