Babcock on lockout: “We could end up like bowling”

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When asked about the lockout’s impact on the NHL, Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock reminded many of some of the sport’s darkest hours.

Specifically, he told Sportsnet’s Mark Spector that the sport might go the way of bowling.

“Hate to say it, but we could end up like bowling,” Babcock said.

That comparison might bring back some bad memories from the last lockout.

Following the work stoppage, much was made about how the NHL’s ratings approached programming such as professional bowling (and a trivia show called “Stump the Schwab”) when the league aired games on ESPN.

On the other hand, some might wonder why Babcock chose to beat up on bowling.

For one thing, bowling has done an amusing job pumping up its “characters,” with players like Pete Weber embracing a pro-wrestling style (via Getty):

source: Getty Images

(That’s a lot of ‘tude right there.)

Bowling is also the rare activity where people far beyond Kyle Wellwood/Dustin Byfuglien’s fitness level can succeed – sometimes while drinking heavily.

It’s relatively cheap to play and you can make “The Big Lebowski” and “Kingpin” references for some good chuckles

So, yes, the NHL should aim to avoid comparisons to fringe sports – but maybe everyone should give old bowling a break.