You all know the saying.
"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."
You fooled us once with a lockout, NHL. The betrayal? It hurt, oh so badly. Tears were shed, harsh words were muttered and walls were stared at in despair, with us just waiting for the call that you were coming back. We were so messed up we even turned to Eklund to keep us company with his oh-so-sweet lies. That’s how desperate we were.
And then when you did come back NHL, you apologized, but said all the right things.
"We will do everything in our power to be the best we can be … This was a terrible time for everyone associated with the game. We will do everything we can to make it up to you.
Shame on you for doing that NHL, but we all knew that you had to do it. Mistakes happen when things are bad. We understand. And you apologized by not just giving us flowers, but thanking us, personally, at every rink. How could we not take you back?
Not only that, but you made sure everyone knew that we we’re the focus. You cared Gary.
"It's time our fans had some fun again and our objective is to give them all they can handle.''
“What I'm now focused on more than anything is reconnecting with our fans. Growth will come down the road. In the short term, we want to get back with our fans: Our season-ticket holders, our casual fans and the people that watch us on television. We want to make sure that they are reconnecting with the game because they've been through a difficult time and this is the opportunity to make it up to them.”
And then things were good again. For a while, we shared such happy times together.
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You celebrated your little one, Sidney, growing up into a big boy. We watched the greatest defensemen to play the game lift the Cup. We saw great games, with great goaltending, and great goal scorers. You were happy with your revenue growth that soared to $3 billion. Hell, we even had a threesome with NBC, which was quite a lot of fun, except when Pierre kept trying to tell us about Mike Mattieu, the Barrie Colts junior defenseman’s interests outside of the game. We don’t care Pierre. We simply don’t care.
Now sure, you lost a lot of casual fans, but the hardcore fans, like us, stuck around. Hell, we even made a blog to talk all about you. To tell the world how great you are. For free! You needed us to help bring back the casual fans and we did everything we could, because, we know how great you, the NHL, can be. Even if you did cheat on us once.
We trusted you again. All this was simply because you promised that things were different now. Now that you had your precious salary cap, you’d never do the things you did to us before.
Right now, it’s looking like everything you said to us back in 2005 was a bold faced lie, right to our face. Except, that is, for one thing:
Hockey fans are the best: They are the most informed, they are the most connected and they know what is going on.
We are the best and we don’t need you to tell us that. And we damn well know what’s going on. And, Gary, right now, you’re trying to f@ck us.
You may fooled us once Gary, but you try it again and you won’t just lose the casual fans this time. Guys like Drew and I, who live and breathe the game, won’t be back this time. Not like the last time. No, we aren’t going to get fooled by you again.