This is remarkably similar list to a 1950’s evacuation manual in the event of a nuclear attack from Russia during the MAD hey-days, and that’s what the players and owners seem to be mimicking with their own “who blinks fist” game of chicken that leaves only the fans as victims. It’s sorta like civilians in the Soviet Union and United States during the Cold War tussles nearly ending the world as we know it in 1963. All the men (this was back when title IX would have been laughed at nearly as hard as the idea of a WNBA) making the decisions about ending the world would be comfortably tucked away in a bunker somewhere eating peanut butter sandwiches and grilling stew while the radiation subsided, and the rest of us would die in a furious orgy of fire and walking skeletons unable to find food (sorry for the imagery but this sucks all around).
We’ve been here before with the NBA, and the result was a 50 game 1998-1999 season (actually just the 1999 season since they ended the lock out on January 20th of the new year) that saw an ugly stretch of play culminating in the Knicks making the Finals as an 8 seed without Patrick Ewing, and then getting dominated by rookie Tim Duncan and veteran big man David Robinson for the first of Duncan’s 4 titles.
It was not pretty, and now this is coming on the heels of one of the most exciting NBA playoffs and Finals since MJ laced them up (yes LA and Boston went 7 games last year, but there wasn’t an actual villain like this year unless you count all the Laker fans that hadn’t cared about the team since Shaq and Kobe were dissing each other).
Basically, the league is blowing it, and regardless of how NBA writers or bloggers fare (and it won’t be pretty—you’ll see a lot of lists like the one I’m composing right now), if this lockout becomes as prolonged as the one on the eve of the new millennium, then we’re back to square one, and casual fans won’t be watching anymore. Which means less money. It’s a Catch-22 without a Yossarian in site.
I want to officially extend a warm hand to my fellow sportswriting NBA brothers. Your lockout is now on. My lockout has lasted over 100 days. As a lockout veteran, I’d like to make a few suggestions:
1. Purchase a bull—— translator. I believe they sell them at Home Depot.
2. Always remember: the owners are doing this for the fans.
3. Always remember: the players are doing this for the fans.
4. Charge your BlackBerry.
5. Learn the difference between CBA and CYA.
6. Tell your siginifcant other(s) you love them. Because you may not see them for awhile.
7. You will be doing some staking out so stock up on supplies: toilet paper, MREs, Evian, extra pens and maybe an iPad.
8. Get extra batteries for your bull—— translator.
9. Study up on all of your local federal mediators.
10. Find a therapist. You will quickly approach the brink of insanity.
So, again, welcome to Lockout Hell. Hope you brought some fire proof underwear.