All I want for Xmas is the NHL

  • Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews doesn't seem to have any answers as to when the NHL lockout will be resolved.
Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews doesn't seem to have any answers… (Christian Petersen/Getty…)
December 20, 2012|By Rob Cressy | For RedEye

Kate Upton naked. Jay Cutler smoking. Hopefully I have your attention now.

Had I started off just talking about hockey, most of you probably would have moved on to something else. The NHL is locked out and fan interest in the labor negotiations is lower than Adam Dunn's batting average. Despite this, why is it important the NHL comes back? Because fantasy football is over.

You don't have to be a sports degenerate to play fantasy football. It caters to fans who can't pronounce Rob Gronkowski's name as well as chicks who wear pink jerseys. It allows strangers to give high-fives in the names of Arian Foster, Cam Newton and Julio Jones.

In a world of Instagram and incessant text messaging, fantasy football is one of the few things that is easy for everyone to talk about. Now that it is all but over for the majority of us, we need something else to get us through the optimistically mild Chicago winter and keep our heads up from our glowing iPhone screens. That's where NHL hockey fits in.

Remember the feeling you had a year and a half ago in Game 6 when Patrick Kane snuck home the game-winner against the Flyers and the Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup? I want that feeling again.

Hockey is a beautiful sport that fulfills everything we as sports fans crave. It has bone-crushing hits Lance Briggs would be proud of. There are slap shots that are faster than a Jeff Samardzija fastball and action as uptempo as a Jenna Jameson movie.

Without hockey, we never would have had that classic scene in "Swingers" where Trent makes Little Wayne's head bleed for "Super Fan No. 99 over there."

It's hard to fill the void fantasy football is going to leave, and that void is even larger without hockey. Here's to hoping the lockout ends soon and brings back the sport so many of us love.

Rob Cressy is a RedEye special contributor. Visit baconsports.com or follow him @BaconSports.

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