I wish my mom were here. She’d have the solution to this mess. I can remember when my brothers and I would fight, she would gently separate us, not so gently speak to each of us, soothe our fractured feelings, give us a needed kick to the butt… then make us make up. After all, we were brothers, family, dependent on each other. Mom always told us that, as brothers, you should always count on each other to be there. Part of me had real trouble understanding that as a kid. I knew I loved my brothers, but I figured as I grew older, we would grow apart, less reliant, able to survive in the cold, cruel world on our own.
I was incredibly wrong. I find as I grow older, my brothers have become sources of comfort and support, sharing the challenges and championships of life. Sure, they still piss me off every now and again… but we are family. Even though we live in three different parts of the country and may take weeks before we contact each other, we know… whatever is needed… we are there for each other, no matter the distance or time. Of course the scariest part about all of this is that I find myself saying the same things to my children, my mother’s words just flying from my mouth.
So what does this have to do with the NHL lockout? Stay with me on this.
The league and the players are like brothers, part of the same family, and like even the best of families, they fight occasionally. Strong bonds can stir strong passions… and we have seen this in abundance during the past 95 days of this lockout. But a good family pulls it together when the chips are down. A good family can say the things to each other that we don’t want to hear, but need to hear and ultimately get back together, stronger and wiser.
I never realized how much family is such a big part of the NHL itself until the Entry Draft was in Nashville a few years back, members of my family volunteered to help with the event. My oldest son was a floor runner for the Anaheim Ducks, my wife was a guide for the draft picks as they made their way through the media scrums after they were picked. One thing that she noticed that really surprised her was overhearing the constant comments from scouts about the players… and more surprisingly, about the player’s family. How good they were, how strong they were, how supportive. “That one comes from a good family” she heard over and over again.
The NHL family is a good one. It is not without its crazy uncles and strange cousins, but a good family nonetheless. So, now that the Christmas holidays are here, it is a time for renewal and resolution, a time for reunion of families near and far. It is a time to put old hurts and injuries aside, time to forgive as we celebrate this season of joy, giving and hope.
It’s time for these two sides to stop bickering and solve this. It is time for these two sides to be bigger men, to challenge themselves to put ego aside and get back to being a family. The family that all of us fans have grown to love, despite the bickering and infighting, the sandbox attitudes, that flat out stupidity that is being shown by both sides. It is time for more moderate forces on both sides to pull their respective teams back from the brink and get a deal done. They are there, we know it. If this league is to remain viable; frankly something that both players and owners SHOULD be able to agree on, then a deal needs to get done NOW. Not next week… not next month… NOW. An agreement in place by Christmas will be the best gift you can give the fans, and frankly, to yourselves. The cooler heads on both sides have got to take charge and stop this silly war, before what’s left is not worth saving at all.
All the sides involved in this are family, family that is dependent on each other, family that deep down, cares for each other. In the immortal words of Irene McCann… ”You two make up… you’re brothers… now act like it.”
- The talk of a “Drop Dead” date is growing. If that what it takes to get Donald Fehr to begin negotiating…
- A decision on NHL players participating in the Olympics hasn’t been addressed yet in the on again off again CBA negotiations.
- World leaders commenting on the lockout is all the rage, first President Obama, now Prime Minister Stephen Harper has weighed in calling it a “dangerous situation.”
- OT: Why is everyone freaking out over a mediocre quarterback not being selected as the starter for a certain bad New York football team… silly…
- Great piece in the Vancouver Sun that focuses on the damage being done to the charities that the NHL supports… here's the link
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