7 out of 10 people hate their jobs.
No, I didn't just google it, I'm only guessing. How many people do you run into every day who complain about working? Who complain about their bosses? Who complain about the hours? Who just complain and complain? Employees can gripe all they want about work hours and management teams, but nothing is going to change as long as the cash register cha-chings. Profits comes in, bosses stay assholes bosses and status quo stays status quo.
That's pretty much how I feel about the NHL and fans who continually gripe about the product.
Complaining about the NHL has become like the 31st franchise. "Give a warm welcome to the Northeast Complainers!"
Pick your complaint and place it in our HR drop box:
- Not enough scoring
- Not enough penalties called
- Too much obstruction
- Head shots need to stop
- How can the NHL suspend this guy, but not the other guy?
It has been like this for years now. The above complaints have been recycled on talk shows and in newspapers over and over. Seriously, who doesn't want more scoring? Who doesn't want head shots taken out of the game? Everyone wants this, but Gary Bettman isn't listening. Why? Because the NHL is making more money now than ever before.
Gare Bear, who sounds more like Bob Kraft every day, constantly talks about record TV ratings and money going into the owners' pockets. Any time he's greeted with any sort of criticism about the NHL's scoring drought, Bettman's nasally, high-pitched drunken voice says...
"If you look at the numbers, we are filthy rich because fans love the game. We have a great sponsorship deal with RC Cola and NBC Sports. Tickets are selling like beer in Canada. The Buffalo market can't get enough of us! Here, let me unveil a bunch of Don Draper/Pete Campbell graphs that will tell you where we were in revenue gained in 2004 compared to now. We rule."
Why should Bettman change the game if it is making so much money? It is no different than you working a job at which you are treated like garbage. The employers don't care if they are making money. McDonalds sucks, but as long as people are getting a Big Mac, they aren't changing the recipe.
There's a reason the NHL decided to add shootouts, call more penalties, and eliminate two-line passes coming out of the lockout. The league was losing money. Sure, trying to gain the fans back after pissing them off with a work stoppage had something to do with it, but you didn't see MLB, NBA or the NFL change their rules coming out of strikes and lockouts, did you? Money was the root of the changes. If the NHL wasn't making 3 billion dollars a year today, we would see more penalties called and we would see more attempts at making scoring a lot easier.
Alas, like most leagues and businesses, the bottom line is what matters most. As long as turnstiles are turning and merchandise is getting sold, why change the game? Who cares if we are the 4th major sport?! We are making 3 billion dollars a year! Why rock the boat? Why piss off the Don Cherry crowd who loves hitting? Do you know any NHL fans who have walked away over the last five years in Buffalo because of concussion issues and lack of scoring? I don't.
If you listen to the fans, they act like the league is a holding the sport back, but nothing seems to be holding those fans back from spending money on the product...and that's all Bettman cares about.
"Sure, trying to gain the fans back after pissing them off with a work stoppage had something to do with it, but you didn't see MLB, NBA or the NFL change their rules coming out of strikes and lockouts, did you?"
Nice piece, every league changes their rules. The NFL changed its overtime, its kickoff rules, radically adjusted its financial structure -- you can't even touch the Quarterback now.
The NBA with zone defenses, players have to wear suits, and what ever happened to 3 in they key and traveling?
The MLB basically allowed players to become steroid induced ogres for a decade to save the game.
The NHL's dropping of the two-line pass is akin to the NFL adopting the "no force out" on receptions rule.
Every league is always changing. Not always because they need money. Mostly to try to perfect their game without really knowing the steps to do so.
@matthew1stewart Yeah. You are right. Those leagues did change, but besides baseball, they didnt change right out of their work stoppages, if that matters. NHL cares about making money and I think them not wanting to piss off the "Old schoolers" has something to do with it.
@JoeBuffalowins Good points. Though the NFL made some changes this past year.
Also it's important to remember the NHL was coming off an entire lost season, which no other league has suffered before, at least in modern history. The MLB in the mid-90s is the closest, and their equivalent was the most drastic (steroids era).
But really, all of your bullet points have something to do with referees basically. Lack of penalties begets obstruction which begets lack of scoring. Head shots beget inconsistencies in disciplinary rulings. So really you're talking about two central themes.
I'm pretty sure you can pull two central complaints that have been around in every sport for a long time, especially when they're centered around league offices/referees.
It's more prominent for you in hockey, I think because: Buffalo is a hockey town and a good portion of your Twitter follows hockey and the complaining about football in Buffalo tends to focus on the team and not the league, because they've sucked for so long.