TITLE CARD: SEPTEMBER, 2012
GARY BETTMAN: ...There really is no news to report...
GARY BETTMAN: ...We're not prepared to open another season until we have a new collective bargaining agreement.
[INSERT: footage begins playing in reverse, moving backwards past the conference into the previous five years of hockey action, fan participation and exclamations of joy and celebration, before coming to cuts of... ]
TITLE CARD: September, 2004
GARY BETTMAN: They are somehow convinced that at some point the owners will lose their resolve. That is wrong, wrong, wrong.
[INSERT: footage begins playing in reverse AGAIN, moving backwards past the conference into the previous ten years of hockey action, as the league slowly builds -- or unbuilds -- up a fanbase once more. Fan participation still there, exciting hockey and teams folding or moving locations, before coming to cuts of... ]
TITLE CARD: October 1994
GARY BETTMAN (paraphrasing): Something...something...I'm Gary Bettman...We on Strike. Life is like a box of chocolates. GB, out!
[ INSERT: footage begins playing in reverse, moving backwards for one measily year before coming to... ]
TITLE CARD: February, 1993, Gary Bettman's First Interview As NHL Commissioner
ANNOUNCER: We're here with Mr. Gary Bettman, this wonderful league's newest commissioner. Mr. Bettman, let me ask you right now -- what are your thoughts on labor disputes. Can you foresee having any under your watch?
FADE TO BLACK.
TITLE CARD: What If Gary Bettman Was A Competent, Even-Handed Sports Commissioner?
[INSERT: footage begins speeding rapidly forward, moving through the stoppages and empty buildings, the sad faces and joyful celebrations, the glory of the game and the stink of the business until we arrive at present.