Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Take the quiz: How well do you really know the CBA negotiations?

For the last time Brian, no, we can't
just lock out the players from Ontario.
The weekend's expiration of the NHL collective bargaining agreement made official what everyone already knew was inevitable. We have a lockout. Again.

If you're like most fans, you've probably already formed an opinion about who's right and wrong. You've probably also shared that opinion, loudly, to anyone who'll listen. But do you really understand the complex details behind these negotiations? Take this quiz and find out.

In late July, the NHL responded to the NHLPA's request for more financial information by turning over 76,000 pages. Why were the documents so long?
a.) For sake of completeness, the document listed everyone who's ever been rumored to be buying the Phoenix Coyotes.
b.) For reasons nobody's completely clear on, the package contains all of Mitt Romney's old tax returns.
c.) The owners wanted to make a note of how much they hated Bob Goodenow, so the middle 75,980 pages are just the repetition of the word "very".

The players submitted a counter-proposal in August, but the owners didn't immediately offer an official response. Why not?
a.) It was a contract offer, so out of force of habit the owners immediately tried to figure out how to front-load it.
b.) One of the rich owners asked if the proposal included a comprehensive revenue sharing to help the struggling smaller markets, and then they all just laughed and laughed until it was time to go home.
c.) They were advised to completely ignore it by that one really hardline guy in the group who nobody recognizes but who come to think of it looks kind of like David Stern wearing Groucho Marx glasses and giggling.

Gary Bettman has received criticism after public appearances and press conferences. How could he make himself more likable?
a.) Just once, let a reporter get through an entire question without calmly leaning over mid-sentence and flicking him in the forehead.
b.) Turn the duties over to somebody who's more popular in the hockey world, like Raffi Torres or the ghost of Harold Ballard or the fan on his cellphone who keeps standing up and waving every time the puck is in his zone.
c.) End every rambling screed against the players by theatrically yelling "The Aristocrats!"

Over 280 players attended meetings in New York last week. What did they spend most of their time doing?
a.) Signing multi-million dollar contract extensions, mostly.
b.) Shopping at that hot new clothing store, "Young Millionaires Who Have Been Ordered To Dress Like Hobos For The Press Conference".
c.) Apparently skipping that seminar about not annoying everyone on Twitter by repeating the same clich├ęd talking points over and over.

Donald Fehr was the head of baseball's union during the 1994 strike that wiped out the World Series, but there were no work stoppages during his final 15 years in that job. What did he learn from MLB that he can apply to hockey?
a.) As impossible as it may seem, try not to let yourself be intimidated by the commissioner's overwhelming personal magnetism and charisma.
b.) Players can still recover their popularity after a disastrous work stoppage as long as they're willing to take their medicine, assuming that "medicine" is several syringes full of elephant steroids.
c.) When negotiating a revenue sharing agreement, don't bother wasting valuable time accounting for any post-season ticket sales from Toronto.

The NHLPA has filed legal challenges in Alberta and Quebec to prevent players from the Oilers, Flames and Canadiens from being locked out. If the moves are successful, what would the impact be?
a.) Scott Gomez would get paid $7 million to do absolutely nothing in a slightly different way than usual.
b.) You'll casually mention that those three teams once combined to win seven straight Stanley Cups, at which point everyone in the bar will stare at you like you're crazy and you'll feel 300 years old.
c.) Hockey Night in Canada still spends every minute of every broadcast talking about the Leafs.

When the two sides do get together for formal talks, the meetings rarely yield much progress. Why not?
a.) Every time they order in pizza for lunch, the owners all stand around with their hands out waiting for the delivery guy to tip him.
b.) Despite the owners being sure to always refer to the discussions as "formal talks", Donald Fehr still occasionally ruins things by showing up without his tuxedo and top hat.
c.) Sometimes Henrik Lundqvist starts to speak and everyone starts just stares into his eyes and next thing you know it's four weeks later and oh no I think the lockout has already started.

