The NHL season has officially been cancelled. I just got through watching the commissioner of the league at a press conference. It went something like this - blah, blah, salary cap, blah, blah, linkage, blah, blah, tragedy. This is the first time a North American sport will lose an entire season because of a labor dispute. It's kind of sad.
Not that anyone is paying attention. Those who were interested saw this coming for a few months now. The fans have already been finding other things to do, and they are figuring out that instead of taking a family of 4 to a Penguins game they can purchase a Cadillac Escalade.
The labor dispute that caused the loss of the season boils down to how much millionaire owners are willing to pay millionaire players. Basically. But I'm not worried about those two groups. I'm concerned for the things on the periphery of the sport.
Will NHL analysts like Barry Melrose and Darren Pang be able to pay their mortgages when they have nothing to talk about? Will the 2004-2005 spot on the Stanley Cup be kept blank? Does Mike Lange have a bunch of bad local commercials lined up for him to voice over? And how is the crazy IC Light vendor from Mellon Arena taking this news? There are only so many tractor pulls and stars-on-ice shows that come to town.
But most importantly, will the mullet fall out of popularity? I'm not sure this hairstyle can withstand the absence of an entire season of its heroes in the spotlight. Will we start to see fans with Lemieux jerseys on their backs and cornrows on their heads?
Boy, I hope not.