Monday, February 14, 2005

END IS NEAR

Here's TSN's report that a press conference is about to be called for New York tomorrow where Gary Bettman is about to announce the cancellation of the season.

And at the bottom of that page is a list of comments from hockey fans and assorted people, all of whom are angry at the NHL and angry at what has gone down. I can describe the general reaction as: go ahead, Bettman, and cancel the season. See if we cry over it. People may love the sport of hockey, but the reaction here is more like what goes down when a marriage splits up. This is like a bad divorce. Oh, and by the way, Happy Valentine's Day.

Also, been listening to Steve Kouleas, from The Score, on the radio on Leafs Lunch. I remember Steve from my time at the Score, he's one of the genuine characters of the sports broadcasting business. And he's being reduced to covering labour negotiations like everyone else, when what everyone would rather be doing is covering hockey. And in between the Bill Watters pro-owner propoganda he was able to say that this was the worst year he ever had in broadcasting because of the lockout.

He's not alone. This is the worst year anyone in sports broadcasting in this country has ever had, between this and the departure of the Montreal Expos, and the shift of the Olympic Games. Sports broadcasters are either out of work, underemployed, reduced to covering lacrosse (Joe Bowen) or junior hockey (Dennis Beyak), are doing tiddlywinks highlights (everyone at Citytv), are miserable and/or worried. Even the people who call the Toronto Blue Jays have had a hard time, with Tom Cheek's illness and with Rob Faulds out as play-by-play. The only people who are doing well are the people covering the Raptors. They are getting too many good scandalous stories to cover. And I suppose the curling commentators are doing well, they're going to have the rapt attention of the country for the Brier!

And this lockout has finished me off in sportscasting. Mark my words, people. I gave up on this business a long time ago, all because of the damage done by the lockout. It looks now as if I'm going to try going back to law one more time, but this time I've all but decided to hire legal employment consultants to help me market myself and find the right position. It's obvious I'm going to need them, as I have no experience at all in my own field of law. My previous legal experience was primarily in family law and estates, two of the least profitable, worst areas imaginable. It's been a big unanswered question what would have happened if I had a proper opportunity to get a foothold in my own areas of law, either criminal or entertainment.

I noticed some ex-classmates doing criminal law who aren't starving- including refugees from corporate firms and at least one refugee from TV news. I'm leaning to BC so I could be closer to my family and to opportunities I'd want to pursue. There's also possibilities of getting into entertainment law, and BC is closer to California and to opportunities there. I wouldn't mind getting into the talent representation end of the business. Then I'd advise my sportscaster clients to get right out of sports and become stand-up comedians. This Canadian sports industry is a mess and for that you can thank the NHL and its new policy of not holding hockey games. This lockout is going to finish the industry off in this country and that's why I'm through with it. And it's a shame.

Tonight is the AHL All-Star Game and I'll tune in to that. Thank goodness we're going to all be put out of our misery tomorrow. Now we can move on with our lives.

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