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The Invincible M.A.E.

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The L word

No, not that one. I haven't really talked about the lockout, because I'm trying to pretend it doesn't exist. Shh.

But if a lockout did exist, I uhh, well I don't want to push this article on you. Read it if you feel like it. :P

Labeling players is wrong
By Kara Yorio - SportingNews

Stop. Stop the e-mails. Stop the Internet bulletin board messages. Stop making those comments in conversation. Stop lashing out at the players because they make more money than any of us ever could imagine.

They also happen to have the kind of talent that none of us will ever know -- the kind of talent very few people in the world have. They have the kind of talent that makes people want to pay to see it.

They play a game, but it is work. No, the life of an NHL player is not difficult by the standards of people who worry about paying the mortgage or getting the best health insurance. But the players work hard to be good at what they do. They endure physical pain and the constant possibility of a career-ending injury. Their careers are short -- according to the union, the average NHL career lasts about 5 1/2 years. They train to be hockey players for most of their lives, the kind of time that keeps them from learning how to do anything else, limiting their options when those careers are over.

It is not easy to type these words. Fingers momentarily lock, and gut instinct urges them to hit other keys, tell another story.

After all, this group of players includes men who do dangerous and dirty things on the ice, then try to act as if they had done nothing that bad and shouldn't be held accountable for a violent action because it came in the heat of the moment. This group includes players who hide from reporters or react angrily or condescendingly to legitimate questions. This group includes some who have complained about kids waiting for autographs or about an evening planned with fans. Like any other group, there are good and bad among NHL players, but generalizations are dangerous, and labeling players based on this lockout is wrong.

This is also a group that includes charitable men. Some of the children of Dallas probably know Mike Modano through the work of his foundation more than his on-ice production. Rangers defenseman Joel Bouchard has put together a group of Quebec players, including Jose Theodore, J.S. Giguere, Simon Gagne, Martin Lapointe and Alex Tanguay, to play games to benefit the Ronald McDonald House and other Quebec charities.

Are the players greedy? Some of them are.

Are they out of touch with reality? What's the point of having all that money if you remain concerned about daily life struggles?

Players, though, need to understand that the health of a business depends on the connection between revenues and costs, including salaries. And, yes, they need to understand the league is not healthy and will not fare well if a whole season is lost.

But do the players deserve to bear the brunt of fans' anger during this lockout? No.

First of all, it's a lockout -- not a strike. The owners have stopped the season, not the players. Play could continue under the old collective bargaining agreement until a new one is negotiated. The players want that. They profited from the old agreement. The fact is if it were up to the players, they would be playing.

Instead, some are in Europe, staying in shape and playing for much less money than they would be getting here. Instead, some are home, resting long-suffering bodies or rehabilitating injuries suffered last season.

This is not a plea for sympathy or support for the players. But they deserve an honest representation. As a group, they deserve to be free of the "greedy" generalization. This time, it does not wholly apply.

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I crack up every time I see that headline. It's such a strong moral statement and...have you ever seen the Blue Collar Comedy Tour on Comedy Central? When Ron White says "That's profiling, and profiling is WRONG"? That's always the voice I hear it in.

I know! It's so heavy-handed. Or then there's the South Park interpretation--labeling players is wrong, mmmkay?

Ahh, I haven't seen that show.

Thanks for the perspective. I'm glad she wrote what she did (and you for posting) - there are countless players who do so much for their communities and most, we hear nothing about.

Yea, I wish they were playing, but they are locked out. And for that, I blame the owners and the league and their wormy little commish.

I don't see an end to this as both sides have extremely strong resolves. :(

I just get a little bristly when I see this common view: "Whatever amount they make is in the milliions and so much more than what I make, so they should stop being spoiled and just give in!"

And there's more to the issue than that.

*sigh* I guess we just have to wait and see what happens.

If a lockout did exist, that would be a very good article indeed. Yep.

(Is it just me, or has the user icons box for a reply disappeared today? Weird.)

Yes, if it did exist. Thank God it doesn't! *pulls blinds*

Hmm, I see mine. Were you logged in already when you left the comment?

I will blame for this anyone who you hold up to me. The players? Sure, I'll blame them. The owners? Sure. Goodenow? Bettman? Yeah. Harvey the Hound? Okay. I don't have to have perspective. Or good reasons for it. I have no NHL hockey to watch and that's the only part that matters to me.

Anything that has a detachable tongue warrants suspicion.

I really liked that article too. being pissy cause we are never gonna see that much money is no way to look at this situation... if there was a situation to be looked at that is ;)

Yes, yes, hypothetically. *clears throat*

That's cool what she wrote about Modano but my warped head pictures him with his hands around a bunch of littles girls.

So bad.

Oh man, that is so fucking wrong. Although the choice of words "know"--know in the Biblical sense? Eek!

