I have been watching and waiting for the lockout to end. I have looked at both sides and I have made my decision on what side I come down on.
But it does not matter if the season is lost. It does not matter if you have the most righteous argument of all time if the season is lost because of the way it has been handled by both sides. No matter which side I believe to be right in this matter, you are wrong and will be held just as responsible for a lost season.
Look, I am a business person. I understand the art of negotiating. I understanding the need to get as much for your side as possible. I understand hostile negotiations. So, I understand how both of you are looking at the CBA and I understand why you are doing what you are doing, I've done it.
But you are wrong for doing it this way and here is why.
In most business negotiations there are only two primary parties involved. Now, I know that we do not live in a vacuum and there are always a whole host of people affected, but for the most part there is the payee and the payer. Now in this type of traditional business relationship it is excepted to be cut-throat and hardheaded when you come to the table. Yes, somewhere down the line what you decide will affect others, but for the most part it is pretty insulated.
Now, where this is different is that this is a three party relationship, and one of the parties, some would say the most important one, does not even have a seat at the table. You see, we the fans do not get a say in the negotiations. We are just stuck with what you two decide.
Furthermore, we can't even help dictate how the talks are going. Of course both you say things like "the fans are our main concern" or "the fans are the real losers" but you don't mean it. If you did you would not approach the CBA negotiating table with this all-or-nothing attitude. You would not continue to cancel meeting after meeting. If you truly cared for how we felt you would find a way to get on the ice. You would find a way to get things going.
I mean really, you waited until the midnight hour until either of you even started to work on a new CBA. We all knew it was coming, why wait? Why not start last year? There is only one reason why you wait, and that is because you think the other side will fold for fear of a lock out. Well guess what, both of your bluffs were called.
And who gets left hurting? Well, let's count it up. The parking attendants, the concession workers, the merchandise sellers, the ticket sellers, the waiters and waitresses, the hotel workers, the business owners, and yes, us the FANS! So I say to you, the players who will not give an inch and the owners who will not budge, if the season is lost, a Curse On Both Your Houses!