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Hockey fans are devoted to their sport, but not devoted enough to demand a change as one.
Hockey fans that are angry about the lockout, regardless of the side you're on, are just that, angry. There is no magic #hashtag on Twitter that goes straight to Bettman. No amount of f-bomb laden Facebook posts on the NHL wall will win favor. There is simply nothing we can do to save our season.
NFL fans get shit done.
Monday night's blown call by the replacement referees caused a reaction that I've never seen in fans not at a game. Tens of thousands of emails were sent to the NFL offices. Over 70,000 voicemails were left at HQ. Celebrities flipped out on Twitter, followed by the players from the game, and then the big gun - President Obama weighed in. None of this was planned. It was the reaction of upset, ticket purchasing, jersey buying fans to rise up and force Roger Goodell to get back to work on a new deal for the refs.
After all this commotion, a different NFL emerged. They could have done nothing. The league is popular and will remain popular. It's the integrity of the league that had to change. This meant that the pompous Commissioner Goodell had to come down from Mt. Zion and actually react to something the fans helped push forward. The referees and the NFL were far apart before the bad call on Monday night. Within a day, the two sides decided upon a deal and the refs are back to work tonight.
NHL fans have just as much passion as football fans. We're all pissed off that this lockout is happening and there is no movement on the negotiations. (We're just at the money discussions folks, there are still issues like benefits and playing in the Olympics to hash out.) From what I've been reading, the two sides aren't meeting/speaking, formally or informally, daily because there 'isn't anything new to present'. I'm a layman with all this, but isn't the point of negotiations to take both presentations and haggle from there? It's a simplistic view, I know. I just don't understand why they aren't at least trying to save our season every day (or lie to me that they are).
This is where I wish NHL fans had the drive of the NFL fans. They care so much about their favorite sport that they would go straight to the top and demand change. It's not just one person, it's thousands. I thank any of you that have done the same with the NHL, but without the masses together at one time, your voice to the league is just another person angry about the lockout.