NHL Lockout diary: Day 14

Pandemonium has subsided as things look to be rectified. Fans have given a collective sigh of relief and the world moves forward once again. For one brief, shimmering instant, all seems right on the planet to pro sports fans.

Of course, I'm talking about the National Football League's 2012 referee lockout, which climaxed with Monday Night Football's blunderful circus of pratfalls, miscues and mistakes.After that debacle, NFL owners caved.

Yet, a poorly officiated game would be looked at as business-as-usual if it had been an NHL contest.

Oh, come on, admit it... NHL rule enforcement and the entire discipline department (starting with Colin Campbell, heading down to Brendan Shanahan and their merry band of mischief makers with the titles "referee" and "linesman" attached to their names) is directly comparable with the replacement referees in the NFL. They're inconsistent, with a plethora of missed calls, botched rulings, and management trying to downplay the rampant mistakes. The difference being that the NHL doesn't draw the exposure of an NFL contest, so the fan and media outrage is subdued, and arguably just as inconsistent as teh calls themselves.

So, while I lament the loss of the NHL and the entertainment it affords me, I breathe a collective sigh of relief. No aggravation from a Tim Peel miscue. No Stephen Walkom arrogance. Colin Campbell, for the moment, is neutered in his lofty ppsition in the NHL front office, and the proverbial "Shannaban" and NHL wheel of justice has not been used or needed. The perception of intent is not at issue right now, or the failure to understand and enforce the rules.

So, to the NFL faithful out there, I pass on congratulations to you for getting the professional referees back. They're not perfect, but they're a damn sight better than the scabs who had been serving as game officials the past few weeks.

...And they sure as shit are sound and more reliable than the refs on hiatus during the 2012 NHL lockout. That's the only thing I can thank the lockout for - saving me from the aggravation they deliver.

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