NHLPA: No, we won't.
[Disruption at door. Donald Fehr bursts in, with a really nice briefcase.]
Fehr: Here's our final offer.
NHL: We will adjourn for the week. Good day, gentlemen.
I'm sorry, how is it possible that Donald Fehr is the NHL Players Association executive director? How much sports labor strife can one man subsidize in a single lifetime? Is there no new sports-labor blood out there? My goodness, even Jimmy Hoffa moved on from the Teamsters.
Granted, the NHL and Fehr are meant for each other. The league canceled its entire 2004-05 season, and this is the third work stoppage during Gary Bettman's tenure as commissioner; Fehr orchestrated a players strike that ended the 1994 MLB season with no World Series.
I'm pro-labor, but if Donald Fehr walks into my union meeting, I send him out to Blockbuster for a digitized version of "Norma Rae" and close shop before he returns.
Anyway, if all else fails, there is a proposal to put Fehr, Bettman and 15 rabid weasels into a room until an agreement is reached.
My money's on the weasels just walking out.
Ask The Slouch
Q. Do you agree that new stadiums are looming monuments to mediocrity of ignorant politicians, pandering to the whims of wealthy capitalists, who in turn are merely providing employment to needy athletes, all on the taxpayers' dime? (Monty McIntyre; Ravenswood)
A. If you run for office, I'll be your personal super PAC.
Q. Given the current popularity of unsightly beards MLB pitchers are wearing, how long would Mrs. Slouch (Toni) tolerate you adorning such facial hair? (Ed Shade; Hurricane)
A. She doesn't mind what I look like, as long as I'm carrying a loaf of really, really good bread under each throwing arm.
Q. With football, hockey, baseball and basketball making changes to reduce player concussions, when will boxing and poker do something? (Scott Klein; Columbia, Md.)
A. The World Poker Tour is considering replacing hoodies with helmets.
Q. With so many close plays and bad calls at first base, can't MLB solve this problem by moving the base to 91 feet? (Lenny Freed; Lyndhurst, Ohio)
A. Pay the man, Shirley.
You, too, can enter the $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway. Just e-mail asktheslo...@aol.com and, if your question is used, you win $1.25 in cash!