About the time you figure out which side you support in the NFL lockout, someone on that side makes a remark that makes you think twice.
One thing that has become painfully obvious to me is that the concern for the fan is little more than lip service from either side.
Another thing that is painfully clear: These guys— owners and players alike— are convinced that you, the fan, will be right there to cheer them on when all of this is done. It does not matter how their greed, selfishness and stupidity may be ruining the game, the NFL will be as popular as ever when the differences are finally set aside and play resumes.
NFL fans may return a little more jaded. Some of the luster of the game may be tarnished for the younger fans. But all will be forgiven, stadiums will be filled, television ratings will be through the roof, and the NFL will still be the king of American sports.
Meanwhile, owners like Jerry Jones act like the rulers of the world we have made them. In a recent article, Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated gave an unflattering picture of Jones during the negotiations between the NFLPA union representatives and the NFL owners’ executive committee. Trotter writes:
“I don’t think we’ve got your attention,” Jones said to the players, several of whom recounted the incident to SI. “You clearly don’t understand what we’re saying, and we’re not hearing what you’re saying. So I guess we’re going to have to show you to get your attention.”
Jones tapped his fists together for emphasis—the players interpreted it as a sign that a lockout was coming—then stood and walked toward the door. As he reached the end of the table, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, another labor hawk, began to rise, but Robert Kraft of the Patriots, who was sitting next to him, put a hand on Richardson’s forearm and kept him from going.
If Jones’s intention was to intimidate the players, he failed. “I think everybody in the room thought it was overly dramatic, almost hilarious,” one player said. “It was like a Jerry Maguire moment. You know, ‘I’m leaving. Who’s coming with me?’ I know it didn’t scare any of us.”
For Cowboys’ fans, Jerry Jones being the world’s oddest mixture of arrogance and ignorance is nothing new. But wouldn’t you have loved to be a fly on the wall when the delusional billionaire showed himself an ass and made himself a fool?
So, with owners like Jerry Jones and Jerry Richardson, the Carolina Panthers’ owner whom the players accused of being condescending to them, it is easy to be on the players’ side right?
Meet Adrian Peterson, who thinks his job is a lot like Chicken George’s.
In an interview with Yahoo Sports, Peterson shared the following nugget:
It’s modern-day slavery, you know? People kind of laugh at that, but there are people working at regular jobs who get treated the same way, too. With all the money … the owners are trying to get a different percentage, and bring in more money.
Do I really even have to dignify such stupidity with a retort? No? Thank you.
Watching the NFL owners and NFL Players Association duke it out over the billions of dollars we have provided them with our blood, sweat, tears and passionate loyalty is enough to turn even the strongest football stomach. Their excesses have already priced the common man out of the stadium. From Personal Seat Licenses to ten dollar hot dogs, many NFL fans have given money they could not afford to men who do not appreciate it.
These men lord over the football kingdom with a sense of entitlement. Owners clamor for more money, claiming they are going broke. Players whine about how short a football career is and how they have to make all the hay they can while the sun shines on them. Meanwhile, Joe Plumber and John Q. Public would gladly go broke in the same way as an NFL owner and dream every day of retirement that will likely never come.
Yet, these delusional participants in a squabble over your money want more than your support. They want your sympathy. Go ahead and give it to them, if you want.
I, for one, am this close to saying, “Let the whole thing burn to the ground.”
Let Jerry Jones go broke. Let Adrian Peterson learn what it means to work for a living.
Let the people rise. Let the one voice that ought to be most prominent finally be heard.
Glad you asked.
There is a new league in town— the People’s league. I am calling it the National Fed-up Football Fans League (NFFFL). We have a Manifesto, which you can sign and share by using your FaceBook “like” button. Find it here. Read it. Sign it. Share it.
Any professional sports league is a public trust. The NFL does not belong to the team owners, the commissioner or the current players. It belongs to you. It belongs to me. These are our teams. This is our sport. This is our time.
Stand up. Speak up. Don’t shut up until they sit down and get down to the business of returning our game to us.