Leaders vs. Leadership

Congratulations to the National Hockey League for doing what so many other adults have been unable to do: reach an agreement before a deadline. The league had a drop-dead date of January 11 and appears to have beaten that marker by a solid five days. Yahoo!

Of course, making this deadline does ignore the 5-10 deadlines they basically ignored. From the mundane (preseason games) to the eye-opening (Winter Classic), the league and players leadership showed the rest of the world something critical and historically-accurate: leader is just a label without character.

So while hockey crawls back without any on-ice rule enforcement changes but some money fixes, we’re reminded again that 99 percent of us don’t matter at all. And it isn’t just sports or hippies outside Wall Street that scream this: it’s life. Just last week, the “leaders” we elected in America — hey, I have an international audience here — spit all over their own deadlines for political gain in order to move their meters in minute intervals, costing nearly every American new taxes. My family noticed it in our first paycheck after Jan. 1 and had to make concessions. In the meantime, Congress got raises. This is real talk. Risk the whole for the benefit, large or small, of many. Fiscal Huxtables!

So I’m going to hold true to my promises, in government and sports. In terms of voting, I won’t feel bad for chastising elected leaders who ignore what the public is telling them because of the lobbies lining their pockets. When hockey returns, I’m going to pay attention to the Sabres because I love the sport and I love the area and I’ve played since I could stand on skates, but I care less than ever before. Hey, I still go to concerts despite ridiculous ticket fees because I like music. In this way, I’m a sucker, but in no other. Sports fans, you can feel free to demand more from the players and owners. If a player takes a shift off, don’t think about his feelings. He doesn’t think about yours. If the arena food stinks or the experience is garbage, don’t just be thankful you have a team. Do the only thing us pawns can do: make a stink. Don’t hurt anybody, but let them know you aren’t an idiot. They should be held to a different standard, a higher standard, a more critical standard.

And let’s all set some standards for our kids in the area where our leaders have failed…


Email: nick@fcbuffalo.org

5 Responses to Leaders vs. Leadership

  1. I don’t care about hockey. Never have I’m from CNY. Hoops fan since the 2nd grade. Never saw a hockey game until the Albertville 1992 Olympics.

    But I live here. So I feel like the newspaper columnist who covers a team because it’s his job, but has no rooting interest. I follow the Sabres because it’s impossible not to.

    I feel bad for hockey fans and yet I don’t. I love the Bills since elementary school so I know all about delusional and unrequited sports love so I am a hypocrite here.

    Hockey fans love their sport more than any other fan base.

    But they love it too much.

    It’s too all consuming. These lockouts exist because bye ceiling is low but the floor is high for the NHL. The league and players know the fans are coming back no matter what. Until puck heads and puck bunnies can truly beat this addiction there’s going to be no change.

  2. I’ve never felt bad about chastising politicians. :)

    Listening to WGR made me sad today. So many people who mindlessly follow the Sabres. So much of the “thankful we have a team” insanity.

    As for me, I used to like hockey in the 90s, but the product simply sucks now. I didn’t want hockey to come back unless there were major changes to the game. So, I’m just annoyed now.

  3. Leelee

    I’d hate it if the Bills ever left, but I could deal, move on. I think the Bills leaving would be much more impactful, from the basic (a new city retractable roof stadium that’s a multipurpose) to the deeper (the greater nationwide impact of the NFL). It would be on par with Bethlehem Steel leaving on a cultural level, and not much less on an actual employee level since when BS closed down about 65% of the maximum workforce was already gone. But we’d deal.

    I don’t think hockey fans can deal. It’s an addiction that’s unbelievable. Football is broader demographically than hockey, but within the smaller demo, hockey is much DEEPER.

    The one whiner line caller this morning who said, Bills suck, have sucked for years, will suck in three years with a new coach, TALK HOCKEY, TALK HOCKEY. Sounded like an incantation or something. Crazy

  4. I think Schopp has it backward. He always says that the Bills get the benefit of the doubt that the Sabres don’t. Maybe from the media, but I see it as completely the opposite from the fans. Buffalonians give the Sabres constant breaks.