ESPN Sports Business reporter Darren Rovell believes the fans, not the owners or players, are the most responsible for the impending lockout set to happen September 15 and for the 2004-05 lockout.
"...When Bettman and the owners locked out the players and missed the entire season in 2004-05, people thought Bettman had made a horrible miscalculation. It turned out to be genius. The league got the concessions it wanted -- well, at least for the time -- and fans came back. Now, owners' lockouts are par for the course after the NBA and NFL went through it last year. By the way, those leagues also came back stronger than ever.
But the owners aren't doing this because they know the players will fold. They're doing it because they know the fans won't leave them..."
Yahoo! Sports' Greg Wyshynski aka Puck Daddy sums it up perfectly for hockey fans
Love it when a tool like @darrenrovell blames hockey fans for a lockout and then never explains how they could have prevented it. (1/2)— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) September 14, 2012
Like what? Never watching or attending another NHL game, ever? Because that's feasible?— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) September 14, 2012
- Not sure blaming hockey fans will endear Rovell to anyone anytime soon. Sadly, we (hockey fans) are the pawns in the chess game between the League and PA. But to say we're the ones most responsible for a lockout happening, when we have no representation in the fight nor declaring the work stoppage itself, is unfathomable.
- The answer for fans isn't as simple as Rovell would like you to think and Puck Daddy is right on: It's not feasible to ask an entire sport's fan base to not go to another game, or buy another piece of merchandise. To ignore the fact that any labor stoppage is about money and money alone doesn't have the facts straight.
- Coming from ESPN, this isn't a surprise to me. At all.
Greed and negligence are to blame here - both the players and the owners. How do you shut down a business that 's generating $3.5 billion in revenues? Disgraceful and embarrassing for the NHL. Sad, really.
Maybe I misread this article, but no where does Rovell say that he believes the fans are to blame for this mess. Is he wrong? Not at all. His article is 100% correct. Maybe we're all feeling a little too shitty about the looming lockout to think straight but Rovell is absolutely right. He doesn't say the fans are to blame; he says the NHL, owners and players alike (but more so owners), know that the die-hard fans will return. And most NHL fans ARE die-hard fans. How is he wrong? Bettman and Co. have bent us over twice and they've already bought the lube for a third time. Except this time they're gonna dump the lube on the floor while they bend us over. THREE lockouts under Bettman now. And here we are, bitching about how furious we are that some ESPN blogger is writing about how we're bound to come back anyway, like we're dumb or something. BUT HE'S ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! Too many fans will return. The same fans who withstands double-digit ticket price increase every year, who spend at least 82 days/nights a per year, if not more, watching hockey. And this is how we're repaid. Are you proud that you came back after the lockout? Is it a source of pride to tell someone "Yeah I survived two lockouts now, going on my third. Couldn't be happier." No shit hockey wouldn't survive if not for the fans. But what Rovell is saying is that THE LEAGUE KNOWS YOU WILL BE BACK SO IT DOESN'T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT LOSING A SEASON. The player's may worry but you can bet your ass the owners do not care. Don't complain about Rovell becomes he's right and it hurts you to think that your loyalty to the National Hockey League is for shit. Because in less than 8 hours you'll see how much your loyalty to this league means to the people who run it.
I'm working on confirming my suspicion that Rovell and Skip Bayless are actually the same person wearing a mask. Can't say for sure yet, but I'm working on getting to the bottom of it up here in Bristol.
@TheNYRBlog @darrenrovell typical argument of a fool.Stating a fact and then trying mesh it with an outrageous claim without a reason for it
Is this guy for real? What were the fans supposed to do, walk away from the league for good? If the fans didn't come back, there wouldn't be hockey AT ALL, lockouts notwithstanding. Would his solution just be to dissolve the league then, start over? Good luck, buddy.
@TheNYRBlog @darrenrovell if it wasn't for fans welcoming them back w/ open arms after last time we wouldn't even be having this discussion
The other 3 sports are staples in this country and have a long history for fans. Hockey does not. He and the owners are right, the die-hard fans will not leave, but I can guarantee that the casual or fence fans will seek out other sports and will not come back so easily. If that happens, how exactly will the league grow and make money? The hard core fan revenues have a ceiling, the league NEEDS to expand the fan base and that is damn near impossible if a lock-out occurs. Unless the NHL has a McGwire-Sosa-esque race to 100 goals, the league will cripple itself with a lock-out. Why does nobody seem to see this urgency????
@TheNYRBlog @darrenrovell He's just a fool. Yes the diehards came back after the last lockout, but the NHL definitely lost a bunch of fans
@TheNYRBlog @darrenrovell Yeah, the NHL has loyal fans, so clearly Bettman has carte blanche to piss on them at every opportunity. Dumb.
@TheNYRBlog His whole premise is off. The hardcore fans/result of 2004-05 make the owners think they can afford lockout. Fans don't cause it
@TheNYRBlog his word choice was wrong but the premise that the league isn't gonna lose an appreciable number of fans is sound.
For some reason I started following him (maybe I thought he was a funny ESPN personality), and every single day since, he has made himself look more and more foolish... He's just a flat out idiot lol