Imagining Life Without Football
I hoped to not have to write this entry, but in three hours the NFL will be shutting down operations, being sued by the NFLPA for anti-trust (whatever that means), and things could get ugly.
For the first time since 1987, we the fans are forced to listen to million and billion-aires talk about how to split 9 billion in revenue. Good times…
So it got me thinking about a lot of things that aren’t related to this title, but I want to mention a few. I am not a member of a union, and my job security and salary is based solely on my own efforts. I can’t earn “tenure” or collectively bargain for benefits, days off, or anything else. If I’m not happy, I have to find — without any assistance — a new job.
Likewise, for essentially no reason, my employer can choose to relieve me of my duties. There is no protection for me.
Why should that be any different for anybody else? To be fair, I don’t know enough about unions to make a strong case for or against them. I just know I don’t need one, have never been a part of one, and don’t believe that they are entirely necessary beyond providing some income for some greedy lawyers.
And that brings us to the NFL. Greed is the central theme of this imminent lockout. (They will tell us that it’s about transparency, but that is a fancy way of saying “Show me the MONEY”)!
In all candor, it is awfully tempting to stage a fan lockout once the dust settles. We should all skip the first regular season home game for our teams — forcing the NFL to black out every home market once, losing single ticket sales, parking and concessions/merchandise. Just to let them know we don’t approve of their ignorance, we should not watch any NFL in week 1. It’s hard to believe that these adults are bickering over, boiled down, 9 billion dollars. I understand the business of it — that is the league revenue and they’d like to get their “piece of the pie” or whatever. How about *gasp* passing some savings down to the fans. Why don’t the owners take $4 bilion, give $4 billion to the players, and then pass the last $1 billion on to the fans as cost cuts — ticket prices are outrageous, cable bills are sky high, a new jersey is unaffordable, $9 for a crappy beer (not even a good beer, Miller Lite for $9? Come on). Not that it’s better in any other sport… but I can go to an O’s game for around $30 if I play it right. I don’t go to an Eagles game every year, and generally when I do it’s preseason and I sit in nosebleed seats, eat in the parking lot, and don’t buy much in the stadium.
With all of that said, I just can’t do it — just like you, I’ll turn on the games in week 1 and root for my favorite team. I can’t imagine life without football.
So raise your cheap beer of choice to swift end to the negotiations, the draft in April and free agency in May this year. Because they need to get paid, too.