Sunday, June 12, 2011

The mystery of ownership

As you may or may not have heard, the NFL lockout continues.  Were this a normal year, fans, owners, and players would be getting all itchy and excited about trades and the upcoming season.  Participants and observers of the game would be looking forward to training camps, exhibition games, pre-season games, and actual games.  Players would be giving interviews about how excited they are to be back and how this is the year and how they are in great shape and want to prove themselves.  There would be sound bytes and snippets of video where the face of the coach or player fills a TV screen (my TV is just 19 inches and it frightens me to think of 52+ inches of Jay Cutler in high def and plasma).  There would be plans for season-long pools, per-game pools, and Fantasy Football teams.  Instead, we are looking forward to a whole lot of nothing.

I have admitted that I don't know why I now like NFL football but I do and there we have it.  Since I like it, I want to have it around.  Yes, the massive hits taken by the players can be the root cause of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).  Yes, the price of tickets are prohibitively expensive.  Indeed, the NFL-approved gear is too costly for most NFL fans to afford.  Intellectually, I understand all that, but I get a kick out of it all the same.  There are 16 games per season (not counting exhibition games and those counted as pre-season) and there is where a lot of difference happens.  Those wacky owners want 18 games.

When I attended the Bears Expo, an ex-Bear (and I can't name him because I am not positive of the exact quote) said there was indeed a way for the players to play 18 games and not be at increased risk of injury.  How?  How exactly could that happen?  How could two more games not increase one's risk of injury?  If I went on the field just once, I would instantly be at risk of injury and probably death as I am a large, middle-aged woman with no speed or strength to speak of.  Should I survive, two more times on the field increases the risk of my ending up concussed or in traction, assuming I am put in a game and play in a sane, well-prepared manner.  Two more games just seems unnecessarily risky.  They are football players, not Roman Gladiators.

The owners want more money.  The owners are probably sorry they didn't buy NHL or NBA teams with long seasons; NFL owners want their oversized piece of pie, too.  It boils down to giving the players less money as they would play more for the same money and the owners getting more because ticket sales are increased.

Let's forget the wacky, greedy owners (owners are often wacky and greedy regardless of what they own).  Let's forget the players.  We will even forgot about the fans.  Let's think about the food vendors, the parking attendants, the Bears community-relations personnel, the coaches (not the main coaches, but the low-level guys), and season-only custiodial staff.  These people have, no doubt, been looking forward to the football season so they could make some nice loot.  Maybe it's a second job and they use the money to pay for next summer's vacation, Christmas gifts, braces for their kids, tuition money for an MBA so they won't have to be on the season-only custodial staff forever, or paying off a bill from some of life's crap that just happens.  Regardless, it was money that was going to be relied on and now it's in question.

I readily admit my ignorance but my ignorance doesn't blind me to greed and the lockout is aggravating and just too much.


Photo courtesy of the NY Times
HAHAHAHAHAHA!  LeBron James is TANKING in the every fourth quarter, y'all, and the Dallas Mavericks may finish spanking the bottoms of the Miami Heat tonight.  I won't be watching, however, because the Tony Awards are on, Neil Patrick Harris is host, and long before I had an appreciation for sporting events, I was a teenager in Detroit who enjoyed Broadway cast albums, learning every song, and singing along with them (complete with mental choreography where I was always the star) until even I was sick of them.  Fingers crossed that LeBron and the Heat LOSE in a spectacular fashion.  (Photo from the opening song of the Tonys.)

LATE-BREAKING NEWS:  LeBron TANKED!  Bosh did NOTHING!  Wade did what he could but the Heat LOST!  The Mavericks are the NBA Champs.  To paraphrase Edward G. Robinson in "The Ten Commandments," where are your talents now, LeBron?  HAHAHAHAHAHA!  And "War Horse" won Best Play with "The Book of Mormon" winning for Best Musical.  And Mr. NPH ruled!

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