Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column proposing an experiment – and, no, this time it doesn’t involve lightning, petri dishes or testing the tensile strength of any portion of human skin. (Actually, our experiments can’t involve any of those things – court order.)No, for this experiment we’re proposing, we owe the inspiration entirely to the National Hockey League. Simply put, our hypothesis is this: We cancel all professional sports played or broadcast in the United States for exactly one year – because it won’t change anybody’s lives (except maybe put a few lawyers and doctors out of work, but none of us is going to feel too bad about that, right?).At first, we were missing hockey. We wrote in a previous column that a primal part of us needed the fix a good fight between a Canadian bruiser and an Eastern European lummox whose name we can’t pronounce brings. We found ourselves watching male figure skating as a poor substitute, because we couldn’t find any other action on the ice on TV.That lasted about a week, though (about as long as it took for people to learn we were watching male figure skating and give us crap about it). After that, we totally forgot there was supposed to be hockey going on. And earlier this week, when the announcement that the league decided to scrap all of this year’s season came out, we had completely forgotten that it could still be on.And now, here we sit, scanning the news wires to see if this has had any real impact on the world. No mass suicides of Avalanche fans, though. No domestic violence stories of men taking their need for hockey violence out on the family. No players or owners standing down on Colfax with signs saying, “Will skate for food.” All in all, we have to wonder if, in the long run, anybody will notice, if this would be nothing more than an asterisk in the sports almanac of the future.This gets us thinking: We’ve always been complaining that these pro athletes make too much money, have too much influence on popular culture and, overall, do very little to enrich the lives of their fellow man. There are exceptions, of course.But what if we were to cancel all the sports for the year? After a couple weeks, would anybody notice? What would we do with our time? What channel would bars put their TVs on? Or would people actually have real conversations with each other? Just think about where all that money – and you’re talking billions of dollars – would get spent.They’d probably spend it on lawsuits aimed at us not being able to conduct any more experiments. Wouldn’t be the first time.***We’re out spending and saving…
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