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08-22-2012, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by sheriff bart View Post
I just think that the landscape has changed since the last lockout and the league may never recover if it comes to pass. The lost season is still fresh enough on people's mind that it will be salt in the wound to do it again. There are lots of other entertainment options between cable, satellite, internet, etc. to fill the void for the casual or occasional fan (you know, the ones that the league needs to capture to grow the game). The league is growing interest more and more through the Winter Classic and the NBC deal and now would be the worst time to go backwards.

Both sides need to figure out what will work and then work out a deal. The owners need to get off their high horse and stop with the "we are ready to lock out on Sept. 15".

On the other hand, fans are becoming more accepting of the labor realities in pro sports.

I remember when MLB players went on strike and people flipped the hell out. Fans took it really personally that the World Series wouldn't be played on a voluntary basis. Stadiums were empty for a long time after that, and I'm not sure the fans would have come back en masse if not for the Ripken/McGwire/Sosa golden years.

Same thing on a smaller scale when the NHL locked out in 2005. People were ready to string Bettman from the nearest tree. There was a genuine sense of outrage, and it hurt the league badly, but the fans came back within about 3 years.

NBA lockout... not really a big deal this time around.

This NHL lockout... does anyone seem to be REALLY freaking out? Not like 2005. There's a sense of "here we go again" annoyance, but a lot of the interest is focused on the labor drama and trying to predict when it'll break through. There isn't a tangible sense of outrage and protest this time around. And I think the NHL is banking on the resiliency of the fanbase as they make plans for the next 3-6 months.

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