$$$The Power of the NFL$$$

I don’t know if anyone has heard, but the NFL is back… Not that it actually went anywhere in the first place, but with the way America has reacted, you’d swear we hadn’t seen a game in five years, not five months.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad the lockout is over and that the NFL can get things moving in a direction that gets the players field.  The idea of going the entire length of the fall and winter without the Browns and the rest of the NFL isn’t something I was ready to deal with.

However, I do have a problem with the overwhelming lovefest that is being showered on both the players and the owners for “doing what is right” and settling their issues with one another.  Why are we celebrating this like it’s the end of World War II?  I realize that I’m probably in the minority here, but just because football is back on doesn’t mean we should forgive and forget everything that’s gone on over the past few months.

Fans of the NFL are shouting from the rooftops that they forgive the NFL and love that it’s back.  Newsflash people… brace yourselves… the NFL could give a crap whether or not you forgive them for what they’ve done.  If anything, they’ve played everyone like a fiddle this entire time.  This work stoppage didn’t come to an end at the 11th hour to please you, to please us, the fans.  No, this deal was made to fill their pockets with the true motivating factor behind this whole thing.  Yup, the dollar.

The owners and the players both knew that missing games or even the entire season would have brought about negative publicity and anger from fans.  They also knew there was no way in hell anyone would honestly turn their backs on the NFL and never come back.  So did they come to agreement to appease you?  No, don’t kid yourselves.  They came to this agreement because they knew that missing games or the season meant fewer pay checks.  It meant less game checks for players.  It meant less revenue from parking lots, merchandise, concessions, PSL’s and tickets.  It meant that ALL OF THEM would be that less rich the longer this played out.

I’m sure you’re all sitting there saying to yourselves, “Where does this guy come off?”  I get that.  I realize that I’m in the minority position here, but I’m not ecstatic, head over heals, filled with joy that the NFL is back, at least not yet.  Not because I don’t want games or a season.  No, I’m pissed the NFL is back because fans have gone running back like an idiotic teenage girl going back to her cheating boyfriend…again.  Refresh my memory.  How many of you said you were never going to watch the NFL again?  Exactly… hypocrites.

Throughout this whole process the owners toyed with our emotions telling us that the players were to blame.  Then the players told us why this was the owners’ fault.  That if they weren’t so greedy there would never have been a lockout.  Then the owners passed a deal and swung public opinion back in their favor and against the players.  In all honesty, the back and forth happened more times than we can begin to recollect.  Bottom line, the fans got played.  We were used to try to persuade one side into doing what the other wanted.

Sports is big business in the 21st century and football is no different.  If this had been two random corporate entities playing games with the American people like this, there would be outrage.  At no point would we run back to them arms wide open with forgiveness readily at hand.  Even the players and owners played into this grand idea that they “saved football.”  Please, football was never going to go away.  The whole thing makes me sick and actually makes me mad.

In the end, I guess America got what it wanted.  The NFL is back and the season will go off without a hitch, just like it always does.  But come September 11th, when you’re all bitching and moaning about how you can only tailgate for 2 hours, that beer is $14 for 12 ounces, or that the price of tickets is beyond what a typical family of four is able to afford, don’t go crying to the owners.  Don’t even think about running to the players for help.  Remember, they both got what they wanted in the end from the lockout and a new collective bargaining agreement…

But did you?

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