NHL sides must realize they’re in it together

This morning began, minute one, with the NHL again officially in lockout. Death. Taxes. NHL gone dark. Until further notice, there will not be an NHL training camp near you this September. Again.

If you’re keeping score at home, this is lockout No. 3, which makes the NHL the worldwide leader in pro sports RLSS (repetitive labor stress syndrome). Most acute symptom: a stabbing, chronic pain in the neck.

Good news is, regular-season games are not scheduled to begin until the second week of October, which allows time for owners and players to look in the mirror and figure out just how ridiculous they look to the general public (read: ticket buyers and cable/DirecTV subscribers).

The two sides combined to amass $3.3 billion in revenue during the 2011-12 season, and great minds and leaders on both sides once more cannot figure out how to divvy up such a humongous wad of cash to their mutual satisfaction and, of course, benefit and delight.

I’d like to believe that eventually fan interest will take such a sizable dip amid one of these dunderheaded job actions that the industry, owners and players alike, will learn once and for all not to be the Richard BurtonElizabeth Taylor of sports marriages. But the fans always come back, no matter what, ever willing to pay for ever-pricier tickets, pennants, and hot dogs.