Catching up in The Bird Cage after a round of sickness swept through the authors house and family. New, more extensive post to come shortly.
Almost all of The Bird Cage is devoted of course to our Atlanta Falcons, but seeing as though a real possibility exists of not even seeing any Falcons games in 2011, the topic should be a good one for some comments and feelings towards the NFL, the owners, and the players.
The factors at play are complicated, complex, and hard to understand. If you’ve been following the entire dramatic saga you know that the NFL makes $9 billion dollars a year and the owners want more of the pie and the players not quite as much. Then there’s the issue of the season going to 18 games, a rookie wage scale, and owner’s opening their financial books.
It’s amazing all involved in this ridiculous ordeal are this tone deaf in the current state of affairs in our country and the world overall. The NFL just hit its highest peak in the last two years with the two highest rated Super Bowls and most seen shows in the history of television and makes enough money to be considered the 4th arm of our U.S. Government.
They’ve known this was coming for over a year and pretended to care at the very end and act like they were very close with their 3 extensions. When in hindsight, at least according to the players, they were never close to reaching a deal whatsoever. After all his tough management style and bluster, Roger Goodell came off as ineffectual and weak when it came to the owners of the league. All associated in the NFL, particularly the owners since they stockpiled millions to offset a coming lockout, are insanely arrogant to think they have more pull as not to incite anger, betrayal, and bitterness with their fans.
If the court ruling coming on April 6th rules against the owners, than things could quickly go back to the old rules and not too much would be lost, except all sympathy for the poor, billionaire owners. If the court ruling goes with the owners, a real possibility exists on losing the entire season, or at least seriously damaging it.
As much as we all love and appreciate Arthur Blank for what he’s done for our franchise and the real hope that the Lombardi Trophy may one day come to Atlanta, the letter he sent out typifies how the owners think a little bit. He said he appreciates us “understanding” this whole ordeal. Well, the fact is that we DON’T understand it and all the factors at play make a hill of beans to us real people who buy the tickets, purchase parking passes, shop for merchandise, and spend a large time of our lives supporting something that we love.
The reality is that it’s hard enough for most of us to provide for our families, pay for healthcare, save money for our kids to go to college, pay down our skyrocketing credit card rates, and do the best we can to keep our heads above water while enduring one of the worst economies since the Great Depression. It’s disrespectful, angering, and completely tone deaf to what’s going on in the real world where people don’t get paid millions to play a kid’s game or billions to own an NFL franchise. If the NFL, it’s owners, and players believe they are above the fray and have more pull than any other sports, they will most likely find out they are wrong. Ask baseball enthusiasts how their lockout affected their sport when they locked out, which ironically helped confirm that the NFL was truly America’s favorite pastime.
Fans will move on to another sport and the bitterness will turn into ambivalence and the NFL may not lose all of its popularity, but it will take a long time, if ever, to get back to their current state.
Enough of The Bird Cage’s take. Your turn to weigh in on the Stupid Greed known as the NFL Lockout.
-Who’s most to blame: owners, players, or both?
-Who do you sympathize with more: owners, players, or neither?
-Is the NFL above other sports in terms of pull?
-Will you turn off the NFL at some point?
-What sports do you plan on turning on?
-How long do you think this will drag on?
-How tone deaf are all involved with the NFL to reality?
-Do you “understand” the situation as Mr. Blank says?