Trending: Fans brace for no NHL season
September, 25, 2012
By Bill Speros | Special to ESPN.com
NHL fans are creatively and sometimes desperately trying to come up with ways to occupy themselves as they prepare for the possibility of a postponed or canceled season. Vancouver Canucks fans David Wiggins, 24, and Mike Russell, 23, took this clever and creative approach, offering "Things You Won't Hear During the NHL Lockout" via their Hoodwinked Films channel on YouTube.
Among the better lines are a mix of humor, sarcasm and pain that only an NHL fan can feel these days.
• "My fantasy CBA team is off the chart."
• "How did my 'NHL13' team get locked out as well?"
• "The Flames were totally going to make the playoffs this year."
• "If there were more teams in the South, none of this would be happening."
• "Did you see those pictures of Paulina Gretzky? I mean, have a little self-respect. Not for me."
• "I finally have time to sit down and read 'Fifty Shades of Grey' to my nephew."
"As a loyal NHL fan, I am frustrated and disillusioned by this lockout, particularly having suffered through the last one as a teenager," Wiggins wrote in an email interview with Playbook. "It really feels like the owners and players are bullies playing keep away with my favourite toy. To erase another season or lose a Winter Classic seems incredibly foolish."
Wiggins put those feelings on paper and eventually on video. "This video was really written as a venting of my frustrations on behalf of all fans plus a nice comic relief from the blackhole of fun that is an NHL lockout," he wrote.
Wiggins and Russell, through Hoodwinked Films, also made a "Canucks Rule" Cee-Lo Green "Forget You" remix video during the Canucks' 2011 Cup finals run that got more than 556,000 views on YouTube. In their latest video, they manage a couple of swipes at self-exiled Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, who nearly single-handedly denied the Canucks the Cup in 2011 and made news by skipping the Bruins' White House visit last year.
Wiggins, a video producer of online marketing videos for small businesses and a recent college graduate, played hockey as a boy and roller hockey later in life. He places the primary blame for this labor stoppage squarely on the owners. "The players were willing to continue to play under the current CBA, yet the owners insisted on locking them out," he wrote.
But he added that both sides share responsibility for not getting a deal in place before any games were lost. "The NHL fan base is mainly middle class and we have to sit and watch millionaires clash with billionaires over tens of [millions] of dollars and I think it's leaving a really sour taste in a lot of our mouths."
And in this case, a smile on a few faces.
If you see any off-beat links from your favorite sports site or catchy tweets that might be of interest to others, pass them along to me @billsperos or firstname.lastname@example.org.