I’m still not bent out of shape over the lockout. My nascent soccer/football fandom is keeping me busy enough and there’s no point in being upset over things I don’t control. The lockout will end when it ends and if that’s any time soon, well, hooray. If I didn’t know people who were directly impacted by this, I might not pay it any attention at all.
My sense is more parental – the “I’m not angry, just disappointed” feeling. The NHL’s behaviour is unacceptable, though maybe understandable. Nobody has ever been made to pay for disruptions and as such, nobody fears shutting everything down. Once this particular labour war is over, the clock begins ticking on the next one.
As an end consumer, I only have one card to play to register my dissatisfaction, so I’m playing it.
I’m not spending a cent on the NHL this year, whether it comes back or not. I don’t go to games anyway, so that’s moot, but there will be no licensed merchandise of any kind – no cable packages, no books, no jerseys/sweaters/hats/whatever. The one that will hurt the worst will be no cards – I’ve bought at least one of the new products every year that I’ve collected, whether I show them here or not. Not this year.
I’m torn on vintage. A 1959 Andy Bathgate doesn’t contribute a cent to Hockey-Related Revenue, which is what the whole fight is over. I can probably justify that mentally.
Will I follow the game when it eventually comes back? Let’s be real – of course I will. But I’m not paying a cent to get it. If a game is on a channel I don’t get, I have my fallback:
Maybe I’m alone on this, but I like sports on the radio. It’s not a punishment to me at all.
Until then, I’m still plugging away at soccer. I’ve yet to find an online forum I’m particularly fond of. I can generally deal with the written work I’ve found but the comments sections tend to be cesspits and that’s no fun. (Update – may have found one. I’ll let you know.)
Today’s history reading regards Bobby Owen, who I’ve never heard of despite his kickin’ hockey name and Big Bird haircut, as well as Carlisle United, also a mystery to me.
Ignoring for the moment that the concept of promotion/relegation is alien to both hockey and North American sports leagues in general, imagine what it would be like if a team like the Whitby Dunlops or the Trail Smoke Eaters were able to claw their way out of the men’s senior leagues, fight through as many minor league tiers as you like and finally make it to the NHL. Of course, at the NHL level they spend their days getting the bejeebers kicked out of them and they get relegated back whence they came, but the sheer accomplishment of a team of that nature getting that far is
an incredible accomplishment. (ed. note – what a dreadful sentence that was. Fire the proofreader.)
That’s the story of Carlisle United. Carlisle is the smallest town to ever put a team into the top tier of British Football (since 1906, anyway) and their moment in the sun was 1974-75, as captured in the card above. They won their first three out of the gate before reality set in and at season’s end they were relegated.
Bobby Owen played for that team, but otherwise isn’t someone that I’ve found a ton of information about. He was listed as a scorer of important goals and rated #42 on one list of the Top 100 Carlisle players, but I’d pretty much expect anyone associated with the 1970s run to make that list. Another site offered this succinct description: “A striker known for missing sitters.”
“Missing sitters,” he wondered to himself, “what on earth is that?” Off to google again – to miss a sitter is to flub a certain goal – think Patrick Stefan:
Once again, I learn something new. This is why it remains fun.