In the next few days, the NHL will end it’s lockout and all will be restored in the world for a lot of people like me.
But it will take a while. The lockout’s bitter taste will linger on the tip of my tongue for the months to come. As a scorned lover, I’m not ready to just welcome the league back into my arms (and wallet) at the first apology. It’s going to take romance. It’s not going to just walk back in without an explanation. It’s going to be that “I hate that I love you” sort of situations.
As a semi-professional apologist, here are some recommendations for the NHL, on how to make this up to the fans:
1. Game 1 should be fan appreciation day. I shouldn’t have to explain this. Concessions half off. Jerseys on sale. Everyone gets to take a picture with their favorite player after the game.
2. A player apology commercial. The NHL is really bad at marketing, but one thing they do well is commercials. I don’t care if its in French, I need someone without front teeth saying sorry to the real fans who are coming back though they know they shouldn’t.
3. Acknowledge that it happened. I follow the Twitter accounts of almost every team. None of them have used the word lockout in the past 80 days. It’s just ridiculous. I need a full fledged social media apology from every teams Facebook managing intern.
4. Give out more pucks at games. After the 1994 MLB lockout, players were encouraged to throw out baseballs to fans during batting practice. Though its died down a bit since the early 2000s, catching batting practice for a chance to score a ball is worth about 20% of the ticket price. Don’t be stingy with your pucks. It’s unbelievable what one can do for an impressionable young fan not unlike myself 20 years ago.
5. Get rid of the cheerleaders. This isn’t one of “those” sports.