Monday, February 14, 2005The Morning Toast: Can He Pull the Plug?
The NHL's most recent deadline doesn't mean anything until Gary Bettman has the nads to actually pull the plug and be prepared to go long term with the negotiations. I can understand Bettman's apprehension because he's probably living by Vince McMahon's motto that any press at this point is good press.
If the NHL decides to cancel the season it'll stay in the American wraps for 3-4 days and then it's off to spring training. The NHL becomes an afterthought until September. However, eventually March will come about and once baseball spring begins, you can forget about hockey drawing a buzz. It's a fact that Spring Training and the NCAA conference and national tournaments dominate March.
So is there any surprise that the NHL Officials rep has stepped into the sitation, begging the NHLPA to concede. Yeah, if the players don't care about who pays their salaries, they damn sure don't care about the guys who keep them off the ice for two minutes at a time. Futhermore:
The NHL's 44 referees earn an average $150,000 per season, while linesmen average $100,000. Many officials have taken up odd jobs to make ends meet, as well as keep themselves occupied. Don Van Massenhoven has been selling cars, Bill McCreary builds kitchen cabinets and Kerry Fraser obtained his real estate license.
The NHL also has offered loans to officials who require it.
"Our guys are basically unemployed," Walkom said. "Our guys are basically covering the bills. That's all we're doing."
Considering the real struggles that the ticket takers, seat cleaners, vendors and other low income jobs associated with each franchise are dealing with, I have a hard time feeling sympathy for the officials. $150K/year is a decent chunk of change, if the officials saved properly they could survive for a year.
Yeah yeah, I know what you are thinking: They make a lot of money, but they spend of lot of money. Well I may act like I care about the officials' plight, but really I don't.
As for public opinion, it seems that: Bettman is dumb, the league deserves no sympathy, and new players could improve the product.
Otherwise, some NHL'ers sign with Russia and others are terrorizing a minor league near you.
I haven't bought it yet. I will this evening and I'll probably start reading it tomorrow.
FINALLY someone has made a bona fide, absolute, outright denial. Did Mark McGwire do it on camera? Well lord no, that would be stupid because we could see his noticably slimmer physique (alledgely 60-70 pounds lighter, so light he supposedly wore a flakjacket of sorts for his brief ESPN appearance this summer).
However here's what Big Mac said:
"Once and for all, I did not use steroids nor any illegal substance. I feel sorry to see someone turn to such drastic measures to accomplish a personal agenda at the expense of so many."
The relationship that these allegations portray couldn't be further from the truth. Most concerning to me is the negative effect that sensationalizing steroids will have on impressionable youngsters who dream of one day becoming professional athletes."
Sounds believable to me, but he's lied before.
As for the godfather of steroids, he had his day in the sun on 60 minutes last night. I'd review it for you, but I'm lazy so go here, here, here, here or here for professional opinions. And here's one more for good measure.
And here's the semi-official transcript.
Maryland Fans Are Thugs:
And they have a horrible inferiority complex too. You would think Terps never defeated Duke, scary thing is they did it three weeks ago.
"It's school unity, school pride," said student Tyler Edwards, 21. "You definitely can't stop the riots. It's going to happen at any school, especially a big school like Maryland."
Yeah, they said the same thing at Kent State. Guys, act like you've been there before. Now if this were North Carolina beating Duke...I'd understand.
That's all for now...