The View From Wisconsin

Just a random set of rants from a Sports Fan from Wisconsin.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Hockey is Dead

All right, this is it.

The NHL is, for all practical purposes, dead.

And, quite probably, as soon as the 2004-05 AHL season is done, the Milwaukee Admirals will be as well.

I wore my black Preds practice jersey to work tonight - for the last time.

I'll continue to support the Admirals, wear my Ads jerseys, root for the boys on the ice.

But when we play the last game of the Calder Cup playoffs at the BC - in front of a crowd of oh, three or four thousand or so - and even as we skate around with the Cup named for the person who, many years ago, ruled hockey with an iron fist (kinda like how Bettman is trying to do it today - but I digress), I'll be in mourning.

I'll be in mourning because hockey is dead.

Hockey in Nashville, hockey in Chicago, hockey in Milwaukee, hockey in Pensacola, hockey in Rockford, hockey in Middlanowhere - all dead.

And I'll take my jersey off, and wait for the announcement that the team has ceased operations because a buyer couldn't be found.

I'll find something else to do; maybe figure out how the Brewers are going to win with an outfield of Jenkins, Krynzel and Lee.

Or maybe contemplate how the Packers can sew up Brett Favre for one more season.

Or, perhaps, consider ways coach Eaves can get more talent out of the kids in Madison to take the WCHA crown.

Maybe I could even figure out a way that Barry Alvarez can get over the hump of late-season demises at the hands of Big Ten nemeses like Iowa and Michigan State (and maybe, just maybe, play for a National Championship in a Bowl playoff system).

Heck, I might even petition my alma mater, UW-Whitewater, to consider moving up to Division II in Men's basketball.

But even though the time from late January and the Super Bowl to the first pitch of spring training is long, I'll suffer through it.

Without the game I used to love.

Think of the money I'll save - no having to shell out $200 or more for season ticket vouchers; no more having to wonder what the price for parking at Lloyd's will be; no more having to pay those outrageous prices for a soda and a hot dog at a game.

And (meaningful pause from the guy who designed no more having to shell out $10 a year for membership to a booster club.

I'll have so much more time to ponder important things in life.

Like, say, how much I can sell my Scott Walker stick for on eBay.