Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Panel of Ineptitude

The last NHL lockout happened 8 years ago.  Labor and management were so far apart rather than, you know make money, the two sides thought it would be better to shut the doors and lose a full season than negotiate.  After more than a year of grueling negotiations the two sides agreed to a deal.

And then something happened…

The NHL reopened its doors and inexplicably took off in America.  Sure it’s no NBA, MLB and certainly no NFL but slowly but surely, with new additions like smaller pads, 2 line passes, HBO all access and The Winter Classic hockey was suddenly becoming the darling of the sporting news.  The Rangers finished the year first in the East, Boston won the cup 2 years ago and LA won a cup for the first time in their history. 

Major markets were dominating the sport and giving it great press.  Hell even Bill Simmons was able to fit it into his 9 month NBA binge from time to time.  It was a great time to be an NHL fan.

But times change rather fast.

At the apex of hockey popularity in my lifetime the owners and Gary Bettman, have once again decided that the contract they signed 8 years ago is no longer fair. 

Now you could say that the owners are guilty, dickless, shit eating, cum swallowing, puss licking, douche breathing, scum sucking, cock juggling, cunt ass mother fucking bitch dumb bastard pillow biters. 

Or you could blame the real culprit… Roger Goodell, Bud Selig and David Stern

Allow me to explain.

As a proud new resident of the DC area, I am privy to a lot more social events, just this past weekend I got drunk in the shadow of the Washington Monument.  I am now very classy.  But besides from that, I’m also much closer to important (re: Jewish) people and as such I've been doing my best to hob nob with fellow culturistas. 

Ok that’s not true.  I’ve been following Bud Selig around trying to live out my fantasy of bashing his brains in with a pitching wedge before he completes the fourth sign of Cthulhu and reign’s hell fire down from the heavens.  Or adds another wildcard team.  Whichever comes first.

So like I was saying I’ve been following him around lately, mapping out his route and the like.  I know where his favorite deli is, where he gets his shoes shined, and which Asian massage shop he attends.  But every Wednesday he sneaks away out into the deep, secluded woods of northern Virginia.  It took over a month of careful sneaking, delicate craftsmanship and 12 bottles of chloroform to finally track down the elusive hiding spot.

After doing a Bugs Bunny switcheroo and gagging a couple of guards I put on one of their robes and masks, which looked more like a batting helmet with a mouth guard attached to it, and made my way into the compound. 

Inside was a series of long corridors lit by torches.  On the walls were photos of old, glowering men wearing  identical ceremonial dark robes.  In the distant synchronized chanting could be heard so I followed the noise.  As I approached the chanting reached a fever pitch, and if I knew any better I would say it was Latin, but I’m almost positive I heard “Offsides” and “Pass Interference” shouts. 

I entered the main room and was dumbfounded by what I saw.  It was massive, cavernous room with 50 foot high ceilings, rich mahogany floors and a massive stage in the center of the room surrounded by lava.   Atop the stage were four huge metallic chairs, I’m actually pretty sure they were the same chairs used in “Game of Thrones”.  Along the outer wall were more masked hooded men and in unison chanting out various penalties in all respective spurts with splice cuts of Latin:  “Intus, Dominos, Cross Checking, Faros, Hit by Pitch” that kind of thing.  In the upper balcony surrounding the giant room where dozens of incredibly beautiful, exotic and most importantly naked women strutting about showing off their wares.  It was actually identical to the scene in “Eyes Wide Shut”.  (Wow there are a lot of hidden boobs on youtube, and I really need to start watching G.O.T). 

But then the shot of cannon in the distant stopped the festivities in their tracks and the whole room fell into darkness as the lights were turned out.  The chanting stopped and for almost 2 minutes not a sound was made.  Then over the PA system a loud voice rang out.  It was Michael Buffer who said

“Ladies and Gentleman welcome tonight for your weekly COMMISIONER CONUNDRUM!!!!!!!”

Buffer proceeded to announce the height, weight and wacky nicknames for the four major sports commissioners as they walked into the room in bright red robes. Unlike the rest of the party goers they did not wear masks, however they were wearing Braveheart style face paint.   A drawbridge was lowered to make it across the lava.  The four circled around their chairs 4 times while doing interpretive dance moves with their hands before finally seating.

“Anoch su tempre” Bellowed David Stern (aka Davey Diamond)

“Fac fortia tempre” replied the other 3 commissioners.

“Good evening everyone, and thank you for coming out” continued Stern “there will be cookies and punch after the meeting courtesy of Mrs. Templeton.”

