Anger, disappointment, rage and bitterness.  All of these are decent adjectives to describe how I have felt since September reading about the Lockout.  I don’t need to share my thoughts on how unnecessary this lockout was; many have shared these thoughts for months.  I’m also not here to point fingers or assign blame because that has been done as well.

The reason I am writing is maybe more for me than for anyone else.  I don’t know why I feel the need to justify my decision to welcome back hockey even after they have shut the doors three times in Gary Bettman’s reign of terror, but I do.  Ultimately it is true, that fans like me allow the owners to continue these lockouts knowing their bottom lines will suffer a little in the immediate term, but will continue to soar as they did after the 04 lockout.  Yes, it is also true that if fans spoke with their wallets we wouldn’t be abused so frequently.

It is also true, however, that this is a game and for those of us not directly involved it is simply entertainment.  I look forward to rushing home from work to catch the Rangers game in the 2nd period, crack open a cold beer and grade some papers while enjoying the best athletes in the world put it all on the line.  I enjoy wearing my Red, White, and Blue and screaming at the TV while others mockingly ask me what sport I am watching.  I grew up watching and playing this game and it brings me great joy.

I have simply chosen that I have enough to worry about in my own life-bills, work, home responsibilities, etc. that I do not want to feel responsible for proving a point.  Sure, if there were an organized boycott that would send a loud message I would consider, but what would actually need to happen to send a message would be the destruction of a game I enjoy.  How would anyone ‘win’ if that were to happen?

There will always be bitterness and mistrust between myself (and many other fans) and the NHL but at the end of the day it is still the greatest game on earth and I don’t see the benefit in depriving myself of enjoying a cold beer, the New York Rangers, and a stack of quizzes and tests.