Trapped in a Lockout (based on R. Kelly’s Trapped in a Closet)

If you aren’t familiar with R,. Kelly’s hip hopera Trapped in a Closet, I am not all that surprised.  It was only brought to my attention this past year.  Most people I ask refer to the South Park episode where R. Kelly tries to get Tom Cruise to literally come out of the closet.  No, that was referencing R. Kelly’s series, which was picked up by IFC and continues.  Each episode is short, and increasingly ridiculous.  It takes a real turn around episode eight, but you have to start somewhere.

This is part one of Trapped (there might be some NSFW language):

 And so it begins.  But if you watch just one episode, I recommend episode 9.  It’s so over the top it’s genius, and so bad it’s good:

You can thank me later.  No, really. 

So with this in mind, I present Trapped in a Lockout.  The end of the lockout R. Kelly style. Because some things just belong together.

 

Trapped in a Lockout Part 1

(sung by Gary Bettman)

5 AM and I’m sitting across from a man that I knooOOooww…
He looks at me with a look that says he knows me toooo…
He has a pen in his hand and he looks like he’s going to sign.
He looks at the paper once more, checking the figures a final time.

He looks at me and looks back and looks at me another time. (Oooh)
This whole damn thing has taken way too much tiiIIiimmee (Oooh)
Now he looks at the first page
Now he looks at the next page
Turns over the next page
What’s he see on the page

He puts down his pen and puts on his reading glasses
I say “Don, can we get this done, we’re tired off our asses.” 
He looks down his nose and says it’s just this one thing.
I say, what thing, he says Don’t worry, it’s not a real thing.

One! I reach in my pocket.
Two! I pull out by blood pressure meds.
Three! I take off the cap.
Four! I take out a pill.

Now my mouth is dry and and I’m looking around
And there’s no water to be foooOOouund.
I’m going to have to dry swallow this pill
Now I know how the fans feel. 

I look at the water cooler and look back
And Donald put down his pen
I think, “He didn’t sign it,
Oh no, here we go again.”

I look for the smirk on his face, the one that says, “I got you”
He’s had it on his face ever since November two.

But I look at the paper.
Looking down at the paper.
Bring my eyes to the paper.
Looking close at the paper.
There’s ink on the paper.
He put his name on the paper.
There’s his name on the paper.
He signed his name on the paper.
Then he hands me the paper.
And I pick up the paper.

And this lockout….
Is going… to… end….

(end…end…end…) 

Trapped in a Lockout Part 2

Now there’s a contract with the players 
Sitting in front of meeee…  *
What am I do?
I’m feeling kind of loopy.

This lockout could end any moment and I’m ready to go home.
My wife and kids keep wondering when I’m going to be done. 

Then Don looks at me and says
“Oh wait there’s one more things.”
My heart sinks wondering
What’s this s#$@ he’s going to briiIInngg…

Don says did I put the date next to my name?
I think to myself, this guy is playing some f@%$#ing game.

I look at the paper and see the date is there.
I tell him it’s on the sheet and he say, are you sure.
I say “Yes,” he say “No,” I say “Yes!,” he says “No!”
I scream “Look right here,” He calmly sits back and he says “Oh.” 
I want this done, I hate this man,
I’d sign just about anything.

Now I’m picking the pen up
Pick the pen in my hand up
Now I’m signing the paper
Put my name on the paper
My first name on the paper
My last name on the paper
Put the date on the paper
What’s the date on the paper
I just signed the paper. 
Did I just sign the paper?

Bill Daly sneaks up behind me and says,
“What do you want me to do?”
I say, “Bill, it’s time,
Get the Podium out.”

Bill’s jaw goes slack and he doesn’t know what to doOOooo….
Last time we got the Podium, it was a circus, and he knows it tooOOO…..

I say “Move.”
He says “No.”
I say “Move!”
He says “No!” 
BITCH, MOVE!
HE MOVES!
And then….

He looks at the tech guys
He walks to the tech guys
Get close to the tech guys
Now he talks to the tech guys

NOW PAUSE THE MOVIE because what I’m about to say to y’all is so damn random
Into the room bursts our old friend, Brendan Shanahan! 