“Si comma delta” went the rest of the commissioners as they did a ceremonial bow in the direction of the old hag who stood up and waved gingerly at the stage.

“And now I call to order “The Panel of Ineptitude”!

A group wave was started by the crowd and went around the room 3 times.

“Like all meetings we will start out with any new business, Mr. Goodell I hear you have something on your mind.” Said Bud “Black Dynamite” Selig

“Very good BD.  Last week we had made a great progress at destroying the NFL’s credibility by continuing our ludicrous referee lockout.  Well it pains me to say it, but the zebras are back and unfortunately it seems that whatever ‘Bounty Gate’ was is over.  I wish I had better new for you all.”

Murmurs of discontent spread throughout the hall as man stamped their feet and women also stamped their feet.  I suppose that didn't need to be a separate clause.

“I’m sorry to hear that Ginger Hammer” said Gary “Steve” Bettman.

“It is a dark day for the NFL indeed” replied Goodell.

“Why was it that you finally succumbed to the refs demands?” Demanded Stern

“Well when Bill Simmons has 2 mailbags about 1 subject it’s time for swift, decisive action.”  The rest of the commissioners nodded their heads.

“And what of you Brother Selig, how goes our nefarious acts at the MLB.”  Asked Stern.

“Swimmingly.  Per you suggestion adding another wildcard team has drastically reduced the fun of September baseball and in less than 5 months we will be watching a great interleague match between the Diamondbacks and the Mariners.”

“Huzzah!” screamed the audience

“Brother Stern tell us, how goes life in the NBA?”

“Terrific.  After milking the LeBron story line for over 5 years we have now moved on to more overt control of the league.  As you all know playoff basketball is as close to unwatchable as any popular sport in history, well now I have created a ruling which will make it even worse.  I present to you the new NBA Flopping Rule.  What looks like a nice rule to speed up the pace of the game will now just be an excuse to complain more about the games.  It’s one of my more subtle influences.”  He then laughed for literally 3 minutes straight.  I’m talking 3 solid minutes of no other noise than just David Stern’s maniacal laughter.  “How are you going to top all that Brother Bettman?”

“I’m glad you asked.  Brothers I have some exciting news that I have been dying to share.   The NHL is locking out!”  Shrieks of joy rang out from the audience, a man to my right fainted and the naked women above started bouncing with glee.

“But didn’t you just do one of those like 5 years ago?” asked Goodell.


“Bettman you mad man.  This is insane, this is cataclysmic.  You are playing Russian roulette with your league.  You magnificent bastard!  Where’d you get the stones to pull something like this off?”

“Well I was staring off at the “Board of Asshatery” when I noticed that Brother Goodell had passed me with some of his more aggressive gaffes.”  Bettman pointed out at a large plywood sheet leaning against the wall with the four commissioners faces seemingly running a race up a mountain.  The current standings were Goodell closing in on the summit while Bettman, Selig and Stern were bringing up the rear.  “And I had to teach you whippersnappers that no matter how much you want to fuck up your leagues, it’s going to take a lot more than that to take down the “King of Consequences!”

This elicited a standing ovation by the fellow commishes.  People were screaming “Bravo” and some were tossing roses onto the stage much like at a bull fighting arena. 

After the raucous celebration died down the commissioners sat back down, obviously enjoying the fervor they had created. 

“I don’t think anyone is topping that. I suppose it’s now time to turn over to Q&A before we adjourn for cookies and group tantric sex.  Who would like to go first?”

As much as I wanted to participate in that group sex thing I couldn’t help but raise my hand.

“Yes, you there, what is your question?”

“I guess all I really want to know is why you’re doing this?” loud guffaws echoed from the all those around me, like I had just farted or something.

“I’m sorry I don’t understand the question” said Selig

“I mean like why are purposefully sabotaging your own leagues.”

After a minute of group deliberation Selig responded “Because we can.”

“That’s it?”

“Look do you really think a commissioner has any real relevance or necessity in sports?  No, of course not!  So we might as well have a little fun while we’re at it.  Seriously our job could so easily be replaced with like 1 lawyer and 1 PR guy, that’s it.  We just do this to see how far we can push the line before our fans stop tuning in.  And they never have.  We own you.  And there is nothing you can do about it.” 

With that Stern rang a little bell and I was grabbed violently by Ndamukong Suh and James Harrison and dragged out of the room.

So if you are still wondering why the NHL is having a lockout it’s the answer you knew already.  It’s because they can, and that the commissioners don’t give a shit about you.

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