One more and that’s it. Until I do it again.
I work eight days in a row. Four day shifts, four evening shifts, then four days off. Tonight is day eight, and as it is with every day eight, I’m pretty darn tired. Without really knowing exactly, I think it’s similar to players going on a two-week road trip minus the luxury hotels, expensive restaurants, and groupies.
But don’t get me wrong, I’m happy to have a decent job. It sort of fell out of the sky at a time when I was hurtling deeper and deeper into a dark hole, and this job picked me up, dusted me off, and allowed myself and my wife to have, albeit later in life, a chance to have a home and nice car and travel a bit.
But eight straight is a bit of a bitch.
One of the mantras hockey players shout is that their careers are short and so they need to make as much as possible while they can. On one hand they’re right. On the other, I say shut the $%&#* up.
If a player is in the league for only five years and earns $600,000 the first year, a million the next, a million and a half the next, and two million for each of his final years, it comes to just over seven million by the time he’s done. I’m just not feeling the pain. I’m an unsympathetic bastard. They’ve just made more in five years than I’d make in 160 years.
Oh, but people pay to see these guys and not me. That’s true. But we’re trained to save lives. Does that count?
And the owners. The ones who charge nine bucks for a beer at the rink, twenty bucks for parking, two hundred bucks for a ticket. These guys wrote several chapters in the Book of Greed. They say they charge these prices because they have to pay the inflated salaries. But I can’t help thinking that the owners worked it out mathematically that they need to pocket what they expect to pocket, anything less would give them visons of standing in lines at the soup kitchen, and so prices are raised accordingly.
It’s like a company that announces a loss of ten million over the year, but in reality, they didn’t lose ten million, they just didn’t make the ten million they had forecasted.
I have no sympathy for either side, even with the arguments that the players pack the rinks, the players are best in the world, players don’t make as much as movie stars, careers are short, we go to see the players, not the owners, they’re not going to turn it down, and all that. I understand that. But I’m just not feeling the love as they sit in their mansions before going out to play a few rounds of golf.
I’m a heartless son of a bitch. The poor guys are only going to make seven or ten million in five years and then have to find something else. When this happens, players, please let me know. Maybe I can get you on where I work.
Go ahead, disagree and don’t play this season. We were a forgiving bunch last time, at least many of us were, and if you’re going to whine about money, you have to know that you don’t mess with the working stiffs. We’re a not a sympathetic lot. Have you forgotten the sight of your dad coming home from his job, tired and dirty?