As I peruse the various sports sites to distract myself from things I should be doing I keep seeing sports writers and fans agree on one thing....the fans have every right to be pissed about what's going on. I've even seen comments on other sites comparing what is happening right now to the baseball strike of years ago and how people will never watch football again.....
I really don't understand this point of view at all. Yes there is a lockout, and the NFL universe is a bit odd at the moment, but how does the current situation hurt us fans? What exactly are we the fans being deprived of? It's not regular season games at this point. It's not the rip off that's pre-season games. Railbirds aren't being deprived of watching grown men ride bikes that children use and watch practice. We're not even missing snippets of video clips from OTA's or the "voluntary" workouts. All we the fans are missing is simply some free agency news and gossip about who is doing what in the NFL.
So what's the big deal?
Now those lucky few of us with season tickets have to determine if you want to pay for them with no guarantee that the games will happen. Yes, that is a hard choice, but let's get a few things straight here. One, this is a cost you were probably planning on paying as it is if things where normal. Two, most teams have said they will reimburse if games are cancelled and the Packers will probably do something similar. Three, if you don't there are somewhere between 30 - 90 years worth of people willing to take your place so I really don't feel bad for you one bit.
After that the only thing we fans are put to are lame stories about the labor situation again and again. Some of these take the form of how hard it is on us. Some of them act as propaganda pieces for the owners and the players never wanted to deal. Others are the opposite, where the writer is speaking for the players and talking about how disrespectful the owners were and how it hurt the players feelings. Some will just talk about how each side hates it other...but you know what? When the deal gets done, and it will get done, each side will spread the love on thick and move forward.
The last thing mentioned above that really I don't understand are those fans willing to give up because of this.....
First of all, let's not compare this situation to what baseball did in the 90's or hockey recently yet. Those leagues actually lost large chunks of the season. Right now all that's happened is FA might happen after the draft and teams will have less time to prepare for games.
And make no mistake...I will be shocked if a single game is missed this season. Even with the nuclear options in play right now all it takes is one bad ruling for either side and the negotiations will heat up quick. Hell, we could see court orders that gets the some form of the season on track. The other part of this feeling comes from the amount of optimism by those who are really watching this still alive. For as much as we heard that there wouldn't be any motivation to get a deal done until September of lockout/decertification happened, may on each side are still talking about getting together and working things out.
By the way, if you think this situation is bad wait till you see what the NBA has got cooking. Lots of teams, fully guaranteed contracts, and real disparity in winning and money making. That's a pressure cooker that's going to make the NFL's situation look like child's play.
Finally if all the bickering between the sides is making you sick here's my advice. First, don't give up on football because of this...seriously it only makes you look bad. People who give up on a sport after a few days of bad press are fair weather fans and should be roundly mocked accordingly. Second, watch something else. God (and engineers) designed remote controls to have a mute button and a button to change the channel for a reason. Use them. Follow a different sport, watch Dancing with the Stars with your wife, or read a book.....anything to distract you until the powers that be set the football universe right and the NFL can fill that void in your soul that nothing else can. But please don't waste our time by saying you'll never watch again. Either you didn't mean it or you weren't a big enough fan to be reading NFL articles in March to start with.