Sunday, 19 April 2015

Contraction Pains

     "There's those thinking more or less, less is more
     But if less is more, how you keepin' score?

     Means for every point you make your level drops
     Kinda like you're startin' from the top

     Our collective appetite for more of everything is bordering on insatiable.  More condos, more bandwidth, more home-runs and more choices.  This attitude has infected everything from fast-food portion sizes to sports franchises.  NHL czar Bettman's latest attempt to re brand hockey and put a team in Vegas could be the dumbest idea since I thought I could re-use coffee grinds to save money.  That plan ended badly and so will putting a hockey team in Sin City.
     Vegas thrives on gambling and offers society a badly needed outlet for it's degenerate tendencies.  A hot bed for an NHL expansion team it is not.  No other major league sports team calls Vegas its home and that is likely for a good reason.  People go to Vegas to drink and to gamble and they come back with good stories and less money than when they arrived.  Not to watch pro sports, much less hockey, a sport with a reputation for being a Canadian bush league display of on-ice thuggery in the minds of most Americans who live south of about Lincoln, Nebraska, save for a small pocket of LA.  The Thrashers were a joke, as are the Coyotes, the Hurricanes and the Panthers and anywhere else they have to rinse the Olympia tires free of sand before it goes on the ice.

     Oh no, brothers, expansion is hardly the answer.  More like expansion's reciprocal, contraction.  Axe a few teams and increase the quality of the on-ice product.  No, it wouldn't help with the league's bottom line, but it will help with overall competitiveness.  A couple dozen teams would probably be enough and even then, there would still be 8 teams that wouldn't make the playoffs.  Maybe that would stoke the fires under a few of the league's prima donnas who have a job simply by virtue of rosters needing to be filled. 

     Restrict supply to manage demand, OPEC-style.  In fact, that game plan could be applied elsewhere in society for the greater good.  Why not shutter some of the smaller, shall we say crappier universities in Canada as well?  Tighten up competition for those hallowed diplomas, which are quickly becoming a very expensive gold star.  Yes, contraction of the education system, in order to preserve the quality.  We've got too many uni's with too many seats to fill from the farm team feeder system of high school, and right now a ticket to The Show is just too easy to come by.  And when something is easy to get, its value goes down.  To stop the hemorrhaging of youngsters graduating with eye-ball deep debt and into a bleak job market, why not contract the number of seats by say 20% or 30% and let the market forces take over.  Restrict supply to preserve the value of a degree, because right now a university degree in Canada is roughly equivalent to owning a Toyota Corolla.  Everyone's got one, and it's not really something to boast about.  
    Admit it, the talent pool for university is already pretty watered down and things are likely going to get worse, with every politician promising to expand the number of available seats because we're a greedy, hoarding society and we really don't like anything being taken away from us.  If there were fewer universities, it would up the prestige of the remaining ivory towers and force true competition for fewer available seats, instead of admitting every 18 yr old with a hard-on and an OSAP loan.  Parents of course, would wail and gnash their teeth, crying out how their kid is really bright and deserves to be distracted by Facebook while sitting in a 400 seat lecture hall while listening to some prof with a strong accent go on about Useless Knowledge 101.  
     Yes, contraction would hurt for a bit, because rather than getting something new, something is taken away.  But is mindless expansion, whether in the NHL or for university students, really helping anyone or is it just a quick fix to make a quick buck?  Where does it end?  An NHL team in every city and a diploma on every wall?  


1 comment:

  1. I equate an NHL franchise in Vegas to steroids in baseball. Shameful. A statement of greed and nothing more. This idea needs to be thrown out the window immediately (along with your coffee grinds.)