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By: Gary Whittaker
Point 1: NHL Lockout players, Fans lockout NHL

If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it really make a sound? That is the question Gary Bettman should be asking himself right now. The NHL season should have been in full swing by now, but other than a few junkets set up by Bettman or the NHLPA, very little attention has been given to the lockout by the press. Where is the outcry from the fans? Where is the demand for a settlement to the CBA by the season ticket holders? Over 200 hundred NHL players have left to play in Europe, while the rest have remained (or should remain) silent on the issues. Ardent fans have turned to the minor leagues to get their hockey fix. They appear to be enjoying hard-nosed hockey played for the love of the game. Even in Montreal, where Maurice Richard has been unofficially elevated to Sainthood, Canadiens fans have chosen to focus on making ends meet, rather than to worry about which side should get the greater share of their money. With the fans fed up of seeing which of the two fat pigs can oink the loudest, Corporate America will turn their advertising dollar towards the latest diversions taking up a former NHL fans' time. The NHL will be hard-pressed to get ANY television deals, even in Canada, since the public has shown pure ambivalence towards the lack of hockey this season. The NHL is in the business of entertainment. There will always be a market for hockey, even if it means going to a league of "original" six teams.

Point 2: Barry Bonds, Black Power or Bud Power?

Bonds is most likely the meanest, nastiest player since Ty Cobb to swing a bat. He holds the major league record for Home Runs, and he IS a steroid user. There is no question about it. To say that Bonds gets his shape from working out is like saying Pamela Anderson drinks a lot of milk to keep her breast size. He could have put answered all the rumours, silenced his critics, if he just took a drug test, yet he refuses. More and more, allegations keep coming about his steroid use from former roommates to training instructors. In a league whose very soul is based on statistics, how can Major League Baseball continue to allow a public asterisk on the last TWO home run records? Could it be that the commissioner is afraid of a 200 pound black man holding a bat? Could it be that Bud is afraid that the reaction from the black community would bring about riots if he chose to remove Barry Bonds' home run record from the books? Or maybe it is because MLB feels that after decades of injustice towards the Negro League, this would be another way to repay some of the debt owed to the black community. Let's go back to the summer before McGuire and Sosa made headlines in their famous battle that ended in McGuire breaking Maris' home run record. The average attendance in major league ballparks was slipping. MLB still had not recovered from their last work stopping, and the fiasco of replacement players. TV ratings were also low. There was talk about Football becoming officially recognized as America's favourite national pastime. Then come McGuire, with his own brand of steroid, and Sammy Sosa. They brought new life into the game. Ratings skyrocketed. Attendance was up. The owners made MONEY. Jump ahead a few years later. Barry Bonds has taken the steroid problem further. He is being "tipped off" before having to take "random" drug test. How can the MLB admit to this new problem without taking money out of their wallets, and calling into question every major broken record over the last 5 years. Steroids are THE cover up of the Selig era, and it won't be until a few more Ken Caminiti's die before the mainstream starts focusing on this story.

Point 3: Time for Riddick to Bowe out

He says he is not doing it for the money. He says he has 20 million in the bank, 26 cars, and 8 or 9 homes (he can't remember how many). He says he is doing this because he just doesn't know what else to do. Riddick Bowe came back to boxing in October to fight on an Indian reserve. His plans are to fight about 7 or 8 more bums like the one that got into the ring with him, before trying to step up to the top of the boxing game that he once held over a decade away. The best thing for Bowe, is that one of those bums gets him to land on his, to put an end to this farce. Riddick Bowe fought on an Indian reserve because no doctor would give him clearance to fight. Muhammed Ali and Senator McCain are trying to set up a legitimate boxing commission for exactly this purpose. To provide both an unbiased rules based on boxing skills and not promoters wallets, and to provide protection to boxers from themselves, or those to seek to profit from them. I am sure that with 20 million dollars, Riddick can find something else to occupy his time. 20 million may seem like a lot of money, but with all the luxury this man has bought for himself, he will find that insurance, property taxes, and day to day accessories will eat through his money soon enough. This is about financing his lifestyle, plain and simple. Problem is, he should get back to his roots, and learn how to save his money. Material wealth is not worth dying over, or ending up too punch drunk to enjoy it.


About the Author

Gary Whittaker is the editor of T.E.N Magazine, a webzine with balls! Check out more at http://www.tenwebzine.com

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