As the players are set to release their counter proposal to the owners offer last month, the focus is on greed. As I ranted on Sunday, there doesn’t appear to be any good reason why these negotiations are progressing in the manner that they are. Without rehashing the entire rant, both sides are to blame here. The owners are being unreasonable and fail to see that revenue sharing is the only answer to their problems. The players delayed their response by a month, and it can only be blamed on waiting for the owners to provide financials.
I don’t buy either side, and in the end it’s the fans that lose out.
We are the same fans who sat through a lockout-shortened 1994-1995 season. The same fans that lost an entire season in 2004-2005. And we are the same fans who are now facing another lockout in four weeks. Fans now have an answer in @UnfollowNHLSept15.
Caity Kauffman composed a great article yesterday about the origin of UnfollowNHLSept15. The masterminds behind the account are fellow Ranger fan Kerri, who tweets as @Gardenfaithfull, and Alexa from Chicago, who tweets as @QueenCrash. The premise behind the Twitter account is that if there is no CBA in place by September 15 –the date that the current CBA expires– that supporters of the movement unfollow all NHL and NHLPA associated accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets.
As fans, we don’t have much to show our displeasure with the way things are going with the NHL. Fans will still go to games to see the game we love. We will still buy concessions at these games. We will still buy merchandise to support the teams we love. It would take unprecedented circumstances to prevent us from doing that.
The NHL prides itself on having a great social media presence, and some teams even allow bloggers to have press credentials. A mass unfollowing may not seem like much to those negotiating the CBA, but it at least sends a message that the fans can only take so much.
For more information on movement, you should reach out to Kerri and Alexa via their Twitter accounts.