The Rant Begins:
Maybe it's just me, and maybe it's because I'm a little on the old-fashioned side of life, but sometimes I like to sit and listen to the radio broadcast of a hockey game. Sure, I typically go online to The Fan's website to listen to the broadcast, but it's still radio of a sort, and it has -in my opinion- a certain charm to it.
You avoid some of the colour commentary that comes along with watching the televised game as the announcers can get away with more 'off ice' chatter when the visual is accompanying them. To me this leaves you hanging onto every word of the professional play-by-play men as you envision the scene playing out in your mind. However, in some cases, this isn't an option.
The Real Issue:
Greed, and too God-damned much of it. It's already cost the fans almost half of our regular season games, and now it's costing the fans who don't have specific television packages.
It used to be that, no matter what, I could hit up The Fan 590 to listen to a live radio broadcast of Leafs games. It didn't matter if they had to rout it through local, affiliated broadcasters closer to the location of the road games you were able to get the play-by-play from The Fan. This year however, for the second Leaf game now, I've been greeted on The Fan's "listen live" webpage with a message basically stating that 'due to certain broadcast restrictions, we cannot provide the play-by-play'. Don't worry though, they assure you that the post-game will still be broadcasted... Well that's all fine and dandy for the people who've seen the games, but for the people who're just struggling to GET updates on the games it doesn't do much more than you could get by just Googling the game's final score.
How can it be, with everyone involved in the lockout issue actign SO apologetic to the fans, that there are still squabbles over who can broadcast the games when it wasn't an issue before? I have NEVER been unable to get a radio broadcast of a Leaf game whether home or away until this year.
Honestly I don't know what to say other than for these penny-grabbing companies to get their acts together, and allow for the radio broadcasting of the hockey games. Some complain that it somehow harms the attendance of the actual sporting event however, I don't see it as such. I see it as a way for people who CAN'T afford the INSANE ticket prices, or the travel expenses involved with getting to these games (remember, I'm talking about a trip to Buffalo + Admissions since this was an away game) to still enjoy the sport.
It isn't as though listening to the radio broadcast and being at the actual game are the same experiences anyway. It's surprising how many steps these owners will take in attempts to drive people to the arenas BEFORE they're willing to drop ticket prices. Is it not enough that they make money off of corporate endorsements, merchandise sales, and a million other tributary industries that they have to gouge us for every little dime? It would be bad enough if it was ONLY ticket prices, but look at the cost of food and drink at these arenas. Of course they prohibit any and all outside food and drink, so sitting for a number of hours at an event you're inevitably going to need something to eat or drink. I'm surprised they don't charge admission to the fucking restrooms on top of it all... Shouldn't say that too loud though, they might take the idea and run with it.
It's a sad day when you can't enjoy the game you love due to a bunch of territory-marking, money-grubbing, heads-up-their-asses fat-cats/ These men haven't had to worry about their financial situations in decades while the people propping them up in their palaces have to save up for months just to attend a single game. And I don't mean "worry about their financial situations" as in "oh no! I won't be able to keep all 62 of my exotic sports cars this year!" I mean they'll never have to worry about a roof over their head or food in their stomach for the rest of their lives and I can't even catch a game on the damned radio... Stop the greed, play the game, let the game be played, and let it be enjoyed.
This is where I open the floor to the readers. How have you been impacted by the lockout and the resulting changes in the NHL's conduct? Do you have complaints, questions, or maybe an anecdote or two about this lockout or maybe even the full-season loss from a few years back? I'd love to hear them so please take the minute or two to post in the comments section.
Enjoy your swim, and your hockey!
Joshua J. Taylor