The Fan of La Mancha OR Enough Bickering Over the Protests

"Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished. Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them. With their spoils we shall begin to be rich for this is a righteous war and the removal of so foul a brood from off the face of the earth is a service God will bless."

"What giants?" asked Sancho Panza.

"Those you see over there," replied his master, "with their long arms. Some of them have arms well nigh two leagues in length."

"Take care, sir," cried Sancho. "Those over there are not giants but windmills. Those things that seem to be their arms are sails which, when they are whirled around by the wind, turn the millstone."

-Part 1, Chapter VIII.

Quixotic seems to be a fairly good adjective to describe the fan joining the boycott or protect group(s) right about now. Idealistic, impulsive, impractical, all likely fit words to describe it. But those fans aren't the only ones that reminded me of the 17th Century Miguel de Cervantes novel Don Quixote.

In this instance, the protagonist has been replaced by a band of fans that need to do something. That imagine that they can tilt at windmill giants for the hand of an NHL season. The more antagonistic or realist Pancho, niece, and family that have a need to set fire to his books and imagination. I use those words because neither side is particularly right or wrong, they're just parts of the story.

The protest camp generally knows, perhaps unlike Don Quixote, that their movement will likely do very little to sway the league or the players. However why others have this incessant need to convince them that they're stupid, is beyond me. Why are they even still going at it? Everyday there's another person setting out to tell these fans they're wrong. Why? Who cares in the end?

Sure, maybe their goal is impossible. Maybe those in the protest camp are just tilting at windmills. In the end Sancho and others were proven right all the times they told Don Quixote the reality of the situation. But when was Don happier? When he was chasing giants and storming castles? Trying to get the Hand of Dulcenea? Or in the cold reality that his delusions were false. At the end of part 2 he not only has turned bitter and hating anything to do with chivalry or adventure he forbids his niece from having anything to do with anyone the reads books about chivalry.

That's what fans involved with this protest or boycott will become once they reach the point of being ridiculed enough or torn down enough by "realists". They'll no longer be fans, their kids likely won't be fans it'll hurt a chunk of the fanbase. These fans need to have some sort of control over the situation or even the illusion of it. And where exactly is the harm in that? Will they have a big effect upon the eventual outcome in the situation? Likely not. In a battle of millionaires what do the fans really matter in the long run? In the short term though it gives fans something to do to feel useful and not disconnect from the NHL or the game of hockey in general after another stupid fight over the idiotic economics of the game. So be real realists. But enough with the lectures, the jokes and the derision. Boycotting isn't for you then don't do it, but let others do whatever the hell they want. It may end up being a pointless endeavor, but sometimes people just need to tilt at windmills.

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