Being an avid sports fan it is hard thinking of the possibility of an NFL lockout looming for the 2011 season. Many football fans, no matter what team it is that they root for on Sundays, find it hard if there is no football this season. We have always rooted for the underdog in the game even if the underdog in the game has been our team, but it seems that the likely underdog will be us the fans.
The owners and NFLPA (National Football League Players Association) cannot seem to come to terms with money to the length of games played to player’s safety. As a fan of the game, many of us could truly care less on how many games are played and how much money they make off playing; all we want is to invite friends over, watch the game on our big screen TV, have some drinks and chips with some dip, and root for our team, win or lose. On the other note, aside from the fans aspect and looking at the game from a business standpoint, we can understand some of the concerns that the owners and players may have. The owners are looking at the risk they are taking from giving players millions of dollars to men who grew up playing in the backyard or streets with their friends. Also, as they say with more money more problems, and owners are investing money into not just players but men who not only represent the team as an organization, but the fans and the city that supports the team.
So, when a player goes out and is arrested from DUI charges to disorderly conduct in public places, they see it as conduct detrimental to the team, and want some assurance to them that if something of this nature happens that they will not come off as the bad guy in the movie when they fine, suspend, or cut the player. The players are coming to the table with concerns of their safety for it is them that are risking more than just money, but their bodies when they step onto the field and fill the stands that fatten the owner’s pockets. I have yet to recall one fan that has come to a stadium, or turned on the TV set to see which owner was managing his favorite team from the skybox. The players want to play not just for the big paychecks and celebrity fame, but for the passion of the game they developed while playing in the backyards and streets with their friends.
The players also see the risk of safety with going from the current sixteen games to the proposed eighteen games as more as a safety concern to them, and money profit that will benefit the owners more than them. As we have seen more players have suffered concussions than they have in previous years not to just vicious hits, but from players who are getting bigger and faster. It seems that the safety measures to protect the players are not advancing to prevent these injuries which have cost some promising players to cut their careers short. We all want the owners and players to come together, lock themselves in a room, and to not move from the table until they have reached an agreement, and no matter what the money situation comes to or how many games are played in a season, or even if it’s played in some billion-dollar stadium or your neighbors backyard, the fans just want to watch football.
If it was that simple the owners wouldn’t have locked out the players causing a work stoppage, and the players wouldn’t be taking the owners to court suing them for the game that not only they live to play for, but it’s their job they get paid to play. It also seems that the owners have not learned from the last time there was a work stoppage in football; it is not good for the NFL as a business, and it leaves a bad taste in the fans mouth who support not just their team but the NFL as well.
There is a common ground the owners and players just need to find what and where it is and agree upon it. Now can we get the lockout lifted to see some football and get a Who Dat!!!