Stern felt somehow different moments
after shaking hands with Shea Weber.
How nervous? My sources at the NHL's main office tell me that the switchboard is lighting up with calls from NBA fans who are thinking of jumping ship, at least temporarily. The volume of inquiries is so high that the league has had to create an application form for potential new fans. My spies were able to obtain a copy.
Greetings (soon-to-be former) NBA fans.
It's come to our attention that your league is currently undergoing a work stoppage. And while there has been some encouraging progress in negotiations this week, it's probably best that you don't get your hopes up. These things can tend to drag on. Like for a completely unreasonable amount of time. Um, so we've heard.
Anyways, it's probably a good idea to keep your options open, and to consider becoming an NHL fan. However, before you can become officially certified as a hockey diehard, there is the small matter of some paperwork. Please fill out the form below, and we'll contact you with our decision.
Your last name with "sie" added to the end of it so that we have a creative hockey nickname ready to go for you:
How did you first hear about the NHL?
( ) Have played the EA Sports NHL video games since I was a child, and was recently surprised to learn that they were based on an actual sports league.
( ) There's a Canadian kid in our college dorm, and a few of us accidentally spoke to him once.
( ) I've owned an NBA team and the arena in my city for years; my accountants have informed me that I apparently also own the NHL team as well.
( ) Out of curiosity one day, I googled "sports league where the Washington team is not completely terrible".
What are you most looking forward to once you become a hockey fan?
( ) Have heard that there's a guy named Zdeno Chara who is 6-foot-9, and have never seen a European that small before.
( ) I've had enough of smarmy ESPN anchors making snide remarks about my favourite players; would prefer to watch a sport that they'll never mention at all.
( ) Have heard that the Edmonton Oilers have an amazing group of talented young players, and would like to get familiar with them now since they'll be playing for the team in my city in a few years.
( ) Have seen hundreds of punches thrown in various basketball games over the years, and am looking forward to the unique experience of seeing one actually connect.
What are some of the things you have disliked most about being an NBA fan?
( ) I'm getting really tired of watching players who walk around like they're actual individuals with unique personalities.
( ) I hate the idea of an entire league full of players all simultaneously being told to sit at home instead of reporting to their jobs; would much rather see Brendan Shanahan take care of it one player at a time.
( ) I've always enjoyed the novelty of those ridiculous all-star skills competitions, but have never had the experience of seeing my team eliminated from a playoff spot by one.
( ) Can't shake the feeling that the NBA never recovered from that incompetent assistant commissioner we were stuck with until 1993.
How long are you willing to commit to being an NHL fan?
( ) Until about ten seconds after the NBA lockout is over.
( ) Until about five seconds after the NBA lockout is over.
( ) Did I just see the words "NBA lockout is over"? See you later, suckers!
( ) I'm willing to commit to 35 years, as long everyone else agrees to pay for pretty much everything. (Oh I'm sorry, I thought this was the "new arena in Edmonton" application form.)
Finally, if your application is accepted and you become an official NHL fan, have you given any thought to which team you will cheer for?
( ) I'll be rooting for Toronto, since it's kind of sad how they always miss the playoffs in the NBA and I'm assuming this is not the case in the NHL.
( ) I love it when a big-market team signs all the very best free agents and assembles a dominant dream team, so I'm assuming that's Miami, right?
( ) I'm an Atlanta sports fan who didn't really pay any attention to the NHL until this lockout started; by the way, what's the deal with this super long Thrashers road trip to start the season?
( ) As a basketball fan I'm used to seeing players score on 40-50% of their shots, so I'll probably just root for whichever team is playing against Roberto Luongo that night.