Everything Must Go: Cancelling the 2013 Winter Classic and the New York Marathon

by Kolby Solinsky
Editor, White Cover Magazine

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One is due to a natural disaster, and the other is due to a natural disaster.

Let’s explain… the New York Marathon was finally cancelled on Friday by Mayor Mike Bloomberg, after it was announced the show would go on and then the public revolted. (This race was planned at a time when even NBA games at Madison Square Garden have been called insensitive.) The marathon was of course cancelled because of the devastating party favours left by Hurricane Sandy. Can’t help it, right? A natural disaster so big that Anderson Cooper hasn’t even been able to save children.

“We cannot allow a controversy over an athletic event – even on as meaningful as this – to distract attention away from all the critically important work that is being done to recover from the storm and get out city back on track,” said Bloomberg, according to ABC News.

Hey, he’s having a good week.

And then, you have the Winter Classic. Maybe it’s business failure, but it’s also a cultural failure. It’s a failure of the culture of hockey. And that, in every way, is as natural as a shifting tectonic plate or a cyclone of trucking winds.

The NHL will always be cursed. It chooses to be.

It has never been able to get over itself… crushed under the weight of being the fourth sports in North America, and one that often falls behind niche clubs like the Arena Football League and (we can only assume) the upcoming Bikini Basketball League.

It decides to eat its own foot instead of making dinner.

Cannibalistic.

“The NHL’s decision to cancel the 2013 Bridgestone Winter Classic is unnecessary and unfortunate, as was the owners’ implementation of the lockout itself,” said NHLPA head Donald Fehr on Friday, apparently unaware that there are two sides involved in this fourth lockout in 21 years.

“The fact that the season has not started is a result of a unilateral decision by the owners; the players have always been ready to play while continuing to negotiate in good faith.”

Yawn. COLOUR. Yawn.

With the loss of the 2013 Winter Classic, the League is throwing water on the fire of a sure-fire profitable business that it built itself. It’s spending all its money on one wild week in Vegas, while the wife is at home making lunch for the kids.

The NHL’s historic and traditional self-destruction is as predictable and as certain as the effects of global warming.

New York will survive.

Does the NHL even want to?