I’ve stayed away from any chatter regarding the NFL Lockout because a) it’s hard to understand the issues between all the finger-pointing and whining, and b) no matter what anyone says, it all comes down to the money—the players want more, the owners want to give less.
From a fan standpoint, I can see where changes need to be made—starting with the NFL Draft. It’s never made any sense to me that a rookie can come in and make millions as a top 10 pick, based solely on his potential and draft order. That seems monumentally unfair to those players who have actually proven their worth on the field of play and deserve better.
Second, the contract structures have always seemed shady—heavily back-loaded, with the signing bonus being the biggest talking point. Why not offer the bulk of the money in the first few years as opposed to the last few? Oh, that’s right, that wouldn’t be beneficial to the owners.
And lastly, speaking of those owners, not every franchise is blessed with a billion-dollar stadium, with a Lake Michigan sized big screen, yet many patrons are still subjected to ridiculously high ticket prices and sub-par stadium conditions.
How about the owners start offering a better fan experience for all the money they’re given—after all, without the fans, there likely wouldn’t be much revenue to speak of.
Which leads me to this point, this issue effects the fans as much, if not more, than it does the players or the owners. It pisses me off that, in all this chatter, both sides are looking for sympathy from the fans in a situation where neither would be relevant if said fans weren’t there to support their sport in the first place!
Good grief, get over yourselves!
Here’s a question, someone answer it for me if you can, how many Fortune 500 companies are willing to completely open their financial portfolios up to their employees—even the lowest earning ones—and say, ‘hey, we’re going to base your salary off of these earnings—if that’s okay with you’? In a business as money-driven and cutthroat as the NFL, why would players expect owners to be willing to do as much?
And speaking of said owners, I wouldn’t go as far as Adrian Peterson and call them slave drivers, but they definitely don’t have a problem pimping players for a hefty profit and that needs to stop. One hand washes the other, and if you [the owners] continue to treat your players like rented mules, they will eventually kick you in the gonads—just saying.
The hearing today might reopen the negotiation table, but the damage has already been done as far as I’m concerned. The NFL has likely lost a lot of fans, disillusioned a ton more, and made their profit-earning lives more difficult where ticket sales are concerned because, let’s face it, in an economy where recreational money is at a premium, who is going to be willing to support a bunch of free-spending, prima donnas, with a me-complex?
People will come back to the sport once the lockout is over—no doubt about that—but they won’t be nearly as enamored of it as they were before because, to put it simply, all these dollars won’t have amounted to much sense.