NEW YORK (AP) _ The destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy, which displaced many families from their homes and has left millions still without power, heat and water almost a week after high winds and rain tore across the Northeastern United States, is also taking a toll on the amount of people who give a shit about the NHL lockout.
"The timetable for people giving a shit about the NHL lockout is unknown at this time following the events of Sandy," FEMA spokesperson Dorothy Nylund said Friday. "Crews are working around the clock to get the power back on to dozen of counties in four states. It could be days or weeks before people are ready to give a shit about who gets what percentage of hockey related revenue next season."
No formal talks have been taking place between the National Hockey League and the Player's Association -- though "secret talks" to "explore ways to resume" will happen Saturday if you don't ruin the secret -- even though their phones have been working just fine, unlike the millions of residents of Lower Manhattan, Long Island and New Jersey who are still cut off from most outside communications.
"It could take years to get back to normal," said Nylund, who re-affirmed that FEMA is a federal agency that specializes in evaluating disasters. "Whatever normal was for hockey fans, we have no idea nor do we give a shit right now."
The swath cut by Hurricane Sandy through the eastern seaboard has come at a cost of millions of dollars and caused widespread power outages, leaving many survivors in the dark without food or water. Residents of seaside properties had to be evacuated from their homes and dozens lost their lives.
Meanwhile, the NHL and the NHLPA play with themselves and make public statements as if anyone gives a shit.
Despite probably hollow talk of a concession last night, Friday's announcement of the cancellation of the Winter Classic in Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor may be the final straw for anyone giving a shit about the NHL this season.
Millions of casual fans who don't normally give a shit about hockey tune into the giant New Year's Day outdoor game every year. A gargantuan injection of revenue is generated for the league from tickets and souvenirs, as well as for local hotels and restaurants who can cater to those incoming fans who give a shit enough to pay through their noses. The HBO series leading up to the game that has helped bring in some new people who could give a shit has also been canceled.
Advertisers and corporate sponsors pretend to give a shit about the NHL when there are millions of eyeballs on the line. They're gone now because, like most of their target audience, they don't give a shit.
"People not giving a shit about the NHL is the result of a combination of factors, some of which only come around about three times in 20 years," says Gord Schticklemeyer of the Royal Canadian Weather Service, who has been tracking shits given about the NHL since 1993. "It takes a very volatile cocktail of climate change, pollution, billions of dollars, egotism, canceled games, empty rhetoric and microphones to make people not give a shit about a league that ostensibly leads such a fine sport.
"Take escrow payments for veteran players, for one example. It's an important issue for the NHL. But really, right now, who gives a shit?"
Power is expected to be restored in Lower Manhattan by the weekend, and towns in the surrounding states are slowly getting their utilities back.
The NHL could come back soon, too. But who gives a shit?
"I mean, I kinda give a shit, I guess," said New Jersey resident and Devils fan Boyd Sajak as he and several neighbors worked through the night to remove an elm tree that had uprooted itself from his backyard and into his roof. "Yeah, would be nice to kick back with a hockey game tonight.
"But I got a lot of other things to give a shit about right now."
Um...this is a parody.