Last night I heard something that got me thinking. Somebody actually referred to it as Three Eleven. Think about it... they day started as East Coast and Midwest waking up and hearing about the earthquake in Japan followed by the Tsunami that caused even more devastation. The problem is so many people only kept one eye ball on CNN while having ESPN.com minimized on their computer screens at work. I for one will be the first one to admit that even though a disaster happened on the other side of the word; I was still thinking about what was going to happen if the deadline actually hits and the players are locked out.
Friday was just a terrible day in history and before anyone starts rolling their eyes and insinuates that I actually am comparing this to 9/11, just chill out, some other idiot came up with it.
I will say that the owners and the players equally have moved to the next step in completely destroying this game. I just can’t quite wrap my head around it. The NFL made a profit of $9.3 billion dollars last year and yet two parties can't figure out a way to divide it. I am not taking the players side and I am not taking the owners either; like somebody once said, its millionaires vs. billionaires. I'll work until my late 60's and before taxes, will be just shy of 1.7 million dollars of lifetime earnings... that’s 35 years from now. Must be real tough to be a millionaire... cry me a river.
Instead of us enjoying the offseason with free agents, draft signings and training camps; we now are going to enjoy litigation. De Smith, the owners and whoever else can try to sell their sides of the story to the fans, the media etc. until their blue in the face but it’s clear as a bell what the lingering issue is and to be honest, I think I would have more respect if the press conferences and the letters to the media and fans were legit.
I just enjoyed a blog that a fellow fan wrote in a letter format to Roger Goodell urging him to let cooler heads prevail. At this point there is no cool head present on either side and with all due respect to that letter, this is the only thing I want to read from Roger Goodell; it might just win him humanitarian of the year.
Dear NFL Fans
The NFL and the now Former Players Union could not come to an agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement before the deadline so therefore, the current CBA has expired, the players have decertified and the owners have locked out the players putting this upcoming season in jeopardy. First I want all the fans to realize that this is in no way shape or form my fault! I mean I thought it was a great idea bringing in about 100 lawyers, all the owners and a bunch of other people who have virtually nothing to do with anything to basically be part of the problem. We told you all that we wanted a deal to get done but in reality all I wanted to do for 16 days is sit in that mediation room and drink myself stupid because I've never met a more greedy group of buffoons in my life. The players wanted the owners to open their books and they said "no"... and quite frankly I don't blame them! I wouldn't want anyone going through my financials anymore than you would. Even if they opened the books, De Smith would have found something else to grind them about because I am seriously convinced that the man loves his camera time, loves to hear himself talk and hopes every day that he can one day read about his precious legacy on Wikipedia.
I wish I can tell you fans that I believe this will be resolved soon but I won't... Bottom line is the owners won't move a muscle until they get their extra billion and the players want nothing to do with negotiating. To be perfectly honest we just follow up with all of you because were mildly concerned that you won't spend as much money on football when we finally figure out how to divide $9.3 billion... and we’re all pretty greedy so it may take a little while!
As an act of good faith and more as a ultimately ineffective publicity tactic; I will keep my promise and cut my salary to $1 a year until this a new CBA is formed. Of course my salary is $10 Million a year and I've been here since '06 so I guess you can say I prepared myself for a lockout as well :-)
I recently heard that the former Union is planning to boycott the NFL draft. That’s right; Roger will be going up at the podium numerous times to read a team’s pick only to see nobody up on stage to take a jersey and probably fruited and vegetabled to death by New York Fans. If that actually happened, how could he blame them? He is currently the figure head of the most dominate and richest team in the NFL... the owners.
I am a huge Lions fan and one of the millions who eat, sleep, drink and breath NFL football. What has happened here makes nobody look good and it leaves the fans out to freeze in the cold. I have about 100 opinions on how to solve this problem but why bother? It's just a numbered thought tossed into a suggestion box labeled "irrelevant." The pot of profit could be 9.3 trillion dollars and it wouldn't make a difference. The owners want to get theirs and the players want to get theirs and again we would be discussing why they owners need "another trillion."
Mr. Goodell my message to you is short but simple. Get control of this situation. Get rid of the lawyers, tell the owners to get back on their private planes and go home and tell the players to get lost as well. Deciding how to divide $9.3 billion is a stupid problem to have... but regardless it is a problem. Get control of this thing so all you guys can get your pay checks and most importantly; so we the fans can enjoy some football.