(Shanahan…Shanahan….Shanahan…)

Trapped in a Lockout Part 3

Brendan looks around the room and says, How’s it going, friends? **
Bill say’s “Hey, what’s up, what can I do for you, Bren?”

Brendan say he’s been watching a lot of ESPN.
Did you know there’s thing called football, what will they think of next.
Everyone looks at Shanny wondering what he’s going to say.
He looks like he hasn’t shaved in one hundred and thirteen days.

Then Brendan pulls out his Beretta and he he’s waiving it around!
He screams “This lockout better end, and it better end RIGHT DAMN NOW!”
Now Daly is on the floor, covering up his head,
But Donald just sits in his chair, and says, “Listen to what that fool said.”

Now the room is silent, you can barely hear a tech guy cry,
But Don holds the CBA up to Shanny, and says, “Looks, the ink isn’t even dry.”
Brendan can’t believe it, did he just hear what he heard,
He looks at the contract, but he can’t read a word.

Tears stream down his face, and he say, Gary, what am I going to do?
And I look at Brendan and say, “Get to work, pal, I still have a job for you.” 

Now I’m ending the lockout
I just ended the lockout
Why did we have a lockout
Never needed a lockout
This is my third lockout
I just love the lockout
No games for the lockout
Relax for the lockout
Gave the fans a lockout
It’s entirely my fault

Ten years from now, when it’s someone else’s problem
I won’t have to worry about this, let the new guy solve it
I’ll be on a beach, away from the ice, where I belong,
Basketball on a TV as I like it, wearing my bikini thong (sorry)

And I won’t worry about Donald Fehr or his brother Steve
Hockey will be a distant memory, one I’ll be happy to leave.
I like hoops the best, that I can’t deny
I never cared for hockey and that’s no lie.

I look at the Podium
Walk up to the Podium
Get close to the Podium
Put my hands on the podium.

And all I can think about is my wife and kids and my dog Rover

And tell the press, The lockout..
Is finally…

Over.

(Over… over…. over…) 

*- continuity error, he has the CBA in his hand at the end of the last part, here it starts on the table – INSANE!

**Bonus points if you hear Brendan Shanahan’s voice in the style and drawl of the Cop’s wife in Episodes 8-10.

Gary Bettman’s Original Media Update

In an amazing coincidence, Jerseys and Hockey Love has obtained a copy of the original speech Gary Bettman was going to address the media with, before opting for the shortened version delivered.  As a public service, we reprint it in it’s entirety. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, members of the media, Damien – 

The Board of Governors meeting has just concluded, and I wanted to make a brief statement about the negotiations between the owners and players that was held earlier.

As there was more progress and optimism generated in one meeting that excluded myself and Donald Fehr than in all the meetings attended by the two of us, I don’t wish to make any comments out of respect for the process.  This may be considered the first respectful thing I have done since the process began, but that is not for me to say.  I do want to update you on a few other things surrounding the CBA negotiations.

The NHL PR department is busy preparing a media campaign for a shortened NHL season.  They are hard at work adapting the 2013-14 season campaign, as the cancelled season we had expected since last June may come into being.  We are also preparing an invoice for these modifications to be sent to the NHLPA and Molson Coors.  We don’t anticipate this being an impediment to our ongoing talks, which seem to be going well.  I wouldn’t know, I’m not there.

We are also announcing the following fines: Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle will each be fined $100,000 for being in contact with an NHL player during an ongoing lockout, John Davidson of the Columbus Blue Jackets will be fined $50,000 for being in contact with the media in direct violation of rules allowing any member of the Blue Jackets from saying anything to the media, and Detroit Red Wings owner Mike Illitch will be fined $2,500 for watching the movie Contact, which was just a horrible film.  Am I right? Trust me, he can afford it.

With all the possible progress made yesterday – I wouldn’t know, I wasn’t there – I want to remind the media not to become overly optimistic with the possibility of hockey being played before the start of the next season.  There are no games scheduled to be played as of yet, and our schedule maker is still on vacation, and we don’t wish to bug him while visiting the Cayman Islands.  There is plenty of work to do, and with an office staff that is working only four days a week for 80% of their paycheck while I still get the entirety of my salary, there is only so much the NHL is able to do in a short span of time.

