Remember when the NHL wasn’t playing? You know, that time between September and January when games should have been going on, but they weren’t.
Doesn’t it seem like that was longer than a couple of months ago?
It’s easy to forget as we in the Sauk Valley sit so close to the glow of the Blackhawks, who, going into Friday, still hadn’t lost a game in regulation.
Success, great stories, glory – these things often ease hurt feelings and erase bad memories from labor disputes.
Remember when baseball went on strike? It was 1994 and, for the first time since 1904, no World Series was played.
I was young, but I remember the sentiment being that fans felt that the American pastime’s time had passed.
How many of you said, “I’m not going back!”?
Go ahead, admit it. My 12-year-old self surely did.
But we did come back, didn’t we? Oh, a slew of dingers did it, and as much as we all want to deny it, we kind of knew all those homers were a bit fishy.
We didn’t care, though. It was baseball and, dang it, we had rediscovered an old love.
Those wounds healed (before probably being ripped open again when the reality of those dingers could no longer be ignored).
How about the 2011 NBA lockout? When it started, I remember posting a question on Facebook to my followers on how long they thought it would last.
All signs pointed to no season. They ended up playing after 161 days away.
Of course they eventually played, and all of us could get back to either loving or hating LeBron, and wondering what the next line of sneakers would look like.
But, strikes don’t just affect sports at the professional level, do they?
A lot of kids in Dixon are learning that the hard way this spring as the Dixon teacher’s strike drags on.
I have to admit ignorance on most of the topics involved with the strike. I let other SVMers, like Derek Barichello, handle that daily in the pages of news section.
Having seen enough strikes and lockouts at sports’ professional level, I can conclude one thing without knowing much else.
Every strike boils down to money.
That’s the fact, folks.
Whether it’s wages, work conditions, supplies, signing bonuses, rookie caps – it ends with how much money is there, where will it be spent, who gets it when, and how much of the dough will trickle down from the folks at the top to those on the bottom.
So, until that money gets shuffled out in a satisfactory way for both sides, the kids won’t learn, and they won’t play.
Spring sports (weather permitting) hit full gear this coming week, with the first baseball, softball and girls soccer games scheduled.
I hope the strike’s conclusion is soon. Maybe, if we are lucky, it will be decided by the time you sit down to read this column this weekend.
My concern is how well (and quickly) the community will heal. Relationships between parents, students, teachers, administrators and school board members likely won’t be the same.
Maybe that common ground for healing will be found on the diamond, track or soccer pitch.
Because, as we’ve seen from other strikes and lockouts, athletic glory can heal many things.
I hope for success
for the Dukes and Duchesses.
More importantly, I pray for a better future for Dixon, its people, and its schools.