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They didn't even fight. They rolled over and died.

Anaheim 6, Ottawa 2. And I've got five virtually useless NHL games that I'm PAYING for on my drive. Joy. Remind me next year not to buy the NHL Stanley Cup package on iTunes until AFTER the fucking series is over?

To most Americans, this is not even news. Americans care so little about hockey that they openly love to mock it. "HEY YOU CANADIAN FAGGOT! YOU GUYS DON'T DRAW RATINGS! NO ONE CARES ABOOT YOUR ICE AND YOUR PUCK AND YOUR POUTINE AND YOUR HAT OR YOUR TOUQUE OR WHATEVER YOU CALL IT! EH!? EH!?!?!? HAHAHAHA I AM FULL OF WIT!"

To me, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks - they will always be the Mighty Ducks to me, because they will always be nothing more than a marketing ploy for a Disney movie - are the poster children of everything WRONG with the NHL on a base level, moreso than teams like Carolina or Phoenix. The team was started by Disney with the express purpose of promoting a kid's movie, nothing more. The team was a joke from day one. To me, it's irrelevant that they actually got a GM that knew how to do his job (Brian Burke) and got some good talent in there. To me, they're a joke as a team, playing in a joke of an area (Anaheim, even now, cares more about the Angels than they do about the Ducks. Those sell-outs? That's what we call a "fad". Tampa sold out their Finals run, too), and oh by the way, their star defenceman? Only went to Anaheim because he had to force his way out of Edmonton. His reason? His cunt wife "didn't like" Edmonton. Oh, was it too cold? Did your nipples get too hard, you stuck up American bitch?

Now, not only does HE have a Cup, but he has one in Anaheim. No one gives a shit except the fans of the losing team... and by proxy, all Canadians. You see, people like Jason Bugg - who consistently rips me open a new one everytime I rail against the Hurricanes, and will probably do so for this one, too - don't understand why I can get so angry about the defeats of one team I normally don't care about (Ottawa), one team I dislike due to close proximity to my team (Edmonton), and one team I hate with a holy fire (Calgary). I pulled for those three teams along with a lot of other Canadians because we are all scared that our game is being taken from us by American capitalism. There are six teams left in Canada, and two bustling markets lost their teams last decade; Edmonton was also in trouble for awhile. In reality, the only truly safe NHL markets in Canada are Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Edmonton's small market, Calgary's smaller than most American markets, and Ottawa also fights for attention from Toronto and Buffalo (who's fans have been begging for a decent team, and finally have one). But teams were lost in Quebec City and Winnipeg for greener pastures in America. And while I can understand Colorado (a good hockey market, being the home of USA Hockey), I can't understand a team being allowed to move from Winnipeg to Phoenix, Arizona, possibly the worst hockey market in America (at least Anaheim has a decent market in inline hockey), nor can I understand NHL teams in Anaheim, Carolina, Columbus, anywhere in Florida, Phoenix, Nashville (though they did take to their team well), or anywhere else the NHL has over-expanded. And neither can most Canadians. This sport is in the blood of an entire country, infinitely more than a sport like Baseball is in the heart of any American. And Canadians are very proud of their heritage; after all, on a global scale, we're always told it's all we have to go on, you know? Oh, and Alan Thicke. And I guess we can take credit for Rush, too. But blame Celine Dion on Quebec, they want to secede anyway.

And before I go on, I am aware that there are more Canadian players on the Ducks than there are on the Senators. This is irrelevant; players will play anywhere there's an NHL team. If a team was moved to Newcastle England, players would go there to play. It's as simple as that. This goes deeper than the players. This is about Gary Bettman - who has done more to destroy hockey in America than any bandwagon jumping media personality - having another year to falsely say that this is an example of hockey's Global Expansion(TM). This is about a country worried about losing it's collective identity. The success stories in these poor hockey markets - San Jose comes to mind - pale by far to the failures.

This is really about the team playing in Canada's capitol losing the most cherished trophy in team sports to a team named after a Disney movie, that was born in a marketing meeting. I still have an image from an old Sports Almanac, the year the Ducks were conceived, of Gary Bettman blowing a duck call with Disney executives. I think of that image now, and I get physically ill. When I say I want to throw up, I'm honestly not kidding.

