The NHL lockout is finally, mercifully over. And the agreement couldn’t have come soon enough for the league, given that losing another full season would have inevitably resulted in a sharply reduced fan base along with drastic drops in attendance, merchandise sales, and TV ratings.
Oh, not because of the decreased enthusiasm from fans worn out by the third lockout in a generation. The NHL’s problem would have actually been much simpler than that: If this lockout had dragged on even a few days longer, NHL fans were all going to murder each other. Whether it’s the guy on the next bar stool, your favorite blogger, the coworker one cubicle down, or just some random guy on Twitter, virtually everyone in the hockey world has been completely insufferable for months.
There were still a few holdouts, patiently dispensing their well-reasoned yet respectful points of view and appropriately nuanced opinions on complex topics. Roughly six of them, at last count. They were rumored to be holed up in an undisclosed location, trying to fight off the approaching hordes. They may not even know the lockout is over.
But the rest of us were awful and getting worse by the day. By the time the two sides finally made a deal, every one of us had ended up becoming at least one of the following 10 horrible people we met during the NHL lockout: