This Friday night (Saturday morning) at midnight, it will be officially 2 weeks into the first lockout and I swear, it’s not just the players and the owners trading blows anymore. Everyone else is starting to get heated.
I listened to Mike and Mike this morning (Doug G. was in for Greenberg) and they were talking about why or why not should the owners open their books. It seriously got heated. A month ago it was a simple conversation between two people or just what anywhere else was talking about; nobody was really heated, it was just simple details you had to pay attention to. Now I read everybody’s latest blogs on here and everyone is starting to get pretty pissed when they write about it. A month ago I never thought this thing would even go the distance; I thought it was a bunch of last minute negotiating tactics and at the end of the day, both sides would agree because not having a season would be so brutal, so unthinkable and so stupid that it just wouldn't happen. I think people are now starting to think that the unthinkable just might happen.
First off I want it to be known that I do not think the owners should have to open their books. Forget all the crap about how employees never get to see their companies books and blah blah... I'm concerned about the precedent it will create. Let's say the owners came out today, March 23rd 2011 and for the first time, they opened their books and gave the union all the information they ever wanted. Let's even say that the owners were telling the truth 100% and there are no irregularities found. Now every single time a new CBA is negotiated, every single time the owners ever even so much as ask for a dime extra; the players will get more comfortable asking them to open their books again and will consistently cite the time it occurred on 3/23/11 and if they ever decertify again then it will hold up in any court room. All the judge will say is "Well, you guys did it for them at that time, why can't you do it now?" Bottom line, the owners have a right to protect themselves and quite frankly, that’s a monster you don't want to create.
This whole thing is starting to irritate me because it just fits into the whole "Detroit Lions Luck." This is the first time in 10 years that I have been so excited for the next season because the last 4 games showed us something that we hadn't seen in a long time. We are actually becoming a good team! We obviously just a have a few more holes to fill up but what team doesn't? Now we only have 5 draft picks and because there is no free agency, we can't fill any holes right now. Even if the judges grants the injunction to the players which will end the lockout for a period of time, no team will risk signing anybody because the owners will immediately appeal and if they win then that recently signed player will have to return to his team. And of course you can only trade picks in the draft and not players so it will make trading up and down a heck of a lot more difficult. This is why I see the lions trading down in the draft, we need more picks.
I've heard every argument that there is and its starting to just piss me off just like it is doing to everyone else. Most people who read this blog are either hard working Detroit natives who probably work twice as hard for their paycheck then anyone in the country or somebody who is unemployed and wants the opportunity to work twice as hard for their paycheck. All we've ever been rich on in Detroit is our pride and our love for our sports teams and we of all sports fans would and should be more critical of this situation because it’s about dividing up an obscene amount of money... and it’s all profit. To us, it should be fairly simple to divide it because it’s more freaking money than any of us have ever seen are lives. A small fraction of it would make us rich beyond our wildest dreams.
I did side with the players originally, I have to admit. But over the last two weeks I've been more and more turned off. They HAD a great argument. But they just keep talking... Every player who gets on the air gives his two cents about Roger Goodell and the owners. Adrian Peterson came out last week and said the owners treat them like slaves. Are you kidding me you f***ing idiot? The comment would have been more offensive it wasn't so stupid. It's real simple guys... if you make the team and you’re on the roaster than you get paid, and the league minimum last year was $325,000 a year per player. That is over 6x the amount of money that I make and I consider myself a lucky guy to make what I do and I had to move out of Michigan just to get the job. I just have a hard time feeling sorry for somebody who makes that kind of money. Their concerned about their benefits after they retire; here’s a thought... Get another job when you can't play football anymore, I won't retire until I'm at least halfway through my 60's. Not everyone suffers from the long term affects of being hit for 15 years and there are jobs out there that have simple qualifications.
The owners I never once sided with, that’s just something that I will never do. They get to own, and some even get to operate a professional football team. They make millions of dollars and they have 100% job security. Seriously how many of you worry about getting fired at least a couple times out of the year? I know I do no matter how good of a job I do. Any argument from them in this matter just reeks of greed.
Go ahead and vent with me! It’s contagious!