Players Show Union Solidarity? Screw The Players!
By Brian Miller
Sorry, but I am so sick and freaking tired of the whining that comes about by some overpaid hack professional athlete that suddenly is getting burned by his rich miser owner. Last night, the Vikings and the Saints took the field and prior to kick-off held up one finger in a show of solidarity. I have a finger that I would love to hold up in a show of “FAN SOLIDARITY”!
Let’s face it, fans are the ones who will lose with this labor deal. Regardless of how it turns out. The owners will raise ticket prices, the NFL will raise the price of merchandise, parking prices will rise, and the players will still be getting paid for not practicing and sitting out because they don’t like the contract they signed last year. The owners will complain that they are not making money from the on-field product and complain that the economy is keeping fans away from the stadium.
Direct TV will continue to black out local games as will the other networks because fans simply are getting squeezed out.
Don’t believe me?
When was the last time you simply “bought” a playoff ticket? Corporate sponsors and loge owners are buying up those tickets and giving them to clients who don’t even follow the sport or the team. Case in point, I have a neighbor who was given three tickets to the Super Bowl last year from his company. He isn’t a football fan. Instead of giving them away, he tried to sell them. When that failed, he let them sit in his house unused. What a waste.
So this weekend, each teams union rep, has come up with the same plan. Stand as one, one finger in the air to show the owners and the NFL that they all stand to together.
Imagine if every fan that attended a game live stood up just before the opening kick-off and turned their backs to the field. A show of solidarity. A show of what the NFL and it’s fans can expect if there is a lock-out. It’s not disrespecting the team, it’s not disrespecting the players, it’s simply showing solidarity that we are all tired of bearing the brunt of all of this.
I have no problem with athletes getting rich. I played sports and I know how taxing it can be to a body. The sacrifices you make in later years to your physical ability to do simple chores like walk and get out of bed. I understand and I get it. I agree with it. But this is all as much the players fault as the owners themselves.
Players and their agents have escalated the salaries of a select few and have destroyed the salaries of the others. When players like Albert Haynesworth can sign for 100 mill and then stop practicing…there is a problem. Owners are saddled with paying huge payouts to first round draft picks who have proven nothing. Large guaranteed sums of cash for doing nothing. Now, they want that changed and the players don’t like it.
Perhaps if the players union spent a little more time giving back instead of giving a finger, maybe the 2011 season wouldn’t be in jeopardy. The league and the Union have made virtually zero progress in negotiations. But don’t for a minute think that it’s simply the players. The owners have their own infighting going on as well when it comes to the lack of revenue sharing.
This Sunday, if you go to a game, spread the word and turn your backs. Stand together as fans and send a message that we too should have a say in this. Without us, no sport is an entertainment vessel. It’s simply non-existent. The players may stand together and hold up one finger, but fans can do so much more by simply turning away for one play.
It’s too bad we are so unorganized that no one would actually do it.