Best used … now.

Management reserves the right to have an opinion

Management has the right to spread its opinion

Management has the right to change its opinion

Management has the right to be wrong

Item One:
Hockey is not the NHL, hockey is a sport. More so, hockey is a game. The NHL is a league that plays the game of hockey for a lot of money. That simple fact is easy to forget. It is the same game played by ten-year old children, men in beer leagues, and the women on the Olympic teams. It is played all over the world, and at all different levels. Female rabbis and amputees play it, kids ref it, and it is larger than all of us, or our nation of birth. Acting like the NHL is hockey will be subject to finger-pointing and laughter.

Item Two:
Opinions about hockey are only opinions, and you are welcome to yours. No one else has to agree with them. Do not complain to management if you feel you are not being heard, you have as much of a voice as I do. No one has to listen to me, or you, or Jeremy Roenick.

Item Three:
Your team is not your team. You do not play for the Montreal Canadians, or the Anaheim Ducks, or the Colorado Avalanche. While the use of the term “We” in regards to the team you enjoy (follow/love/bow down to/ are a fan of ) is considered marginally acceptable, you, as a person, did nothing to help your team into the playoffs, lift the Stanley Cup, make a bad play, make a bad trade, or anything that happened on the ice or the back office. If you are a player or employee of a team, then you can send a resume to management for exemption on this item. Until then, get off the high horse.

Item Four:
Management is not responsible for your anger, hate, or general dislike of anything. If you do not like what you read anywhere, be it on the web, in print, or spray painted in the streets, you have the right to stop reading it. If you are offended by anything said here, please avert your eyes. I’m OK with that.

Item Five:
The professional players who we pick at, make fun of, and take to task are people. They have a completely different lifestyle, and had a completely different experience growing up than you or I. While they should be held accountable for their actions, they are not perfect, nor should they be expected to be. Money does not make them happy, daily struggles do not simply vanish, and life does not stop for them. They have feelings, problems, and issues. To act like they should walk on water is ridiculous. Look back on your life and see where you went wrong. Then apply that to a life well outside of the mainstream. Kids who want to play in the NHL do not think about how they are going to get ripped apart in the media, or how they are going to be public enemy number one in the eyes of millions. They aren’t thinking about bankruptcy or divorces or hate mail or toiling in the minors. They want to score and skate and hold up a trophy. We are the ones who bring along their baggage. We make it harder on them. As much as they may own that for being in that light, we own it for slinging it.

Item Six:
The NHL is not a right, it is a privilege. The NHL is a business that sells you hockey. If it went out of business tomorrow, there would be jobs lost, feelings hurt, money that didn’t change hands, and the earth would still spin. If you wanted to, you could find a hockey game to go to the very next day, for less money out-of-pocket, and with a better seat to watch from. You can find a game most nights of the week, be it minor pro, junior, or a bunch of mites. Tomorrow, there will be hockey.

Item Seven:
Calm down. Thank you.

Item Eight:
Management reserves the right to not like the same team, player, beer, or anything as you. Management does not have to agree with you. It’s not a problem. It’s not personal. I have chosen my path, and to me, it is the path of the righteous. If it is not yours, that is fine. I won’t knock you down a peg for it. That isn’t my place, and it isn’t yours.

Item Nine:
You are responsible for what you write. Freedom of speech and personal responsibility go hand in hand. You can act like an adult, or not, but when you get the reign of fire thrown at you, don’t come around here expecting your wounds to be cleaned up and get a pat on the head. Act like an ass, get treated like an ass.

Item Ten:
I am part of the problem. Deal with it. We are hockey fans. None of us are innocent.

Item Eleven:
Go watch a game.

Please Note:
This manifesto was inspired by the Old Bastard’s Manifesto (from where I completely ripped off the format), written by Warren Ellis. Ellis is, to me, one of the best comic book writers (and soon to be novelist) in the world. He uses pictures and words for great stories, and occasionally to disgust and anger. Don’t check him out if you are not prepared.

Also, while I believe everything I just wrote (and have written on this blog), the era of the personal manifesto is at its end. I used to be happy about that, but less so now.  The last thing we need are more blogs that don’t believe in anything.  Consider writing one. Then stick to it.