For many Denver sports fans, Peyton Manning has replaced Tebow and life is good. For others, hockey is life and life is indefinitely delayed. Denver is the ‘hockeytown’ of the West, much like Detroit of the midwest, and when the NHL lockout is potentially canceling this season, life as we know it is equally put on hold. As hockey fans, just as the sport seems to be regaining popularity since the last lockout only 7 years ago, we are right back where we started and unsure of our beloved hockey future.
Fans are disappointed to be missing the sport, but if any 2012-13 paraphernalia has been purchased, it is more than likely returnable. Rest assured, if you pre-ordered your Avalanche 2012-13 Western Conference Championship t-shirts, you will be refunded – even if it was an ill-advised purchase in the first place. In the case of the poor manufacturers, they have entire lines of printed schedules, apparel and a multitude of other gear that they might as well put straight into roll off dumpsters, because it all represents a likely non-existent hockey season. Perhaps some consumers that have more money than they know what to do with, and will want to waste their money on a keepsake of the season that never was. But the other 99% of the population that is struggling in the current economy won’t give a penny to the manufacturers, hence they might as well discard their goods and materials, and leave them for the dumpster divers.
NHL shops will likely be discarding their new league gear to roll of dumpsters, just as the NHL officials have relegated the players to the streets in this year’s version of a lockout. It is the 3rd major American sports league to undergo a lockout due to labor disputes, and 4th if you count the NFL referees holding out. Those forgotten behind the scenes of the national news regarding the lockout of these leagues, are those industries that are dependent upon the league activity. Local bars and restaurants decrease their sales because of a lack of traffic to partake in the games, but many local vendors will be discarding perfectly good inventory to roll of dumpsters in Denver, and around the country. This lost business is felt by many outside of the millionaires involved in negotiations, and we hope it will end sooner than later.