Musings from all members of the Thomas family, even our dog.

 

Suck it up, NFL and NFLPA.

I am not remotely impressed with the breakdown of labor negotiations between the NFL and the NFLPA. 

I was generally in support of the perspective of the players’ union until it became abundantly clear to me that they never had any intention of trying to get a deal done. 

I never supported the avarice of the owners and the league, and my worst suspicions about that group has now been confirmed as well.

Who loses in this massive fail of alleged effort toward reconciliation? I do. You do. All of us who love this game, yet are not fortunate enough (emphasis on fortunate) to play it, own a team, or be paid to be involved with it at a high level. At the end of the day, Roger Goodell, DeMaurice Smith, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and the rest of the jackholes involved with this sham of a process are still millionaires, whether the players are on the field come fall racking up more millions, or sitting at home enjoying the millions they already have. I’ll be the one sitting at home waiting for my season ticket refund check, fuming and furious because there’s no football.

The players are quick to remind us of the low-level players who make the league minimum per year, which was $310,000 per year in 2010. How many typical NFL fans bring home that kind of bank each year? Give me a break. The lowest paid player in the league is paid ridiculous amounts of money from the perspective of an average American. I don’t have a problem with the amount of money the players are paid, and I want to see the players get a fair deal based on overall profit for the league. Realistically, without the players, there is no football. But, now that the legal process has been initiated, and the players union has decertified, I’m pretty much over the arrogance of everybody involved in the process.

I don’t want to hear Roddy White’s sad, sad tale of having to pay $2,600 per month for COBRA insurance. We pay almost $1,000 per month for our health insurance through my husband’s job, and to say we don’t even approach Roddy’s income is a gigantic understatement. I love Roddy, but he’s not winning anyone over by whining about money. I don’t want to hear Drew Brees say much of anything, but to insist that the NFLPA is doing everything they can for former and future players when, in reality, rookie pay scale and benefits for retired players seem to be afterthoughts, obviously second to the major issue of compensation for current players and the possibility of an 18-game season. News flash, NFL players. Your fans aren’t idiots. We understand the process. We love the game, and we support you guys, but we’re normal people with normal incomes, and our patience is waning with all the woe-is-me drama.

I used to be a huge baseball fan, back in the day. I read all of the box scores every day, and watched as many Indians games as I could. On any given day, I could have told you what was happening in each American League division, who was leading each and by how many games, as well as details about the performance of every single Tribe player. Then the players went on strike in 1994, and this lockout is bringing to the surface all of the negative feelings I developed toward the players and the leadership in Major League Baseball that prompted me to give up on the sport altogether. 

Anyone who knows me knows that my affection for football borders on the obsessive. I love NFL football. I live, eat, sleep and breathe it during the season, and it occupies a fair amount of my time throughout much of the offseason. I drive my non-football-following friends insane with my constant football talk. I don’t want to turn my back on football, but if they don’t get this thing worked out, I fear that I will not have any patience left for it.

I keep hearing these guys say that they’re working toward the best outcome for the fans, but their actions are inconsistent with their words. Their actions tell me that neither side ever had any intention of coming to a workable agreement, and that a lockout was always in the cards. It should be no surprise that any optimism I had about seeing a new CBA in place in the near future has completely disappeared.

I don’t want to see sad sack Roger Goodell insisting that they’re going to get this done for the fans anymore. I don’t want to see DeMaurice Smith walking around in his jaunty cap with his inexplicable cadre of bodyguards anymore. I don’t want to hear any more whining about Judge Doty and his bias toward the players. I don’t want to hear the NFL blaming the NFLPA anymore, and I don’t want to hear the NFLPA blaming the NFL, either. I am tired of the he said/they said ridiculousness. This is a bunch of grown men, and they need to put on their big boy pants and work this thing out, now.