I was sitting reading that paper in my stained, moldy silk robe sipping my Starbucks latte, shoving a spoon full of chocolate rice krispses down my throat as I perused the Sports section of my local newspaper. All this UFA/RFA excitement of yesterday had me itching to see what was what. All this speculation on the blogs and HFboards, I needed some nitty gritty cold hard facts to go on.
Wtf is going on with the Lundqvist arbitration, Avery, Shanny?!!... The Edmonton vs Buffalo saga?! Christ, I needed answers! I paged through… let’s see here… Baseball crap, more baseball crap… umm Wimbledon, wow they still play tennis these days? Hockey has to be here somewhere… hmmm. Tiger Woods apparently hit a golf ball and went a chased it. Box scores… wait?! I paged through again, maybe I missed it. Nothing, nadda, nil, not a mention of anything even remotely related to hockey. I threw my latte in disgust, and tore up my next door neighbor’s Newsday in rage.
Later in the afternoon, after one of my featured Walmart opening gigs at the Sunrise Mall, I took a walk over to Champ Sports to spend my hard earned forty dollar paycheck. Hmmm, I thought to myself maybe if I bought an Avery jersey it would be good karma and get him resigned along with the rest of crew so I could finally get a good night of sleep. All this uncertainty is bad for my acid reflux and reoccurring Hepatitis C flare ups. Hey, I know what you’re thinking… listen you spend ten years on that multicolored tie-dyed Volkswagen bus and see what you pick up!
I wandered through the store, scanning through the Baseball, Football, and Basketball jerseys. On a lonely clearance rack I noticed a Manchester United jersey going for 5$. But, where were the hockey jerseys? Surely there must have been some mistake? Have they misplaced them? I started to panic and convulse, I quickly eyed a sales dude, and grabbed him by his collar. “Where is the hockey stuff?!” I shouted into his face sending a mist of nicotine stained saliva into the air. He looked at me blankly as if perhaps there was some sort of misunderstanding. “HOCKEY! It’s played on ice with a frick’n stick!” I screamed again.
Finally he nods to me, to tell me he understood my inquiry, “I’m sorry sir, but hockey is out of season right now and we are not carrying any products at this time… could you please let go of my shirt?” I looked around in wonderment then glared at the employee, “Out of season!? But… but… but the only sport in season right now is Baseball, which is always in season since they play 600 games a year! You have football jerseys, basketball jerseys plastered all over this cesspool, what hell do you mean, out of season?!?” The sales clerk said dryly, “I’m sorry sir, I can’t help you. Once again could you please let got of my shirt before I have to call security?”
How could this have happened? How can hockey or the NHL be so blatantly ignored by not only the press, but the American public as a whole? ESPN could care less; they’d rather broadcast six hours of “The World’s Strongest Man competition” then spend any time reporting any doings in the league. And, as far as the NY press goes, last year during the Rangers playoff run, everyday I would scope out the back covers of either the Post, Daily News, or even Newsday to hang up on my walls… most days I was grossly disappointed. How can a sport so great and exciting be shunned this much?
Well dammit, you have to get mad! You've got to say, “I'm a HOCKEY FAN, Goddamnit! Our sport has VALUE!” So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, “I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!” Then we'll figure out what to do about the lack of coverage, piss poor TV ratings and the fact you can’t find any damn hockey jerseys. But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it "I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!"