So here we are. Day 111 of The Great NHL Lockout of 2012…uh, 2013.
“You realize, cousin, that the number ‘111’ is a perfect totient number.”
A what, Fearless?
“A perfect totient number.”
“Toilet number? I thought that wuz a ‘1’ or a ‘2.’"
“Totient…totient, not ‘toilet,’ Cheerless.”
“Well, I think this whole lockout thing is a perfect number ‘2,’ if you ask me.”
Guys, can we leave exotic mathematics and bodily functions out of the discussion for the moment? You two have been pretty quiet about this whole lockout thing. It seems like any moonyok with a keyboard and at least two working fingers has an opinion on whether we’re going to have a season or not…
“We’re not just any moonyoks, cuz.”
No argument from me, but still, do either of you have any thoughts on the matter now that the calendar has turned over without NHL hockey on it?
“Cousin, I think everyone needs to take a deep breath and realize that these are titanic issues confronting the National Hockey League…”
“Huh…titanic. Yeah, and look what happened to that boat.”
“As I was saying, these are titanic issues confronting the National Hockey League. On the one hand you have grasping, greedy, graceless, grumpy grifters trying to grab the last farthing on the table. On the other you have, well, the same thing.”
“You’ve been reading too much from them hockey media types.”
“How so, my dim-witted cousin?”
“Let me guess, you think both sides are equal to blame, even-steven, right down the middle, right?”
“Of course, such is always the way of such things.”
“So, then you’re saying that the owners locked out the players just in time, right before the players had a chance to lock out the owners, right?”
“No, what I’m saying is…”
“And both sides have given up stuff they had under the old agreement, right?”
“So it’s just a case of two guys who can’t seem to get along not getting along enough to make a deal that’s sitting right in front of them?”
“And no one needs to be held accountable for being stoopid.”
“Well, you’d know stupid…”
“And not just that, but the stoopid things done by one side have to be paid for by the other side…you think that’s fair?”
“What’s ‘fair?’…this is a negotiation.”
“Yeah, cuz, but don’t crap in my hand and call it chocolate pudding, either.”
Guys, are you going somewhere with this or just grazing?
“That ‘Capgeek’ fella said way back in September when this whole lockout thing started that teams spent more than $1.5 billion on 177 players since the free agent stuff started on July 1. Know how many Slim Jims that’ll buy?..."
“I don’t have the number at my fingertips.”
“…more than five billion wholesale. I looked it up.”
“You must have spent days doing the arithmetic on your fingers and toes.”
“And now, these doofuses want to call ‘do over.’”
“But there are a lot of teams losing money, and…”
“Hey, even I can figure out that a game played on ice isn’t going to be a big draw in places where ice is only used to keep the beer cold. Where are all these teams that are losing so much money? According to those guys at Forbes, they’re in places like Phoenix, Tampa, Miami, Anaheim, Carolina, and Nashville. I see six teams there, but not the ‘Original Six.’ Whose bright idea was it to put teams there?”
“And what’s with the contracts? Is there some Federal law that says every owner has to have at least one player with a contract that lasts as long as the gum I stuck under the table? They got 11 teams with 16 players with contracts of at least ten years totaling $1.2 billion according to that Capgeek fella…but I did the arithmetic all by myself on that one. These guys can’t help themselves, so they scream “stop me before I sign another guy to a gozillion year contract!’”
“You seem inspired.”
“And back to this whole even-steven thing, if the players have to give up money and contract years and this and that and the other thing, what are they getting? What is the other side giving up?"
“Yeah, exactly. So, what you’re telling me, cousin, is that because one side is trying to get a deal where they end up having to give up less than what they would have had to give up in all the other proposals they got, that they’re just as much to blame for there being no hockey, even though I don’t see any players with a set of keys locking the doors to any rink so that hockey isn’t being played.”
“But it’s complicated.”
“No, it’s not. It’s stoopid. But the league seems to be really good at being really stoopid. Then again, maybe we’re being really stoopid, too.”
How’s that, Cheerless?
“We’re still fans.”
Well, we’ll see.