Paul Bissonnette, tweeted this back in early September to his twitter followers;
"Question to the fans. If a company you worked for was making money and they asked you to take a 24% pay cut would you do it?"
Every time I hear another story focused on the battle of wits and ultimate stalemate taking place in New York on a somewhat irregular basis, I think about this tweet.
And as much as I want to sympathize with the players in this dispute, it becomes harder and harder everyday.
Many of the most diehard fans of the NHL -- who stuck it out during the last lockout, only to come back and buy expensive jerseys, overpriced beers and even more overpriced tickets -- sit and watch their beloved league implode on itself, again.
Now many of these same fans watch as it happens again. This time is different though: In between lockouts we were faced with an even more catastrophic failure in the form of the recession. Fans, myself included, now are forced to see billionaires say they aren't making enough and millionaires argue that they can't afford to make any less doing a job they love.
We watch from our desks at jobs we never wanted, making paychecks with so few zeroes, they could have a place at a dollar store. A large number watch from their couches, hoping that good news will come from the one distraction they have to the mindless daily task of submitting resumes for jobs.
Many fans were asked that same question that "Biznasty" was asked by their bosses and, without the luxury of moving to Europe to work or holding high profile press conferences or living off of endorsements, were forced to say yes and ask if anything else could be done to keep their jobs. And yes, even then after that indignation, many lost theirs anyway. Recent college grads, myself included, were forced to take internships, clerical jobs and odd jobs to pay bills, for significantly less than we had hoped in fields we had hoped to never work. Many have families, piling student debt and medical bills, and yet we still say yes. And yes, many of these companies are making more money and, unlike the players, each unemployed person doesn't have millions of loyal fans hoping they'll be able to work soon.
So to answer your question Mr. Bissonnette... Yes, we would. We wouldn't enjoy it but we would.
Especially if our "job" was a sport we loved so much.
The longer this lockout goes, one wonders who often will hear this from fans fed up with both sides.