Hockey from the Blind Side, Hockey Withdrawals …. It’s Not Pretty

At this point, if this was a “perfect” world, the Islander and NHL season would be in full swing, and I’d be writing about the most recent game or discussing how the Isles are doing in the standings. Yes, the 2 or 3 games a week covered by the NBC Sports Network and the NBC game of the week would be filling my hockey fix on top of the Islander games during the week. Additionally, I’d be in the midst of a fantasy hockey season, trash talking with my friends and adjusting and tweaking my lineups as if I actually possessed decent general manager skills.

A few weeks ago, there seemed to actually be a little “hope” that sanity and common sense would prevail. Both the owners and NHLPA were meeting regularly, and on some sites, there seemed to be an air of optimism that the lockout would soon be ending. I confess that I even got my hopes up. My friend, who runs our fantasy hockey league, was so confident that he had the draft go off.

Alas, though, all of a sudden, there was no additional news. In fact, it was just announced that the All Star game in Columbus and games up to December 14 had all been canceled. Indeed, just when it seemed that I might get my early wish for Christmas with the resumption of play, well, that hope is looking quite slim at this juncture.And so, I have had to find a variety of ways to “occupy” myself and try to cope with the lack of NHL hockey. I have tried to grab hold of some kind of distraction that would take my mind off of what is absent in my life. Like a junkie missing his next hit, I desperately have been searching for Anything that would help me.

And what have I accomplished thus far? ….. Honestly, not all that much. It’s been like a bad sitcom or comedy movie at times. I’ve felt like Charlie Brown in the Great Pumpkin Peanuts cartoon receiving a rock at every house, instead of candy …

• Focusing on work: Not recommended. Yes, I enjoy what I am doing now for a living. I like teaching people and being an adaptive technology trainer for Apple products has been a vast improvement over my stress-filled days of being a reseller for adaptive technology products, as I did for some sixteen years. It’s still running my own business and I am still the boss.

But it’s Work …. It’s “fun” as far as it goes, but it only occupies my mind for the hour or two I work with each client. My hours are all over the place because I am contracted to do work for some West Coast states and I sometimes have sessions 7, 8 or 9 O’clock at night. But it doesn’t fill the void. I would have my Apple TV showing any number of games that the NHL Game Center subscription would make available to me, if the Islanders were not playing each night. In between evening clients, I’d be checking my fantasy stats and cursing the guys who were not having “good nights”.

• The NFL: A good distraction if your “team” was playing well. The problem is the New York Giants have been stumbling of late and the New York Jets seem to have made an art of turning football into an old Abbot and Costello “Keystone Cops” episode …. It’s been Torture at times. Frankly, it’s not been the answer ….

• Fantasy Football” Again, it would be great if your teams were actually winning. Mine aren’t. Currently, one of my teams is 2-9 and the other is 4-7. So, no joy there. In fact, it’s been a case of me having some really good and high scoring weeks, but my opponents simply having Better ones …. Again, by Tuesday, I’m basically repeating, “I got a rock.” ….

• Fantasy Hockey: How can you have fantasy hockey if you don’t have an NHL season and how can you have an …. well … the old Pink Floyd line doesn’t quite apply, but you get the point. My friend had the draft go off, I really like my team, but ….. NO HOCKEY! I even have JT, Matt Moulson, Mark Streit and Kyle Okposo ….. Do I drop P
A Parenteau? Hmm. Does it matter?

• Television: OK, some might disagree but there is Very Little on TV worth watching any more. Reality shows are so ridiculously stupid and brainless, the sitcoms all are alike and the drama shows recycle the same story lines. “Hawaii 50”, “The Big Bang Theory” and, maybe, “NCIS” are entertaining, but they don’t make up for nights without hockey. Frankly, I’d prefer dental work than having to get stuck having to listen to most of the garbage network television passes as “entertainment” these days. And don’t get me started on the nonsense that Hollywood disguises as “movies” they churn out every week either ….

• AHL hockey? Good in theory, but I am still looking for a means to enjoy or access it. In fairness, I haven’t exhausted all my options, but I have yet to find success. This might be a means to satisfying Some bit of my cravings, but we shall see. I haven’t given up yet ….

So, that brings me back to the massive prime ape in the middle of the proverbial room. Will these guys resolve their differences and the NHL season will Finally begin? It’s really starting to get a little scary. December is right around the corner, and if that month slips by without a settlement, we are pretty much DONE.

There is a part of me that wants to believe that the joint loss of revenue will move both sides to meet in the middle. I’d like to think that the lessons supposedly learned from 2005 will be remembered and acknowledged. I want to hope that this nightmare will come to an end before it’s too late ….

Unfortunately, I’m starting to lose hope. I like to stay optimistic and hopeful, but it’s becoming more and more difficult. The runway is starting to run out for the big jet airliner that is struggling to lift off. Time hasn’t been, and certainly is NOT on any of their sides any longer.

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