Ottawa Sun Writer: Bring in the Replacements

Hey, you know that $20 mil I paid for two guys? Screw that. Where's AJ Thelen? - Hannah Foslien

The solution to the lockout? Pay cuts for reporters and replacement players.

Remember The Replacements? That lovable look at a fictional football league that sees their players go on strike and Keanu Reeves play a washed up quarter back that comes back to lead his team to the playoffs, all before the strike ends and the world comes crashing back to reality?

Anyone ready for a hockey version? Apparently Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun is.

In one of the dumbest articles I've read since the lockout started, Brennan suggests that the lockout has lasted long enough, isn't going to end, and the NHL and the players should just go their separate ways. The players can go play elsewhere, and the owners... well, they should bring in lovable replacement players. Disney style.

Of course, maybe we shouldn't take this article too seriously. After all, this is the "newspaper" that greets every visitor to their homepage with a choice to view their 2012 Swimsuit photo gallery, and has a lead story "reporting" that porn stars are happier spiritually than the average Joe-blow. Pardon the pun.

Remember, though. Hockey Wilderness (specifically me) is the problem with "journalism" today, because I told off an Oilers fan in verbiage that people in Edmonton didn't like very much. That makes sense.

The Ottawa Sun is still read by enough people that when one of their columnists spouts off about replacement players, people are going to read it, and some idiot somewhere is going to agree with it. Hell, it's not a bad read until about half way through.

After all, Mr. Brennan writes:

The "gap" is now just $182 million?

That's over the course of a new CBA that would be half a decade long, which means approximately $35 million a year, correct?

That's about $1.17 million a team, or near what the Senators would be paying Mike Lundin.

Their sixth defenceman.

There's got to be so much more to it than that, right? Not a little more. A lot more.

There sure as hell better be.

Getting over the fact that Mr. Brennan seems incapable of using more than one sentence in a paragraph, I agree with everything he says in this portion. We aren't being told something. The gap being reported is simply not an agreed upon number, or this thing would be over already.

Where does it go off the tracks? That one is simple:

A veteran told me a few days ago: "Put yourself in our shoes. What if your bosses at the Sun said you had to take a 25% pay cut. How would you like that?"

My reply? I wouldn't. But if I made 70 grand, and they told me I was suddenly going to get half that, I'd sign the deal. I'd have to. I'd like to dig my heels in, but us people in the other working world don't have the comfort of doing that.

Pretty sure I can't just go and get a job writing for a paper in Europe, either. Nor can the best in my business.

Yes, folks, Mr. Brennan, given the hypothetical of showing up for work and taking a 50% paycut... would sign the deal. Just like that. Because he feels he has no other option. Except for the fact that if Mr. Brennan has a contract, the Sun can't unilaterally decide to cut his pay by 50%.

Author's note: The next section is not safe for Edmonton, so if you are from there, you may want to look away.

I have some of the best bosses around. You want to know what my answer to any of them would be if they told me they were cutting my pay by half?

Fuck you.

Simple. To the point. Direct. Take your job, and shove it up your ass. I love working for the bosses I have, and even then I wouldn't mince words if they cut my pay in half. It would be over. Right then and there.

So would 99.99999% of the population. Why? Because we do work commensurate with our pay (which may explain why Mr. Brennan is so willing to accept his pay cut). Getting half the pay? You get half the work. Simple as that. But Mr. Brennan would gladly take his 50% cut and go home to his spouse, who would happily accept this generous gesture by the Sun to royally screw their family. Yeah. Sure. That's exactly how it would play out.

We're 800 words in, and haven't even reached Mr. Brennan's fabulous idea. Let's do that now.

That's right, replacement players.

Why not?

Why not? WHY NOT? The list of reasons as to why not is so massive, it would take 750 posts on SB Nation Long Form to even come close to listing all of the reasons as to why not. The main reason? Because it's stupid, and likely not legal.

Open the doors to people who will truly appreciate the job, guys who won't mind fixing the problems your mismanagement will inevitably create.

They'll work for less, so you can charge a lot less for tickets.

Yes, folks, the players don't appreciate the job. That's the real problem here. NHL players just don't appreciate being told they need to take a pay cut. You know, like our venerable Mr. Brennan would. All those years watching hockey and speaking with hockey players, they all strike me as inconsiderate assholes.

The truth about fans is most cheer for the logo. I'm sorry, but many of them wouldn't know good hockey from a notch or two below. That's not a terrible thing. They go to games to support the local team and have some fun. That won't change.

I have never met a fan that would buy a ticket to replacement players game. Not one. Most fans, believe it or not, want the players to play for the logo, more specifically for the team, but the fans cheer for the players. Otherwise, Columbus would sell out every game, just because they have a NHL sanctioned logo.

Oh, and fans? You wouldn't know good hockey from a notch or two below. You're all idiots who can't tell the difference between the NHL and AHL hockey. Or, in this case, ECHL hockey, since the owners wouldn't be allowed to use AHL players.

You only go to games to support the local team. That's it. They could suck from here until spiritual happiness, and you would just plunk down your money and buy in.

It all makes perfect sense, now. There really is no reason to not move forward with this grand plan. Screw the big name guys, the faces of the NHL that landed them billion dollar TV deals with NBC. We don't need them. Bring in AJ Thelen and his cohorts from the ECHL, and turn the lights on at the X!

Hell, we don't even need the players now! Just show the logos of the Blue Jackets and Hurricanes battling it out in some kind of computer generated death match, ala Alien vs Predator. We're all so stupid, we'd never even notice the difference.

Of course, maybe Mr. Brennan's normal audience is that stupid. Those of them who can get past the swimsuit page and porn star spiritual awakening to find his article, anyway.

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