September 18, 2012

Which lockout is more damaging?

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Ice Hockey

Which lockout is worse?

We are currently embroiled in two lockouts in professional North American sports. While it’s not unprecedented — the NFL and NBA were both locked out last summer — it is painful for us fans. But which lockout, the NHL of its players and the NFL of its referees is more painful? Well let’s break it down.

The NHL vs. the NHLPA
-We’re not actually missing any games yet. Not even a single pre-season game has been cancelled. But that’s likely to change very soon. Like today even.
-The two sides aren’t even talking. Players are more concerned with scrimmaging by themselves while the league isn’t budging on their offer. Talk about wasting time.
-The earliest we should start seeing some real progress is probably when regular-season games start getting axed and the players start missing those lofty paycheques.
-The lockout kind of needs to happen, so both sides can reset some major systemic flaws. Which flaws? Glad you asked:
—The players don’t deserves 57% of revenue.
—They also don’t deserve any contract that’s longer than five years.
—The owners should have known better when they started signing those ridiculous deals.
—Teams shouldn’t have cried poor then went out and spent more than $100 million on free agents the day before the lockout.
-I’m glad that the players care so much about the union’s side that they’re already starting to pack their bags and sign in Europe. Evgeni Malkin was gone the day the lockout started.
-Did you know that most Americans don’t even care that there’s a lockout? That’s kind of big when you consider that 23 of the 30 franchises are based in the U.S.A.
-There’s probably not a single Canadian fan that won’t come back to hockey, no matter how long this lockout lasts.

The NFL vs. the NFLRA
-The replacement referees are terrible. Just ask anyone who watched the Eagles-Ravens game or last night’s Falcons-Broncos game. Monday Night Football games are not supposed to last for four hours.
-The safety of the players are at stake. Every time that somebody isn’t disciplined or ejected after a mean scuffle, it shows players that they can continue that behaviour.
-One referee clearly watched Michael Vick throw the ball five yards forward and called it a fumble. The ensuing replay clearly showed the ref was wrong, but it killed three minutes of air time.
-Commissioner Roger Goodell has upped the league’s offer by $1 million. Which is something like a $50,000 raise per player over the length of the contract. Is that not enough for part-time employees?
-These refs are allowed to have full-time jobs on the side since they’re only working on weekends. They’re being paid more than anybody at a part-time job I’ve ever heard of gets.
-I realize that this a high-profile, high-stress job, but the refs can’t expect another huge raise, right?
-If the NFL keeps on playing with replacement refs, the quality of the game will continue to suffer greatly. It’s like the league is cutting off its nose to spite its face.
-Fans are still watching, but boy are they complaining now.

So which lockout do you think is currently more damaging? I’m currently saying it’s the NFL’s referee lockout. That is until the NHL starts cancelling at least the first two months of games. Then it’s about even.

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