I don't begrudge the players a dime they make, well, except for Bobby Holik and Eric Lindros, but I digress. The reason I am angry with the players is (1) The NFLPA gets 55% of the revenue from the league. MLBPA, the same. NBA? 45%. NHL? 75%. I know of no other profession where the employees make 75% of the profits. What makes hockey players think they are above a cap that works well for three other professional sports? Not only that, but the owners at least made 6 proposals to the players, whereas the players made one proposal in ONE year, which was basically a rehash of their previous one. And the entry level players they claim to want to protect in this? read their proposal - they are the first ones the superstars are willing to sacrifice. and although it disgusts me to say this, I agree with Bettman when he says that the players union saw this coming and did nothing to lift a finger to stop it. Not that the owners are blameless - AT ALL. They paid the salaries and set the marketplace. They allowed this to go on too long until it got out of control. But the players, and I am sure not all, seem totally content where they are right now, and in no hurry whatsoever to get back to playing the NHL career this woman writes they hold so near and dear to them. She should ask Joe Thornton. Ask Joe about his comment "Having a great time here with (Rick) Nash. We'll send pictures)and Alfie, NHLPA vp, encouraging the Canadian players to go to Sweden. That irritates me to no end. I know not all the guys feel like Joe does. But if they had any balls, they would stand up and say "you know what? I am sitting here rotting and you superstars are playing in luxury sipping wine in Europe, and I'm not getting any younger. How about we move this along here?"

To sum up my rather boring and long winded comment - I am angry with the players and nothing will change my opinion on that - because even though some of them might not be greedy, and they might really want to play union be damned,the non-greedy ones still going right along with this "SOLIDARITY FOREVER!" mantra. So they are just as culpable, in my eyes anyway, as the greedy ones for their in-actions as much as the greedy ones are for their actions.

In short: The fault still lies equally between both parties. They BOTH failed the fans. There is enough blame to go around, for sure.

Well, at least you're angry for the right reasons, and not simply, "Wah I make $5.25 an hour, why should they be so greedy and make so much?"

It's just a very horrible situation. (I mean, hypothetically, of course.) It just seemed that both sides would realize that because hockey doesn't have a huge fan base, that it would be absolutely necessary to avoid a lockout, or an extended one.

I don't know, maybe they think that the few fans hockey has are extra dedicated and would stay with it no matter what? *sigh*

Is it wrong that my reaction was. "Cry me a river, you millionaire brat." ?

Cos, yeah. Sure some of them are great with charities and such. Good on them.

But as for "They also happen to have the kind of talent that none of us will ever know" What? Not necessarily. Sure, some players are better than others. But hell for all I know, if I had been playing hockey since the age of 4, I could be just as good as any of them. Anyone could be. They don't know.

Well for some of them, they are super talented. But for the others, they put in a lot of hard work and sacrifice to get where they are.

Be it discipline, dedication or whatever it is, it takes something special to be good enough to play in the NHL. There are so many trying to get there, and only a minority succeed.

They also happen to have the kind of talent that none of us will ever know -- the kind of talent very few people in the world have. They have the kind of talent that makes people want to pay to see it.

This is true. Without hockey I now have to pay for actual porn.

I liked a comment some guy on a message board wrote when ppl were complaining about all the money athletes makes. It was something to the effect of--anytime you are in the top percentile of your occupation, and any time you are skilled in an area where few people are, you are going to be making a ton of money.

I liked the shout out to Mike Modano, too. :) Did you know the Sharkies ranked him the number 3 US player? Too bad Harvey's no longer on the team. I know that mo fo would have weighed in and helped bump Mo to, at least, number two.

Yeah, that's absolutely true. There are easier ways to make that amount of money, too. ;)

I didn't know that! Hee, I wonder who has a crush on him. :D

I think the thing that pisses me off about the L thingee is that the owners made a point of saying how much money they had in their war chest, so they were never bargaining in good faith.

Also, they won't produce their books, given how much they lied to players in the past (benefits? pensions? pay rates?) the players have no reason to believe them.

none of the rich franchises are prepared to profit share with the poor ones, which means (to me) the owners want the players to carry the can for all the failings in the league.

also, have you seen how badly they run the game? all the focus on money doesn;t change the fact the last stanely cup final was fucking boring. I mean the players want to play and when there are a few blowouts it's hooting and hollaring and back to clutch and grab.

rant over / also i agree, they could have played through this. lots of places keep working and roll contracts over until there is a new one.

oh no there was one other thing. i think the owners are trying to break the union. people harp on about the NFL but the players there barely have any rights, they get shafted on contracts all the time. I mean one visit to russia to see some of the conditions old russian players live under (and the health problem) mean we shouldn't give up on the union any time soon.

and if some franchies are failing why have they not gone under? thirty teams is far to many, they should fold (and take a=nashville, florida and phoenix) How the hell does gary bettman keep his job?

Look at what the very elite musicians/actors/novelists make. Do we begrudge them their money in the same way? They're not even putting themselves on the line in the same way (injuries, etc etc). Like Tammy said, once you're in the elite top percent, you're going to be raking in money. Such is life.

I make about four times as much in salary as anyone else my age (teaching music vs. retail jobs) because I've basically been training for twelve years to get where I am now, where they don't really need any skills at all. These guys probably sacrificed a lot for their careers, trained like fuck, and are putting themselves at risk for serious injury. Yeah, the money's gonna come.

I don't agree with how extravagant the salaries became. But who offered the salaries in the first place? Did Joe Sakic sit down and throw a tantrum and refuse to play without x amount of dollars? Hell, did most of them (before it became standard, that is)? The owners created the inflation and now they're whining about it. Wah wah bork fishcakes.

You know what would be nice? If the (uhhh hypothetical?) pissing contest would just end and they could actually sit down and have a decent discussion.

See, I wish people would understand that. But I guess people feel personally offended because they aren't making the big bucks, although in general, they aren't doing anything to warrant the big bucks. Or even the medium bucks, LOL.

I know enough to know that I don't know nearly everything, so I'm just hoping that all of this gets solved soon. *sniffle*

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