The last four years have been a travesty for Canadian hockey fans. In 2004, Calgary lost to a team no one cared about in Tampa Bay, and not only that, replays show they could have won in Game 6. In 2005, there was no NHL hockey because of the lockout, a glorified pissing contest where the only people that truly got wet were true fans of the game. In 2006, the Edmonton Oilers lost the Cup to the Carolina Hurricanes, who likely still have more true fans up in Hartford than they do in either of the Carolinas. And this year... this. This embarrassment for the NHL, and the sport as a whole. To me, this is worse than any ratings. This is a REASON for poor ratings. Over-expansion into saturated, disinterested markets, taking teams out of good markets, preventing them from going back into truly good markets (remember, Jim Balsille decided not to buy the Penguins because the NHL was going to force him to sign a contract promising that he wasn't going to move the team to Hamilton, ON. But when Lemieux decided that he couldn't keep this team alive in it's current state anymore, the NHL got VERY cozy with Kansas City VERY quickly. Kansas City is a football city, and will be a baseball city the moment the Royals are relevant again. Nothing more. And this goes back to 1988, when the NHL rejected the move of the St. Louis Blues to Saskatoon because they were worried about the TV market), two work stoppages within ten years of each other, a sterilization of the game itself, and a complete failure to understand the true hockey fan in an effort to draw in the ever-fickle Family of Four(TM). Americans laugh at the NHL when an overtime playoff game gets preempted for the pre-game show of the Belmont Stakes (which, for those of you that don't know, is a HORSE RACE). I go past that and look at how we got to this point. Before 1995, that horse race would have been told to fuck itself.

Now, where will I go in regards to the NHL? The same place I really was this year: I hope to MAKE the NHL as a linesman someday, but I don't watch much anymore, partly to lack of time, partly to burnout, partly to lack of general interest in the game itself at this point. I'm so angry at the NHL that I really don't care to watch it anymore. I'd rather watch youth hockey, or high school hockey. Fuck, give me juniors. I can't even watch the NHL without grimacing; they make everyone wear visors now whether they like it or not, "for safety". Bullshit; I feel more safe without one because I don't feel claustrophobic, and because visors scratch. Of course, the AHL is nothing but the NHL's bitchboy, so that tells us where the game is going eventually. True story: I haven't watched one game of the Finals. Mostly due to work/rink shit, but I didn't watch Saturday, either.

To me, the NHL is not the end of the world when it comes to hockey. But for a lot of people, it is. And the NHL has done a good job of shooting itself in the foot for the past fifteen years. And tonight, we saw it's just deserved punishment: a Mickey Mouse organization in an almost literal sense raising it's top trophy.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
swordsaint0
Jun. 7th, 2007 01:25 pm (UTC)
I can't say I'm as upset as you are about the Ducks winning, but then, I'm not as big a hockey fan.

The fact that the Senators basically DID roll over and die makes this worse. Even a casual hockey fan like myself has trouble mentioning the Ducks without a laugh or disgust.
rantmaster_mark
Jun. 7th, 2007 02:32 pm (UTC)
I completely appreciate your dissertation above; while I'm not a huge hockey fan, I can wholly respect the passion the sport fills you with.

That said, Girl #1 likes the Ducks, and I'm a Devil's fan, so I can't help you either way. :P
samuraiter
Jun. 7th, 2007 06:53 pm (UTC)
At least I know what the Belmont Stakes is / are. I'd be a shame to my Kentucky blood if I didn't. ^_^;

As for having something you treasure get raped by Disney, I guess you can now understand how I felt when Kingdom Hearts was first announced. -_- It's worse for you, though; hockey involves real people!
burning_phoneix
Jun. 8th, 2007 03:30 pm (UTC)
Red Bull Salzburg anyone?
yubsie
Jun. 12th, 2007 12:49 am (UTC)
Canadian teams losing to teams from places that don't have WINTER is just wrong on so many levels. How can they have HOCKEY if they don't have WINTER? The two go hand in hand! I mean, I'm not a big sports person, but I know hockey=winter and winter=hockey.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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