So the lockout has ended and players, owners and fans rejoice! After a marathon negotiating session ended with a tentative agreement, twitter and the rest of the interwebs blew up in celebration. NHL and GameOn hash tags continue to trend around the continent. Myself, I’m pretty pumped, but I also remember that I’ve spent the last 4.5 months not watching hockey when I should have been. So what exactly is it that the fans can do to present the message of how pissed off most of us really are? I’ve received texts from friends today who won’t be back this season and can’t believe all the hype. I understand that position but for me I’m excited to be watching my team again.
In October I wrote an article about a fans lockout, the premise being that the first Saturday that the NHL is back in action, we the fans lock out the league. Don’t go to games, don’t watch on TV, just continue what we have been doing throughout this lockout. Ignore them all together. A league full of empty arenas would be a site to see and a wake-up call to both the players and the owners. Unfortunately I don’t think this will happen, it is apparent with all the hype on the web that the fans will come back in droves. Especially to the Canadian and big market American franchises.
So what am I going to do? Should I follow my own advice and Lock the league out on the first Saturday of the season? Should I just stay home and watch on TV (I probably wouldn’t be going to Rexall anyways). Should I stand on the street with a protest sign? Damn I’m just not sure. I will tell you this much, unless the Oilers win the Cup I will follow through with my pledge not to buy any NHL merchandise this season. Maybe I should just let my 4 readers decide, comment if you have any suggestions or ideas. I admittedly will most likely be watching the games religiously just like I have in the past.
I have seen some good ideas out there for fan protests, and with the exception of staying away from the games altogether, how cool would it be to hear an entire arena filled with boo’s when the players are introduced? Imagine 15, 000 or so booing Oilers fans for just a few minutes at the beginning of the first game this season and the impression that that would make on the league. Imagine if it happened across the entire league? It would be a site to see, that is for sure!
We know the NHL and NHLPA are going to put their best suck up face on and try and buy all the fans back with some sort of apology, most expect the Game Center live package to be offered for free this season. But no matter what they do they need to be reminded that nothing will be enough to help us recoop the half season we lost.
Other Stuff and Things
I will do a final Oilers abroad update sometime this week to check in and see how our Oilers did overseas. Also I’m off this week so I expect to be able to attend some training camp action if it’s open to the public.
Cheers, Game On. Welcome back Oilers.
Don’t forget to follow the Oil on Whyte team on twitter
Jeff – @OilOnWhyte
Ian – @ibleedoil
Jonathan – @jonrmcleod
Troy – @heavyoilcountry
Dave – @rustyknuckler