The Night Without Hockey

’Twas a night in December, when all through the league Not a player was skating, not even Versteeg; The TVs were tuned to a press conference where, Bettman was pretending to talk with Don Fehr;

’Twas a night in December, when all through the league

Not a player was skating, not even Versteeg;

The TVs were tuned to a press conference where,

Bettman was pretending to talk with Don Fehr;

The owners and players were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of billions danced in their heads;

And me in my jersey, with no hockey to watch,

Felt like I was getting two kicks in the crotch,

When on TV there arose such a clatter,

I cranked up the volume to see what was the matter.

Away to the fridge I flew like young Tootoo,

Popped open a beer and to hear some more doo-doo.

The tone from the mouths of the union heads said

The season’s sure to be on, don’t you dread

When, what to my wondering eyes appears,

But a miniature man, with humongous ears,

With feigned shock, so smug and so deadpan,

I knew in a moment he must be Bettman.

More rapid than snapshots his condemnation came,

And he whined, and cried, and called them by name;

“Now, Fehr! now, Miller! now, Richards and Ovechkin!

Come on, Iggy! Come on Nuge! Come on, Pronger and Malkin!

You are far too greedy! Our profits are trash!

Now dash away! Come back with an offer that gives us more cash!”

As soon as the talking heads on the sportscast weighed in,

The players came back still trying to win,

So up to the mike the union they flew,

With a heap of excuses, and cried boo hoo hoo.

And then, in a twinkling, It came to my mind

They think me a fool, I must have been blind.

They just assume I will always stay true,

And blow all my paycheque to cheer and to boo.

That I’ll wear my team’s gear, from my head to my feet,

That I’ll attend and tune in, and blog and re-tweet;

A bundle of NHL gear bought and put in my sack,

That I’ll give to my loved ones stack by stack.

Network’s ratings? How healthy! Owner’s fortunes so rosy!

Players’ cheques seven figures, Gary’s job oh so cozy!

Their arrogant assumption of my blind consumption,

Is the driving force of my resolution;

Not a ruble, euro, greenback nor dollar,

will find its way to their pocket, I holler;

For every game that they miss,

I will boycott whence they return, that’s my diss.

My team jerseys and hats will stay on the shelf,

And I’ll laugh when Gary cries, in spite of myself;

A tear in his eye and a twist of his head,

Will lead me to know their books became red;

Rather, he should speak not a word, but go straight to his work,

And agree to a contract and stop being a jerk,

And the Fehr boys need to step up to the plate,

And meet them halfway, wouldn’t that be great?

I call out to all fans with a whistle,

Heed this overly long epistle.

Once this is done, they will feel our smite,

“Whenever you settle, we fans go on strike.”

Ken Schulzke

Red Deer

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