First, yes this another bashing of the NFL Players. The longer this labor garbage continues the more I am disgusted with a bunch of overpaid athletes who have zero clue…as stated earlier today by Robbie Gould. But I want to direct your attention to two articles below this one where our most recent Mock Draft is in case you don’t want to read this drivel…see, I think of you first.
If ever there was an article that I wish NFL players, NBA players, NHL, MLB, and so on players, would read...it would be this one. The NFL is faced with it’s first work stoppage since 1987 when players went on strike in order to gain better benefits for those before them and those who would come after them. Today, the NFL labor issue is being labeled “Millionaires vs. Billionaires” and many of the “millionaires” are quick to point out that most of the NFL players are far from millionaires.
Today however, Robbie Gould the kicker and former NFLPA rep for the Chicago Bears made it clear why we are in the midst of a labor issue.
“Look, fans don’t buy tickets to see Virginia or Brian McCaskey,” Gould told the Chicago Tribune. “They pay to watch Brian Urlacher, Drew Brees and all the great players. This lockout is all because of the owners’ greed. I’m sorry if that sounds cold, but it is the truth.”
So there you have it. From a not-so-liquored kicker. The owners are greedy billionaires who want more money and the fans simply are getting it stuck to them…right through the heart. Well, Robbie, I got some news for ya brother...I don’t pay to see you play anymore than I pay to see Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, or Dan Marino. In fact, I couldn’t care less if I watched football with great players or football with replacement players. I watch Miami Dolphins football…not Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and Robbie Gould football. As a fan, I will be around supporting my “team” long after your cleats have been hung up for good.
The truth is this. The issue with the labor discord has nothing to do with money and everything to do with ego. Two days ago, NY Jets NT Kris Jenkins called out the owners as greedy…easy for someone making millions of bucks to say while they are recovering on IR. I find it ironic that the NFLPA decertified while the owners and the league were throwing negotiated offers on the table while behind the closed doors the players filing a lawsuit for a lockout that hadn’t happened yet. I also find it disheartening that many players, current and former, have said that the owners really got the raw end of the last CBA…which implies, implicitly that the players are getting far more than what they should…they simply don’t want to change it. Why?
Greed. To use their own vernacular.
But that isn’t why I’m pissed off today and would really love to ask Gould a million questions to back up his bulls(@! comments. The reality is I own no player jerseys. Oh, I own authentic NFL jerseys, but they are personalized. Why? Simple. Free agency, off-field exploits, trades, early retirements, hold-outs, cuts, attitude, and a slew of other reasons have made it clear that investing in a players uniform is simply stupid.
Instead, I have the Miami Dolphins logo tattooed on my arm. I gather most fans don’t have tattoos of say, Robbie Gould on them.
The point is this, Robbie. Many fans go to games to watch the team play. Not you. I don’t care if Miami is playing Chicago, Green Bay, or any of the other teams in the NFL or who the QB is. If Peyton Manning wasn’t playing I wouldn’t sit at home and do something else. In fact, during that strike in ’87 when the replacements took the field, guess what? I still watched. And if replacements took the field today…I would still watch. If all of the ‘name’ players suddenly said to hell with football and took their money and ran…I would watch a bunch of half-ass college kids or Arena League players don the Aqua and Orange. Do you know why? Robbie?
Because it’s about the game. Not about you, not about the Mannings’, the Brady’s, or the Brees’. It’s about the game. And guess who keeps the game moving along? Yep. The owners. Not you. Do you know why? Because 90% of NFL fans would throw pads on any Sunday to walk onto a field and take the hits that NFL players do today for 75% less than what a players makes today.
Someday your career and the careers of the “elite” players will be over and I won’t and most fans won’t, blink an eye. We move on. We watch the next group come and go and we don’t lose sleep over it because we are used to the greed of the players these days. See there are guys like Jason Taylor who would go play for our rivals and salute us with a verbal yell of “EF-You” as he walks off our field to boos. Leaving fans with jerseys that will sit in a box collecting dust.
The problem with the NFL is that the players overvalue their worth. It’s true. Because frankly, most fans could care less if come September Robbie Gould kicks the winning opening day field goal for the Chicago Bears or some guy named Tubby does it after spending all of last year watching the games at a local bar. Get this much right. Fans miss the team…as did Cleveland when the Browns were taken to Baltimore. Don’t recall ever hearing about how they wanted the players back did you?
Fans support the players and they have their favorites. They have free agent wish lists, draftee possibilities, mock drafts, and they worry about who will replace their legends, but when a player moves on fans rarely if ever follow that player to another team. They continue to support their team.
Today, the players know they got a better deal over the owners the last time around and so far it appears that the owners, from everything that I have read or have seen from both parties, isn’t asking for anything that would put the players at the disadvantage this time around. It seems it’s simply more balanced and that is something the players don’t want. They like the way things are right now.
It amazes me that the players are so into the fan perception when half of them won’t sign an autograph, most won’t accept interview requests unless your mainstream media, good luck trying to get a picture with one, and all this while they continue to ask for more money and larger contracts that the owners cave in to and then turnaround and raise ticket prices to support the players salary demands.
I have been fortunate to have met and spoken with several players of various teams including the Miami Dolphins and while I can say that some players I like more than others it’s also safe to say that many of them are very easy to speak with and have no chips on their shoulders. Very few people get to play pro sports and that is an honor in and of itself. But players need to start realizing that when players leave, most of their allegiance to that player goes with them. Fans support the teams. Maybe not the ownership or the management but they support the teams and very few fans “pay” to see anyone play. They pay to watch their team.