I have loved hockey ever since my high school boyfriend introduced me to it years ago. It's fast-paced, loud, and exciting. I really do love it. So, it only slightly irritates me that hockey players, along with players in most professional sports, get paid thousands and thousands, and sometimes millions, of dollars to play a game. The owners of hockey teams are no better. They get millions of dollars to organize these games. Wow, seems like a good gig to me.
Obviously the players and owners disagree. They want more. Last Thursday, September 16, 2004, the NHL's Board of Governors locked out the players, endangering the upcoming season. The NHL Player's Association and the NHL owners can't agree on a payroll system, so nobody plays. Fox Sports warns that the longer hockey is absent the farther removed from us it will become until someday it ceases to be a professional sport. They argue that the fans are the big losers of this current scenario, but I disagree. Even the most devoted fans, including me, will eventually turn to other sports, albeit sadly, if we no longer have hockey to watch.
So who does lose from the lockout? If anybody, it's the players and the owners who lose. They are caught in a prisoner's dilemma. Ideally, each side wants the most they can possibly get from the other without giving anything in return. They could negotiate, but each side is unwilling to give any concessions to the other side for fear that they won't get anything in return. It's in their best interests to cooperate and work out a payroll system that will benefit both sides. Instead, they hold their ground and both lose. If hockey ceases to be a professional sport, as suggested by Fox Sports, the players and owners will both have to find...well, jobs!