Friday, November 2, 2012

Self Destruction 101

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

I'll never forget what Ivan Drago's trainer said in Rocky V when describing his powerful fighter.

Whatever he hits, he destroys.

The same can be said about NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr. Whatever league he leads, he destroys.

In 1994, Major League Baseball cancelled the World Series for the first time in history as a result of a labor conflict.

This ultimately led to the demise of the Montreal Expos, who were on pace to reach the "Fall Classic" for the first time in team history. The Expos are now the Washington Nationals.

Thanks to a home run battle between Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire, along with Cal Ripken Jr's consecutive game streak, baseball eventually recovered although I wouldn't doubt it if some of the fans never came back.

During the last baseball negotiations, both sides quietly put another deal together in the off-season enabling peace and harmony to continue.

Meanwhile, Fehr is working for a league that cancelled the 2004-2005 season. The players revenue decreased from 74 percent down to 57 percent.

Once again, players have flocked overseas to play for minimum wage so they can pay their bills.

Nobody sees them on TV and you can rest assure that the crowds at the arenas are lower than the 15-20,000 per-game in the NHL.

Before he took the NHL gig, didn't Fehr realize that he's in a sport which has the worst TV Contract of the four?

I have a strong feeling that NASCAR's TV Contract is better than the NHL's.

To the NHL's credit, at least they're no longer buying their air-time on NBC because the product and star power is much better.

Oh well, now that the 2013 Winter Classic has been cancelled, it's time to say good-bye to the 2012-2013 season.

The Southeastern Michigan Region figures to lose $75 Million while Detroit figures to take a $25-35 Million hit that could have bolstered it's battered economy. Estimates of 114,000 fans were expected to go to Michigan Stadium's "Big House" to watch Hockey's Attendance Records get shattered.

The NHL has already announced that the 2014 Winter Classic will be played between the Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs providing that the owners don't get too mad in their quest to break the union again!

The fans aren't going to care. The NBA has all of the winter sports headlines to itself.

The NFL, College Football, Basketball, The Final Four, will hold us over until MLB begins Spring Training.

In a bad economy, there will be no sympathy for NHL Hockey.

I was looking forward to seeing the Detroit Red Wings play the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers in the Sunshine State.

There was an outside possibility I was going to spend my 50th birthday in Michigan then see the Winter Classic at the "Big House."

Instead, it will be short sleeves this winter and No. 50 will be spent near the beach.

I'm grateful to Fehr that he's saved me a lot of money with the high gas prices.

As I mentioned earlier, Michigan Stadium gets the 2014 Winter Classic. The only thing that will change are the players who will participate in the old-timers, regular game and the festivities.

Hopefully, some of the legends that were scheduled in the 2013 game won't be deceased.

Nonetheless, the NHL has set an example that they don't learn from past mistakes.

Look for empty arenas and lower television ratings.

As was the case with the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Los Angeles Kings get to keep their Stanley Cup Trophy longer.

While I never visualized the Detroit Tigers would face the San Francisco Giants in the World Series during a recent blog, I safely made this prediction that the NHL would alienate its fans again thanks to greed.

The NHLPA will once again cave in.

The owners will make sure of that. They're stubborn and Commissioner Gary Bettman won't negotiate a bad deal for the owners even if it means losing another season.

They're losing revenue now and with the 2013 Winter Classic history, the owners aren't spending money on payroll.

Fehr the Fehr and congratulations Donald for wrecking another sport.

The backlash from the fans will be far worse than the damage caused by Hurricanes Katrina (New Orleans) and Sandy (New York City) as Donald Fehr was the eye of the MLB and is the eye of the NHL Labor Storm.

Especially since Hockey has self destructed for the second time within a decade over greed.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at scottsports33@aol.com.


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