It’s almost spring and with all the excitement of college hoops, the start of a wildly anticipated 2011 baseball season, and the opening of Phishin’ season slated for Memorial Day weekend in upstate NY, it’s easy to share in the groove and lose sight of the potential apocalypse looming just around the bend. And no, I’m not talking about the deficit, socialism, Islam, Middle East riots, or Japanese catastrophe. I’m talking about soggy nachos, flat beer, and a general sense of despair surrounding the fact that this year my best option for Sunday afternoons may be to sit around getting high watching figure skating on ABC.
With over $9 billion in annual revenue at stake (not to mention the mortgages of the thousands of everyday Americans who have their careers and financial well-being inextricably tangled in NFL gameday – stadium employees, restaurant owners, bookies, shylocks, etc…) you’d think the owners and the NFLPA would be logically induced to come to some sort of agreement for the common good of mankind, right? Wrong. The owners have taken a hard-lined position reminiscent of Mussolini, forcing the players union to decertify and take it to the octagon.
Who needs cheerleaders with this sexy crew prowling the sidelines?
Since the bargaining relationship with the NFLPA has ended, the NFL is no longer immune to antitrust scrutiny, and players are now able to bring lawsuits against the NFL. The courtroom battle is set to begin with the Preliminary Injunction hearing to end the lockout on April 6th, as the players have filed a class action anti-trust lawsuit against the NFL entitled—get this—Tom Brady v. NFL. Looks like Brady finally got that reality T.V. show he’s always wanted. Additional named plaintiffs include Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Vincent Jackson, Osi Umenyiora, and incoming rookie Von Miller among others.
While litigation ensues it is important to keep a positive approach and focus on the upsides of a squandered 2011 NFL season. As an avid G-Men supporter I, for one, will be happy not having to tolerate that utterly confused look on Coughlin’s face when something – literally, anything – happens on the field of play due to his poor understanding of the rules of football. If there was no season, Eli Manning might finally put up a touchdown to interception ratio worthy of his contract. And most importantly, failure to play a 2011 NFL season might deter good old Tiki Barber from trying to make some sort of pathetic comeback.
But, as much as I’d like to deny it, I would certainly find myself in dire straits if the season were actually canceled. Sure we can still get drunk, have backyard barbeques, or even watch college ball—ugly as it seams—but Fall without the NFL would be like, well, Phish without the Phunk. In short…it would be a bummer. As fans we must call on both parties to resolve their differences and get their shit in order. We must remind them that the success of the NFL is derived entirely from fan satisfaction, and without us it’s just a warped piece of pigskin. And, if all else fails, at least we’ll have Brady in the courtroom to throw his hands up like a pussy lookin’ for that roughing-the-passer flag. If anyone can get the call, it’s definitely him.