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Sunday, May 29, 2011

No Football League? No Problem

It’s now going on 70 plus days since the NFL and its owners locked out the players.  Accusations have been tossed at each side, along with the occasional news that progress is being made, even if all that progress amounts to is the two sides sitting down across from each other at the negotiating table.  Both sides claim that they understand the fan’s concerns, and they are committed to getting back to the business of football.
Well, to paraphrase a line from “Gone With the Wind” frankly, I don’t give a damn. 
To be sure I am a fan of pro football, my favorite team being the Cleveland Browns.  My love of pro football goes even further than that, as I have a tremendous respect for the skills of such players as Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Brian Urlacher, Adrian Peterson, Charles Woodson, and others bring to the game.  I have really enjoyed watching them entertain me.
If the lockout drags on into the regular season, however, you won’t find me whining that there is no football on Sunday.  As a matter of fact, I think college football would do well to be proactive and start moving some games to Sunday this fall.  Bottom line is that, I along with many other of my fellow football fans, will find something else to do with their time Sunday if there is no football.
I would hope that the players and the owners do not see this  as the rantings of a disgruntled fan.  Actually, I think the opposite is quite true.  I find this whole scenario to be quite hiarious, kind of like “The Longest Yard” meets “The Replacements.”   
On the one hand you have Manning,  Tom Brady, and Brees acting like Paul Crewe in “The Longest Yard”, fighting what they believe is the good fight.  Roger Goodell is the prison warden who wants Crewe to suffer for the fun of it.  And the owners are his prison guards, making sure that the players don’t run the asylum.

Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and Tom Brady all fashion themselves as a real life version of Paul Crewe in this lockout mess
On the other hand, you have guys like Ray Lewis saying that if the lockout extends into the regular season players will start turning to a life of crime.  Really Ray?  I mean, how ironic is it that the one individual accused of murder but nonetheless acquitted would go public with a statement like that.  Kind of reminds me of that safety for the Washington Sentinels in “The Replacements.” 
Of course, maybe this whole fiasco is more like the movie “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” than anything else.   A player like Lewis making such an absurd statement about his colleague’s turning to a life of crime seems like something Jack Nicholson’s character in “Nest” would say.  Players who cannot live on a salary of even half a million dollars a year should be ashamed of themselves.  No how long it would take the majority of us middle class citizens to even gross half a million? I am not sure but it would probably be in the ballpark of 10-20 years.

This may be a little extreme, but wouldn't you agree that millionaires asking for more millions is kinda like this?

Which brings me back to college football. Sure this has been the most scandalous year in not only college football, but also college athletics in general.  But give me the college game over the pros any day.  While these guys are chasing millions, and some of them will do anything to make a buck, they aren’t millionaires yet.  And that leads many of them to play with a passion that is not seen in the pros.
So  this fall I will be glued to the edge of my seat awaiting college football on Saturdays.  And maybe Sundays I will get to see a little football as well.  Or maybe not.  Not that it’s a big deal.

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