There are two weeks left in the NHL’s current CBA and it does not look very promising that a new one will be done soon. After mulling over the NHL’s second proposal presented to the NHLPA on Wednesday, both the NHLPA and NHL officials met on Friday, but could not settle their differences. With seemingly no progress being made, both sides ended negotiations Friday with no further talks scheduled at this time. I have been saying it for weeks, “Get a deal done!”
Hockey is at a critical juncture here: they either get back to being part of mainstream sports or they could go back to obscurity. The the owners should know how hard it will be to win back fans again should the season end in another NHL lockout. There’s no reason to think that the two sides can’t work out a deal in time to salvage at least part of the season. The NBA was able to do it last year.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman can say all he wants about how the NFL and NBA both were contentious talks with their players over a new CBA, but there is a major difference. Neither of those leagues had to cancel an entire season. The NFL lost one preseason game, the hall-of-fame game. The NBA lost what ,twenty-something games? And both of those sports have such a large fanbase that ratings went through the roof when they came back on the air. The NHL does not have that luxury. The NHL went through a lockout for the entire 2004-05 season and it took a long time to get back to where they are today. It is hard to fathom them wanting to destroy all of that hard work.
The NHL players want their fair share of the pie and they should get that. The NHL has seen record profits the last couple of seasons in excess of $3.2 billion. Far less than the NFL or NBA, but still impressive. Both sides should realize what’s at stake and continue to work hard at forging some common ground and getting a new deal done. It can be rough negotiating. Feelings can be hurt, but they can be mended when united with a plan that can benefit everyone involved. Every negotiator should know that. At this point, I’m sure almost everyone expects a lockout. And that is really sad. The real question though is: how long will this lockout last?
Get back to the negotiating table, find some common ground and get a new deal done! Let’s play hockey!
In college football news:
Several Dallas area schools opened their seasons this past weekend. SMU met up with Baylor and Baylor had no issues without RGIII, destroying SMU 59-24. Quarterback Nick Florence threw for 341 yards and four scores for Baylor while completing 70% of his passes. It’s only one game and SMU isn’t that good, but if Florence can put up numbers close to that consistently, Baylor can hang around in the Big 12, at least for a little while. SMU plays their home opener this Saturday, September 8th against Stephen F. Austin at 7 PM CT. SportDFW will also be in the press box at Ford Stadium to report on the game, so follow our live social media coverage and read our game recap the following day. Baylor has the week off before their next game at home vs. Sam Houston State on Saturday, September 15th.
The Mean Green of North Texas were anything but mean Saturday night against LSU, losing 41-14. They did get one big pop on LSU quarterback Zach Mettinberger on a cornerback blitz, but that was pretty much the extent of the highlights for North Texas. Then again, against a team like LSU, it is pretty tough to succeed when you are so overmatched. This week North Texas returns to Denton for their home opener against Texas Southern at 6 PM CT on ESPN3. SportDFW will also be in the press box at Apogee Stadium to report on this game, so follow our live social media coverage and read our game recap of the Mean Green’s conference opener, too.
Texas whooped up on Wyoming 37-17, although the Cowboys did give the Longhorns a tough test for about a quarter-and-a-half. The Longhorns were just too good. Their defense seems to be better and quarterback David Ash was a solid 20 for 27 for 156 yards and a touchdown. You’d like to see him air the ball out more downfield, but taking what the defense gives him and not throwing interceptions is something that head coach Mack Brown will take every game. Texas plays New Mexico in Austin this Saturday, September 8th at 7 PM CT on the Longhorn Network.
Finally, TCU begins their inaugural season in the Big 12 with a visit from Grambling State this Saturday, September 8th at 6 PM CT. Head coach Gary Patterson is ready to show the Big 12 how good TCU is and how tough they’ll be in the conference. Along with West Virginia, TCU is out to surprise a lot of people and show that they can play with the big boys in the Big 12. Some people say they could surprise this year and be in the running for first in the Big 12. I think that may be a year away. They may struggle a little bit this year getting adjusted to the Texas’, Oklahoma’s, Oklahoma State’s, but TCU’s got a very stout defense and they will be prepared each and every week. People should be excited to see how TCU looks in the Big 12. It should make for an exciting year of conference play.
How all of these teams will do this year is written in the stars.