On a final note, I wish to remind the media that I will still be paid my full contract no matter what happens after this CBA is signed.

That’s all for now.  Thank you for attending this media update, sponsored by Bridgestone Tires, the only sponsor still talking to us.

Cap Trick

I threw something out on twitter last night that I didn’t want to get lost in the wash.

3 hockey games tonight. One ends in regulation, one in OT, and one in the shootout. It’s a Gary Bettman Hat Trick.

There you go.

Gary Bettman’s Mixed Bag

It isn’t often that I sympathize with Gary Bettman. Much of the jeers and boos he receives are well earned, and his tendency to spin news and issues to the point of insanity wear thin on those who are subjected to his interviews and press conferences. I’m not his biggest fan, but he’s the guy with the job, and I respect the job.

Today, though, I do have to say, he did get something right that the pundits immediately decried. Via Kukla’s Korner (with regards to the hundreds of tweets I saw the statement from as well):

Gary Bettman made a statement today at the World Hockey Summit in regards to how hockey fans feel about NHL participation in the Olympics.

via Scott Burnside tweet,

Bettman says fans’ response to NHL participation in Olympics is a “mixed bag”. Not sure we buy that.

(double blockquote across the sky!)

I would like to be one of the few that says, yes, for me, the Olympics are a mixed bag. And frankly, I would be happy not having the NHL in the Games.

We like to bask in the afterglow of something as fun, successful, and glorious as these last Olympic Games turned out to be for fans in North America. And since the North American fan is the one with the loudest voice, as well as the money and support that keeps the NHL going, they are going to get the most attention. Had the gold medal game not been between Canada and the USA, there may be a different tune being sung by some.

And while the Olympics are a great stage for some of the best players – eventually, after a few games, when they start playing like a team – there is the other alternative, the World Cup.

At the moment, the World Cup is dead, but just like killing off a popular comic book character, the dead tend to rise again. There is nothing to stop the NHL from resurrecting it, aside from a lot of hard work to make it happen. But considering the revenues that could be had – and everything these days are about the revenue – the NHL should give it some serious thought.

The only disadvantage that the World Cup has is that it isn’t the Olympics. It isn’t as sexy as the Olympics. It has a cheesy trophy, and is virtually meaningless. Meaning, though, is built. It’s built though the games, though the fans, and the players themselves.

Some of the advantages of the World Cup:

  • You can play it in the off season. No compressed NHL schedule.
  • Real training camp. Players can learn to play with one another, instead of just jamming their skill set together.
  • No break. If you aren’t playing in the Olympic break, you are either healing, or restarting your season, and maybe loosing momentum.
  • You can play on the world stage. Games can be held anywhere.
  • Revenue goes to the NHL.
  • No jumping through the IOC hoops and abiding by their stupid rules that make no sense to professional athletes.
  • You don’t have to wait for curling to finish to watch some hockey (imagine that, there are other sports)

There are disadvantages to not playing in the Olympics, certainly, but do they outweigh holding the World Cup? I’m not really sure. My feeling is no, not if you have a viable alternative.
The problem with Gary Bettman in all of this is that he has a tendency to speak too often for the fans. The knee-jerk reaction is that he is wrong as soon as he opens his mouth. I don’t feel he represents me as a fan, nor should he. His job is to represent the NHL, and the owners. But overall, the NHL probably has more data on the fans and their needs and wants than the rest of us. They don’t always apply it in a smart way, and they tend to spin that data in ways that fit their needs and wants, but the data is there. We, the bloggers and the tweeters, feel we have a handle on the metrics of the hockey fan, but we only have a certain demographic, those that are online, and just like the Commissioner, we promote the ones that tend to support our individual point of view.
Gary Bettman doesn’t represent me, but neither do the thousands of online pundits that feel like they have inside knowledge of what the fans want. For once, I have to side with Bettman on this one. It is a mixed bag, and there are many points of view. Just ask the 2005-06 Ottawa Senators. I won’t try to speak for them, though You’ll just have to ask.