Not buying it

I’ve not heard of this person, but he appears to be a distant relative of Larry Robinson

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:

Rogers made killer radio dials in 1935

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.

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7 Responses to Not buying it

  1. You should come to BMO on Friday night. Canada vs Cuba World Cup Qualifyer. If you want to fall in love with soccer than this game is the way to start

    • 1967ers says:

      That sounds awesome, but I’m several years away from seeing a live game again. Too many little ones to leave behind and they’re not yet old enough to come along. I barely remember the ’86 team. It would be fantastic to win something for once.

  2. Jeff says:

    “Maybe I’m alone on this, but I like sports on the radio”

    I’m with you on that. If you have a quality play by play announcer, and a good color man that doesn’t talk too much, sports on the radio is a treat.

  3. shanediaz82 says:

    I am definitely with you on Premier League Soccer as the best alternative to NHL hockey. Thanks to my DV-R and the Fox Sports Soccer network being included in my cable package here in the States, I’ve been watching a TON of it this season, as in 7-8 full games every week. I thoroughly enjoy every game regardless of which teams take the pitch, although I haven’t picked a team to follow yet as you have. Liverpool would be the obvious choice since they’re owned by the same group that currently owns the Red Sox, but just because I like the Red Sox doesn’t mean I have any affinity towards the rich white guys that own the team. Maybe Everton?

    Anyway, as someone who knew very little prior to this year, I’ve learned a ton in these first couple of months. My favorite element of it all though is one you touched on here, the whole relegation/promotion concept. Maybe if we had this in North American sports we wouldn’t see teams like, oh I don’t know, the 2012 Houston Astros! I think I just came up with a post idea…

    One more thing, which set are these last two soccer cards that you’ve shown from? I may have missed it in one of the posts but I can’t seem to figure out what set this even is?

    • 1967ers says:

      It’s a 1975 UK release from Topps. They had a four year run in the late 1970s and two of the designs were lifted directly from their baseball sets. There are a lot more soccer releases out there than I’d ever been aware of – all the way back to 1900s cigarette issues. You just rarely see them here.

      As a Leaf fan, I find the concept of relegation somewhat terrifying.

  4. commishbob says:

    I am hoping they get this together. I have tickets for the Rangers games up in Dallas against the Stars in January and I hate to miss the rare chance to see my team. They only cycle through Dallas every other year.

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