Now tally up all your answers and find out how well you did:
Mostly a's: It doesn't matter because the owners don't care what you think.
Mostly b's: It doesn't matter because the players don't care what you think.
Mostly c's: But here's your season ticket renewal form. Thanks again for being the world's greatest fans!


Featuring 70 posts including 24 chapters of exclusive new material, The Best of Down Goes Brown is now available. Buy it today from: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Barnes & Noble | Chapters/Indigo | Apple iBooks




30 comments:

  1. Awesome..the Gomez dig was the best.

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  2. Loved the "elephant steroids" and Lundqvist line hahaa.

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  3. The Aristocrats!

    That one got me. Well done as usual, DGB.

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    1. Oh God. That's it, isn't it? This entire lockout has been orchestrated by Bettman as one massive Kaufman-esque joke! Any day now, he's going to spring the punchline and we can all get back to being excited for the upcoming season.

      ...Right? Please tell me I'm right.

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    2. Nah, if Bettman was trying to be Andy Kaufman he'd probably use his evil powers to make something horrible happy to Jerry Lawler and OH GOD NO....

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  4. As impossible as it may seem, try not to let yourself be intimidated by the commissioner's overwhelming personal magnetism and charisma.

    There's a problem with this statement - who has charisma? Neither Bud Selig nor Gary Bettman do, at least that I can tell...

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  5. "You'll casually mention that those three teams once combined to win seven straight Stanley Cups, at which point everyone in the bar will stare at you like you're crazy and you'll feel 300 years old."

    Just broke my heart a little there

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  6. This doesn't make sense, Raffi Torres, Harold Ballard and those waving fans aren't popular at all.

    Great post as usual.

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    1. But they're more popular than Bettman.. that was the point.. even some unknown person would be more liked..

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    2. Welcome Back Mike...

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  7. The Scott Gomez dig. Still too soon.

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  8. Who wouldn't want to just stare into Lundqvist's eyes?

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  9. Brilliant caption yet again!

    I think my favourite is trying to front-load the CBA contract.

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  10. "Young Millionaires Who Have Been Ordered To Dress Like Hobos For The Press Conference"

    AGH!!!!!!! WHY do they DO that?! *shakes head*

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    1. I think because the Monopoly Man look is trademarked.

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  11. Actually, the lock-out might end earlier than expected if the NHLPA sends in a negotiating team made up of players such as Torres, Chara, Dorsett, Konopka, and Avery-- all acting under the watchful eye and careful guidance of alumni such as Marty McSorley, Tie Domi and Dave Semenko.

    I would love to see Bettman's response to that change in negotiating strategy... "Gentlemen, I believe that only the Fehr brothers were scheduled for today but in any event [yelp...] CRASH... NOT MY TIE! MY STOMACH CAN'T PROCESS SILK!"

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    1. This scene can only end with Bettman being dangled upside down from a window ledge, like the district attorney in LA Confidential, until he agrees to terms.

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    2. This is DGB, there is no way Wendell Clark doesn't make that list.

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    3. Konopka? But he'd just start hugging everybody then asking the media why they didn't fight him..

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    4. You called Avery a player. HA!

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  12. "Just once, let a reporter get through an entire question without calmly leaning over mid-sentence and flicking him in the forehead."

    "As impossible as it may seem, try not to let yourself be intimidated by the commissioner's overwhelming personal magnetism and charisma."

    These two killed me...

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  13. After Amazon saying just 3 days ago that the book was due in November, it arrived today. If each article is as funny as this one (holy shit at the Lundqvist gag), I am going to be in hockey nerd humor nerd heaven.

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    1. Now, now, DGB - stop pretending to be someone else and posting stuff about your book. ;-)

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  14. Follow @OccupyTheNHL on Twitter. The "mostly c's" of the world really need a voice. Collectively we can have an effect on the outcome.

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  15. Got my THREE copies of 'The Best of Down Goes Brown' today...and I am trying to resist reading until Christmas when I give two copies to my sons...it ain't gonna be easy !!!

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  16. Well done. Loved the "elephant steroids".

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  17. Wendell could handle this all by himself. 30 owners vs Wendell is still no contest.

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