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Boycott Hockey

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(credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

(credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

By: Andy Wheeler

I need to vent about Hockey before we get to my fantasy picks.

I’m incredibly unhappy with the sport of hockey. I picked up my copy of NHL 2013 with Claude Giroux on the cover this week. It’s a great game and unfortunately it’s probably the only hockey I’ll see for a while.  It’s also the last thing Hockey related I’ll purchase for the next year.

This is a total disgrace.

How a league that lost an entire season to a work stoppage could be on the verge of doing it again can mean only one thing. They do not care about the fans, no matter what they say. Well that and they are a bunch of greedy idiots on both sides that need a reality check.

All the PR people, negotiators, owners and players you’ll hear from over the coming days will say the right things. They’ll say it’s sad for the fans. They’ll apologize, but in the same breath they’ll say things like “We’re just looking for a fair deal.” or “We have to find a way for both sides to come together”.

I actually read a statement from Gary Bettman that made me furious. Asked about the impending lockout and it’s affect on the sport long term he said “We recovered last time because we have the world’s greatest fans”. So that makes it ok to do it again Gary?

What that statement means, if you’ll allow me to translate because I’m fluent in bull**** is, “We realize we’re screwing the fans again. We don’t care. They’ll be back because they all love our sport. We did this to them before. They’re like crack addicts. They’ll be back”. They just don’t respect us is what it comes down to.

You hear a bunch of stupid excuses as to why it’s gotten to this point. The owners will cry poor despite some Franchises making the least money handing out massive contracts this offseason. You’ll hear the players say they just want their “fair share” despite taking 57% of all hockey related revenue annually since their last CBA was signed. That was  57% of $3.3 Billion last year.  That’s BILLION with a B!!!!  The average salary for an NHL player is $2.4 Million.

However this isn’t all on the players. The owners and the league deserve a lot of the blame. How Gary Bettman is commissioner of any type of league that doesn’t have “Fantasy” in front of it boggles my mind.  And as a fantasy commissioner I find the idea that he could run any one of my leagues insulting!  How do you even allow it to get this far if you are him?

It’s our money these idiots are fighting over. It’s our money that they can’t figure out how to share. It’s our sport and our passion that these millionaires and billionaires are holding hostage. All because they can’t figure out a way for everybody to get rich off of our dollars. Really?

I’ve got a really easy way to make your voices heard. Ask for your money back. I don’t have the luxury of not covering this. I have to cover hockey because it’s a part of my job. If you want to make your voices heard, hit them in the wallet. Turn in those season tickets. Turn in those individual game tickets you bought. Ask for a refund now.

Chances are if they do play you’ll have to get them for a different game and a different time anyway. Don’t buy their shirts or their hats. It’s called a boycott people.

You know how you get somebody to stop fighting over your money? You don’t give it to them.

Now that I’ve got that all out of my system, let’s turn to fantasy football.

I’ve gotten a lot of questions this week about match ups. Owners are asking me who to play because of a “good match up”. You can’t really say that one way or the other right now.

For example after the first week people were saying, “The Bears are awesome! Jay Cutler is going to light people up! Cutler and Marshall together again!” Then we all saw what the Packers defense did to him on Thursday night. It proves the point that you can’t jump to conclusions too fast on who’s going to do what. Was it that Green Bay’s defense is that good or that Cutler is that bad? It’s hard to say without more evidence.

1 week of bad play can be explained. 2 weeks of bad play is the beginning of a trend. 3 weeks and we have proof. You can only sit a guy if you KNOW he has a bad match up. Right now we don’t know anything. We can only think.

There are some suspect defenses out there already. The Saints and Colts come to mind immediately. And the Browns look like they can play the pass well but not the run. Come week 3 we’ll have a much better idea…just try not to get too cute until we really know things for sure.

Great Match Ups:

Cam Newton:
I don’t think he is going to be as bad as he was last week. That’s if you consider 300 yards passing bad. He didn’t do much rushing and he threw 2 picks but he faces a Saints defense this week that let a rookie torch them for 320 yards passing and 42 yards on the ground. Owners that drafted Newton to be Newton should get the type of numbers they were hoping for on Sunday.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis:
This is a guy that I loved all offseason and he did what I thought last week. 18 carries for 91 yards and a score. This week he goes up against a Browns defense that certainly proved capable of screwing up a passing game. LeSean McCoy averaged 5.5 yards a carry against them last week on only 20 carries. Expect about 30 carries from “The Law Firm”. I think he could have the best day among all running backs.

Percy Harvin:
The Colts defense is going to be one of the defenses that you want to have your players facing. Harvin could have a monster day. 6 catches for 84 yards AND 5 carries for 20 yards last week against Jacksonville. I can’t see many carries for him today but he should be one of the bigger performers in Week 2.

Bad Match Ups:

Joe Flacco:
I like the fact that he’s a local guy, I’m just not as high on Flacco as everyone else. I heard people calling him an “Elite Quarterback” and maybe I haven’t been watching the same games as everyone else. I think the Eagles Defense could give him trouble and may quiet all those people saying silly things like “Joe Flacco is one of the Top 5 Quarterbacks in the league”. No he’s not.

Michael Vick:
No thank you! I have to see him actually look like he knows what he’s doing for a game before I’d start him. Thankfully most Vick owners knew it would be good to have a back up that could start if necessary. He threw for 317 yards last week and 2 touchdowns so you got good points last week. However, this is the Ravens we’re talking about not the Browns.

Kevin Smith:
I liked him going into the season. You knew he’d be good and that he’ll get hurt. Last week he was great picking up both a rushing and receiving touchdown, as well as almost 100 all purpose yards. He’s got the 49ers defense this week. I’d go a different direction if I were you.

Email fantasy questions to awheeler@cbs3.com or you can tweet me @TheAndyWheeler
Have a great weekend everyone.

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