I was surprised to see that the NFL has released their preseason schedule for the 2011-2012 season. Seems like a pretty bold move for a league who is currently being taken to court by its own players.
“Business as usual,” is what I was told by my season ticket representative when I asked why they were still requiring payments even though nobody is working. It is a “work” stoppage, so why should I be required to pay when the company I am paying is not working? I was assured a refund for any games canceled due to the current work stoppage. I was also assured that there would be no replacement players ala 1987 as this was a work stoppage and not a strike.
It would be one thing if they were simply requiring a deposit, however, they expect the payment in full by the end of June.
Fans are being taken for granted. The league and players are arguing so much amongst themselves that the 9 billion dollars they have been bickering over may have already turned into 8.5, and with every passing day, it gets just a little bit lower. If the season does not start on time, that number will drop faster than a pass thrown to Jerramy Stephens.
I like football better when it’s a sport and not a soap opera. One might find less drama in a junior high, girls’ bathroom than in the current NFL, and these forced mediations are going to only make things worse. I saw this quote in the Seattle Times about a weekago:
“While owners’ attorneys have declared mediation is most effectively done over the sides’ collective-bargaining disagreements, the players argue that working to settle the lawsuit filed by standout quarterbacks Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and other players is the best route to strike labor peace.”
It sounds like the two sides are even farther apart now than they were when negotions broke off the last time. They are currently fighting about what they want to fight about. This is a train wreck in the making. Bothe the owners and players have become so consumed with the revenue that they have neglected to remember its source: the fans.
I still picked up my tickets this year, but it was different. I had to convince myself to buy them for the first time. It was difficult to justify spending that much money on something that doesn’t seem to even acknowledge my existence. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve felt this way before and far worse: Supersonics R.I.P., but the NFL has been so good for so long, that I sometimes forgot that it was a business. The NFL had become great at sweeping things under the rug such as player life expectancy and concussion issues which have only recently been addressed by the NFL. And let’s not forget the hidden issue concerning performance enhancing drugs in the NFL which the owners have recently brought to the table as a result of the players court case against them.
I sure do miss the NFL, and I sincerely hope that this issue is resolved in a timely fashion.
As a fan of the NFL, I still have hope.
As a former NBA fan who has been tossed to the side and forgotten because I wasn’t willing to build a 3rd 500 million dollar facility in Seattle during one of the worst economic times in the past century, I have very little hope that this will get better before it gets a whole lot worse.
During this next round of negotiations, I am really hoping for the NFL and its Players to wake up and realize that they need each other. As far as the fans go, I stopped caring when everybody made 10 times as much money as I did and still couldn’t figure it out. All I know is that I am still paying for a product that does not exist and am feeling worse about it everyday.
Sorry for the long length of time between posts. I took a little vacation and it turned into a big one.
Well here we are in the middle of an extension concerning the CBA talks, and I am starting to get nervous. The Seahawks had an incredible end to an exciting season that proved to be more than a rebuilding year. Fans can’t wait for free agency, the draft, training camp, and the regular season to start again… but I am not so sure the players or the owners are. Here is a brief perspective on the owners, the players, and the fans.
The owners’ perspective: Each paid hundreds of millions of dollars in order to aquire their team, so why wouldn’t they deserve to be first in line when the pie is being sliced? The NFL’s popularity is due to far more than just the talent of the best players. Effective advertising and marketing have had a huge impact on the success of the NFL since the last work stoppage in 1987. And remember that players come and go with each passing year, but owners carry the responsibility of maintaining the league. Also the NFL seems to have a more dedicated owner in general compared to other pro sports. Take the NBA for example. The LA Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, has been widely criticized for being somewhat of a lame duck. He doesn’t need to win because it’s enough just owning the team. Baseball is even worse. The worst teams in MLB have turned into farm teams for the best ones. The real spending doesn’t begin until after you buy the team. Imagine if Jerry Jones could do whatever he wanted. The reality is that baseball was last seen before the strike when it drowned in a big pile of money. R. I. P. My point is that the NFL seems to have the parody and committed ownership that other leagues lack.