Reading the links this morning, and those from around the league, it is clear there is a great deal of anger brewing in the fan base of the NHL. That anger is completely justified, and at the same time, completely useless. It is as useless as it was in August, as useless as it was in September, and as useless as it was for the entire month of October. It will be just as useless in November. And December. Likely January, too. In my humble opinion, until next season, at least.
Just because anger is justified, does not mean that you must embrace it like some kind of whatever the things that aren't Jedi are called. The Dark Side is welcoming, and the have cookies, so I can understand the draw. THe problem is, all that anger, all that screaming at the empty chairs... it gets you no closer to a resolution, and no closer to doing anything that will make you feel better.
Grief comes in five stages, as we have been taught.
Denial - We did that. We all fooled ourselves that this was going to get done. Even Darren Dreger tried to keep us here, saying that "real negotiations" wouldn't come until September 10th. They didn't. We went back to denial.
Anger - We seem to be stuck here. Fans are angry at everyone. Players, owners, the PA, the dog, the janitor, the kid on his bike outside... it doesn't matter. Everyone wants to blame someone, to shout out how angry they are, and to make a difference. A piece of advice: there is no one to blame, it won't help, and you can't.
Bargaining - In a strange twist of fate, this is exactly where we want to be, and yet can't get. Of course, we want them to bargain, not us. If you find yourselves making deals with yourself like, "I'll just watch the rerun of the Blue Jackets vs Oilers one more time," shut off the TV, go outside, and rake some leaves. You'll thank me later.
Note: If you actually enjoy reading Russo covering the Gophers, you're here.
Depression - Some people are already here. This sucks, and we know it. This is a dangerous spot to be. Please see note about raking leaves. It'll help.
Acceptance - When you get here, let me know. Things will feel better, but they won't actually be. You'll just be where some of your friends already are. Ready to move on to the sixth, and final stage of NHL lockout grief.
Apathy - This is where you just flat out stop giving a shit. This is where I am. Not sure how many others have found their way here. The good news is, you can skip a few steps, and just join me here.
You see, I was always taught that the best way to get revenge is to simply stop caring. I don't hate my ex-girlfriends, nor my ex-wife. I simply don't give a rat's ass what happens to them. They could get hit by a bus (I'm not wishing for this, just saying) and it would not pain me in the slightest. Hell, I wouldn't even want to know about it. I simply don't care.
I can't help but compare the reaction of fans to that of watching people react to politics. Everyone has chosen their side, and no matter what happens, the sides scream about how wrong the other side is, and how great their side is. Follow along with me real quick.
"The owners are a bunch of assholes. Greedy pricks with nothing better to do but screw us out of the game we love. They are to blame for this entire thing."
"The Republicans are a bunch of assholes. Greedy pricks with nothing better to do but screw us out of the things we love. They are to blame for this economy."
"The players are a bunch of assholes. They don't understand they need the owners to have any sort of league. They just don't get their role in life."
"The Democrats are a bunch of assholes. They don't understand they need the big corporations to have any sort of economic power. They just don't get their role in life."
Exchange messages, flip the sentiment, assign which ever side you wish to the above statements. The fact is, no one can see that the other side is just like the side they oppose. Everyone is to blame, which means no one is to blame. There are no simple solutions to complex problems. Anyone who says otherwise is lying to you, or simply doesn't understand the situation.
Speaking of not understanding, how many of you in the "I'm pissed at the world" camp truly understand what is going on in the negotiations right now? Because I read a couple hundred articles a day, and I don't have a clue where the two sides sit, or what they are really offering each other. I've read the proposals, I know what they say they are offering, but nothing has been proposed in legal terms.
To put it simply, if you can read, and you aren't a lawyer, it isn't actually a document that can become the CBA. The current CBA is a couple hundred pages long. If you have seen a proposal that is a couple hundred pages long, please let me know. I haven't.
I have read ten or twelve different takes on what hockey related revenue is, what the two sides want to define it as, and how it should be defined. The problem is? Nothing from either side has defined what they say it is. At least not publicly. This leaves me confused as to why people would be quite so upset about what side is saying what, when neither side has said anything.
Without facts to tell us what the sides think, some of us have jumped to define what the sides are proposing. This makes about as much sense as being angry about the lockout.
Look. I get angry, too. The difference is, I get angry when there was something I could have done differently, or something I could have done at all. Otherwise, I tend to just accept that there is nothing I can do and sit back and watch things unfold.
When things are out of my control for long enough, I simply stop caring. I'm not very good with the five stages of grief. I tend to skip most of them, and find my way back to bitterness and apathy. It's a comfort zone. It's the Dark Side, with a flashlight.
Please, feel free to continue to yell at the empty chair. Feel free to shout at the moon (at least until Commissioner Gru steals it). I'll be over here, working on the things I can change, not giving a crap what either side is proposing, or when this thing gets settled.
Let me know when you're ready to join me. I'll get some cookies.