With news that the NFL owners were able to pop the lockout back in place within 24hrs, I'm left wondering how much the people (fans), the players, the vendors, and other support staff are willing to take.
I'm not a die hard fan, but I enjoy the game and understand it is a business. I don't know if the players are in the right, or the owners are because frankly I don't care enough to get into the details necessary to adequately make an informed decision. What I will say is that this situation is ridiculous. Some players probably get paid way too much. Some owners probably get paid way too much. I still think it's insane that any professional team gets cities to subsidize new stadiums that they have no control over. Sure there are jobs and tax revenue but it's a privately owned franchise and any stadium that isn't about to collapse will bring those same things in. It should be the owners and sponsors that raise funds, not public tax dollars. But I digress.
It is already amazing how much control the NFL has over it's media, it's employees, sports networks, and of course us. I cannot believe that a scrupulous court would allow an "emergency" stay of the decision to end the lockout to the owners. Clearly anything that keeps the gears of this behemoth of gridiron stopped has far more impact on the little guy than Jerry Jones. Heads need to be pulled from the rear that supports them. Especially in a time of economic hardship, I can't see why the minds in one of the biggest businesses in the country can't work something out to let people get back to work to prepare for the (hopefully) upcoming season. There is no good excuse.
Of course we can always just focus attention on the college game that, while exciting and entertaining, has turned institutions of learning into glorified sports clubs with lodging and a learning annex. That's a whole other issue and while I could go on about how in all practicality college ball players are either already professional athletes or exploited pawns, that's not my focus at the moment. Right now I'm just amazed people are standing for this circus of power plays that has the potential to benefit a very few while hurting so very many.
This circumstance raises questions about how, in a society of dependent consumers, we can actually give the voice of reason some time to speak and grab the attention of those that think of most of us as troublesome ants on their hill. On one hand, you could say boycott the NFL. That would have a lot of negative effects on the support infrastructure and players who aren't greedy prima donnas. My initial reaction was, if the GMs, coaches, players, and everyone else want to just get to business, why don't they just agree as a whole, aside from the owners, to just do that in defiance? I'm sure it is much more difficult in reality but part of me hopes it happens. There have been rival leagues to the NFL before, maybe now is the time to strike for them. Surely at least serious indications of that might get people back to the table in a settlement right?
It is just disgusting to see this sort of thing happen and with any luck, it will shift the national past time yet again. Soccer is football anyways, it should be an easy transition...