I’m Not Feeling The Love

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?




9 thoughts on “I’m Not Feeling The Love”

  1. I still remember the stories of the players in the past having to work summer jobs because the season was over and they needed the money. Incredible.

    I have a neighbor who says if we’re all smart, that when and if the season starts we should all protest the NHL by not attending games or even watching them on tv. It won’t work I told him because there are people like me who foolishly go back to it time and time again no matter how disgusting things can get at times.

    Greed is ugly and it’s a shame we see so much of it. We’re hearing all about Parise and Suter going to Minnesota for all these wonderful reasons but I wonder if they’d be there if those rich contracts hadn’t have been offered.

    Sad that teams also have to sign players for so damn long anyways just to make sure they stay. What happened to those days where a player plays for a team he really loves and stays there because he’s living his dream.

    The owners are a whole other problem. Shame they are building that big condo project right beside the Bell Centre. Too bad for those who bought all those bricks and those statues. Money talks, nostalgia can take a walk.

    What I find really funny to hear sometimes is when commentators make comments from time to time about certain players being benched or having an off-season and how unfortunate it is and how the player must be feeling awful about it. Well, considering he gets paid a fortune anyways I am sure the “hurt” doesn’t feel as bad.

    Gomez sure looked like he was feeling awful with his one year without a goal. I guess all his laughter was really him feeling terrible. Yep, that must be it.

    It’s also sad too how if a player has a bad year just before he’s a UFA that sometimes commentators make comments about how it’ll effect his next contract and how unfortunate it is. Here there are people losing jobs or barely making it from week to week and we should feel sorry about some guy because he lost a million or two a year on his next deal. Most of us would kill to make “just” a few million a year!

  2. In the good old days the owners thought the players and payers (the fans) were stupid. The players got smart and were willing to walk away. Now it is only the fans who are stupid…. You don’t have to watch.

  3. I’m firmly for the players. It don’t care how much a player makes, it’s a lot less than most owners and I don’t think their salaries should be compared to mine. No one wants to see me skate, let alone pay to see it. It doesn’t matter how good or important I am at my job, I can be replaced. And if I don’t like my job or salary or security, I’m free to leave and find a better job at a higher salary with more security. The NHL owners are trying to prevent the players from all of these fairly basic rights.

    One idea I think the players should commit to, is to pledge one or two percent of their salary to retired players. Maybe they already do this, and if so they should promote it more. So a lock-out won’t be that the owners are depriving rich players of their livlihood, but a pension to players that never made more than a few thousand a year.

  4. Christopher, don’t most employees make less than owners? I have no sympathy for either side.

  5. Dennis, I don’t think most owners earn a salary, they take home the profits from a well run company. The NHL owners want guaranteed profits despite having an incompetently run organization. The players aren’t asking for anything, they want to continue playing under the current CBA.

  6. And this is why I think I was the only one who agreed that Cammy and all others should have paid for their jerseys when they left. Imagine the poor guy was asked to pay…awwwww. If the team was smart they could have donated it to charity or use the funds in some creative capacity.

  7. Marjo, forcing the players to buy their own equipment, I agree, is an area where the teams can save money. I read that teams spend about half a million dollars a year on sticks alone. Maybe if the player had to pay for it, he wouldn’t use the overpriced easily breakable graphite sticks. I’m tired of seeing light taps leading to slashing calls or a scoring chance essentially turning into a short-handed situation because the stick exploded.

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