Columnist George Will, who has written a number of excellent books on baseball, once stated that, "Sports serve society by providing vivid examples of excellence." These days, it seems just the opposite.
The NFL has it right. 12 teams make the playoffs. But for those other 20 teams it feels as if the sky is falling. For some reason in the other sports, the consequences for not making the playoffs don't seem quite as harsh.
In a way, the NHL conflict is a classic union dispute: the owners make their fortunes off the backs of the players. It's the scale of the thing that upsets me. And in the end they risk losing it all because they alienate the good will of the working class folks who fill the seats.