It's finally here.
Hell on earth.
After an incredible past 2 months, the best NBA season in the past decade is now officially over and a compelling NHL playoff run just ended with the Bruins winning the cup for the first time in 39 years.
Every sports fan knows about the annual sports gap (the 2-3 month period between the NBA playoffs / NHL playoffs and the start of the NFL season and MLB playoffs). Normally, this period is broken up by the NBA draft in June and occasionally the summer Olympics will pitch in to keep people from going insane.
This year is the bleakest sports void in recent history:
1) The 2011 NBA draft sucks monkey balls. This is the worst draft I can remember since 2000 (top 5 picks: Kenyon Martin, Stromile Swift, Darius Miles, Marcus Fizer, Mike Miller). Nobody gives a shit. Oh, and a bunch of small-market teams that might not exist in a year have all the top picks.
2) No Olympics or USA basketball.
3) The NFL dispute will force the 2012 season to be cancelled or at best shortened.
4) The NBA is facing a lockout in 2012.
That leaves us with the possibility of NO FUCKING SPORTS until the World Series and then baseball AGAIN next spring.
As a fan, I'm pretty tired of being shit on all the time. I don't want to spend $75 to go to a game for shitty seats with no view, get overcharged for parking, concessions and merchandise all while having to sit next to a bunch of animals and spend hours in transit. The NBA/NFL is a product- you have to make it worthwhile for people to spend the money.
With alternatives becoming more and more appealing (HDTV, 3D TV, etc) these owners are facing fierce competition to fill their ridiculously large/overpriced new stadiums and match their projected revenue (which, like the assumptions that caused the housing crisis and market collapse, owners assumed that fans would keep spending more and more money forever, sheep being sheep, regardless of anything. And like the housing crises, the general public / fans are the ones who are going to get screwed).
The NBA is in a tough spot - recent negotiations gave the players too much leverage and now even good owners who field a competitive product still lose money (see the Spurs). This will require a significant overhaul and possibly contraction/re-location. Not pretty and will not be resolved quickly.
The NFL issue is all about greed. Owners and players are making money hand over fist and their going to fight about each penny until everyone loses out. There is no right side here (although the players deserve better protection and long term health care, since they give up like 30 years of their life to play in the NFL), I'm pretty sure everyone can go fuck themselves.
So, here we are. Welcome to the desert of the real. Feel free to send in suggestions on how to fill the void. Right now, I'm leaning towards extreme fly fishing and ESPN Classic.
Alternatively, I might just kill myself. Or Jerry Jones.
Sweet Kyuss cover.