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And Another Thing

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Associated Press

Dumb and dumber

Great. Now what am I going to do on New Year's Day? Watch the Lawn Implement Dot Com Bowl?

This just in from the NHL (You remember the NHL, right? Montreal Canadiens? Detroit Red Wings? Sid and Ovie and Pavel 'n' them?): As a pointless and ultimately ruinous lockout continues to drag on with no resolution in sight, the NHL Winter Classic now appears to be in serious peril.

This means that, on an idiocy scale of 1-10, the owners who precipitated all this just hit 12. The Winter Classic, after all, is one of the few things the league's gotten right on Gary Bettman's watch, a glorious throwback wallow that showcased the product in the best way possible on one of the highlight sports days of the year.

Now it's about to be rubbed out, and the season will be next if someone doesn't come to their senses. Presuming anyone on the owners' side of this has any senses to come to.

(And, yes, I know it takes two to tango. But the players aren't the ones who walked out. The owners walked out. And now they've been offered an eminently reasonable deal -- a 50-50 split of hockey revenues, a considerable concession by the players from the previous CBA -- and they're still willing to flush an entire season rather than accept it. So, yeah, this is on the owners, not the players).

So, congratulations, everyone. No wonder your product's traipsed through the vast wilderness of cable TV (Paging Versus ... paging Versus) lo these many years. I mean, you're perilously close to canceling an entire season for the second time in eight years? What viable sports entity does that?

Of course, the key word here is "viable." And right now the NHL is proving once again it isn't.

Ben Smith's blog.

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