Sunday January 6, 12:08 p.m.
Well, I heard it first thing this morning on CP24....the National Hockey League is apparently going back into business. Saw Donald Fehr and Gary Bettmann together....on the same screen....giving a relieved, if not particularly happy, declaration that a deal has tentatively been struck between the owners and the players, so that if everything goes well (and they should), professional ice hockey could be back as early as next Tuesday.
Now, the thing is how will the fans react? Some will start singing "Happy Days Are Here Again?" and will be clawing at the doors of arenas all over North America to get into their seats; others will make a warp-speed turn-away from the players and owners in the same way as a girlfriend might do when her beau grovels up to her in apology after a major screwup. The point is what the ratio will be. In Canada, I think it'll be more of the former....hockey is just too ingrained into our psyche for us to un-forgive it for long. As for me, although a lot of my love for the sport has been leached away due to years away in Japan and, frankly, the Leafs' past season....I would just be interested in tuning into the first telecast to see how the media handles the opening. Certainly, Sportsnet and TSN were giving full court press by devoting hours to this news. Maybe the equivalent in Japan would be that match-fixing scandal in sumo a couple of years ago.
Strangely enough, several hours earlier yesterday, my friend and I were talking about that subject. I went over to his apartment's party room for a New Year's party of sorts in Mississauga. It was nice and got to talk with a few people. Realized some hard truths about myself and one other person but that's the way it goes. My friend was wondering about getting a group together for a trip to Japan sometime in the future....perhaps next year....feasibly speaking, that would be the easiest way for me to go about it. But that's all very much in the future.