JSF Top 7: Things to Do During the NHL Lockout


It looks like we all might have to start getting used to the idea of not having any hockey this year. Meetings last week between the players and owners broke off with both sides in a huff. Apparently they don’t even call each other anymore, like the end of a bad breakup. The nation’s fourth most popular professional sport has already blown its sweet spot for capturing our attention. You know, those two weekdays in late October after the World Series ends but before the start of the NBA and college basketball. Those are two really important days! Then we come to find out there will be no games until at least December.

It looks bad. But what are we, as citizens of one of the few truly hockey-crazed cities in America, supposed to do if, for the second time in less than a decade, there’s simply no hockey?

To offer some suggestions, we’ve comprised the JSF Top 7: Things to Do During the NHL Lockout.

7. Utilize Message Boards to Make Idle Threats You Can’t Possibly Back Up

It’s not really believable when fans take to message boards and make bold proclamations like, “I’ll never go to another NHL game ever again!” but it sure feels good to rant, doesn’t it? Thankfully, Blues fans have been more believable with their ultimatums. One common theme seems to be boycotting games for a reasonable period of time once play resumes, like the rest of the season. Others have gone as far as threatening to sit out the following season as well. But for some, the thought of giving up any hockey is simply not an option, and this has lead to the conception of more practical methods of protest:

Okay, so I will go to the game, in fact I’ll even renew my season tickets, but I will protest this travesty by…not buying nachos! Yeah, that’ll show those sons of bitches! You know, unless I come straight from work and I’m really hungry. Then I might make an exception. You don’t expect me to sit there and starve for two-and-a-half-hours do you? But I swear to God…I’m not getting any jalapenos on those nachos! But if the concession stand guy happens to put them on there I won’t pick them off. And of course, if he does, then I’ll have to get a soda to wash it down, but it will not be the souvenir size damn it! Yeah, that’ll hit ‘em right where it hurts.

6. Find a Constructive Outlet for Towel Man

If there’s one thing Towel Man has a lot of, it’s adoring fans. Oh yeah, and towels. And when the Blues aren’t playing, there simply aren’t enough oil-stained driveways in the city to satisfy his deep, yearning desire to release towels onto large groups of people. With all those pent-up, unused towels – just sitting there – at some point, he’s going to explode. In a cloud of 100% cotton. And it won’t be pretty.

So if you’re, say, a car wash owner, a local YMCA manager, or a mold removal expert, give Towel Man a call. I’m sure he’s built up quite a backlog of towels.

5. See What You’d Look Like With a “Hullet”

Ever wonder what you’d look like with golden Brett Hull mullet (otherwise known as a “Hullet”) circa 1989? A quick Google search of “photo modification sites” reveals an endless list cheap sites and apps that exist for the noble purpose of putting your face on someone else’s body, providing hours upon hours of boredom-annihilating entertainment.

Of course, if you’re like 92% of Blues fans, you’re more interested in seeing what Hull looks like with your mullet.

4. Prepare for Winter League Play Using Your Gary Bettman Dart Board

This one’s a no brainer. It’s also been one of the hotter-selling pieces of NHL merchandise going back several years. Coming soon: the Donald Fehr dart board and Gary Bettman Satan.

3. Thank the Heavens College Basketball is Finally Here

For fans of area universities, the arrival of the college basketball season would be a welcome event whether the Blues were sitting around on their duffs or not.

Think about it, if you’re a Missouri Tigers fan, all of a sudden, the SEC doesn’t look quite so intimidating. Lost in the endless blather and chest-pounding that took place during discussions of the Missouri football program’s viability in the NFL’s de facto minor league is the fact that the Tigers automatically become a conference powerhouse in basketball.

Sure, there’s John Calipari at Kentucky, who’s done some fine work churning out graduates – of the NBA’s Rookie Transition Program. And Florida has a pretty good thing going under Billy Donovan. But most years Missouri will be no worse than the third or fourth-best team in the SEC. And I think they will win more than their fair share of conference titles once Calipari inevitably gets caught cheating.

For fans of the Illinois Fighting Illini, college basketball season is a time of great joy and wondrous celebration – because it means football is finally over. God, that was painful; like taking an enema from Old Faithful. Never mind that the Big Ten had three teams in the preseason top five and six in the top 25, and you’re not one of them. So essentially you’re starting out in the bottom half. That’s not important. What’s important is FOOTBALL IS OVER.

For Saint Louis University fans, you don’t even have a football team. So basketball is automatically better by default – the two sweetest words in the English language.

2. Play NHL ‘94

Harken back to a more innocent time when only Major League Baseball was dumb enough to almost ruin a sport over how to divvy up billions of dollars.  Generally considered one of the greatest games of all-time – not just hockey games, but games period – NHL ’94 gave gamers their first taste of the one-timer among other features, and a masterpiece was born.

Throw away your old Sega Genesis? Never fear, because now you can play forever on your computer at http://nhl94online.com. You can even join a league and play against other players.

1. Watch NFL RedZone

Thankfully, the NFL regular season will be around for another couple of months. And if you haven’t yet checked out the NFL RedZone Channel, you are really missing out, brother. It’s easily one of the greatest inventions in human history.

The concept is pretty simple, the channel flies around from game to game on Sunday afternoons showing you every consequential play. Whenever a team is about to score, it’s there. As the games progress, it begins to focus more on the closer, more entertaining contests.

It’s basically like having the NFL Sunday ticket, but with someone there to flip the channels for you – at about 1/35th the cost.  The only down side? Don’t plan on getting anything done on a Sunday until January. It causes what I call “The Medusa Effect.” No matter how hard you try, you cannot avert your eyes, and you pretty much turn to stone right there on the couch.


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