Monday, March 14, 2011

NFL Lockout: Is Either Side To Blame for This Debacle?

The owners locked out the players, the players then threw verbal tantrums and blasted the owners for their selfishness.

It seems to me this is no more than a parent telling their child they can't have that chocolate bar and the child throwing a fit in the middle of the grocery store, hoping they'll get what they want.

Unfortunately for the players, the tantrum did them no good as the National Football League faces a possibility of not playing their 2011 season if they can't figure something out soon.

While some will look at the facts and try to figure out if there's a way for both sides to come together on an agreement, others want to point their fingers and put blame on someone. They want to know who's at fault for there not being an agreement on the Collective Bargaining Agreement to this point.

To be honest, both sides aren't void of some sort of fault. Both sides have fought dirty and both sides are responsible for what happens next.

The owners have too much pride and don't want to relent to the players who really make this game what it is. They are the reasons the fans come to each respective stadium across the country.

A tweet yesterday, though I'm forgetting who said it, put it exactly the right way. Fans don't come to the games to see if they can spot the owners.

Well said.

Sure the owners are the ones behind the scenes pulling the strings and bringing in the income that pays the players and for the stadium. However, without the players there are no fans, right?

We could bring in "scrubs" or fans can tune their televisions to the United Football League, otherwise known as "minor league football," though I'm not sure fans are all that interested.

I'll be honest, I have no problem with the NFL taking a year off. It means more college football for me and I'm just fine with that.

But I know how much the NFL means to the fan bases around the country. I know what football on Sunday's means to the fan who loves to tailgate with friends and family more than four hours prior to the game as well as those fans who love to BBQ at their home and invite their friends to watch alongside.

Pro football and Sunday's have always been synonymous with each other. We always knew there was church and then there was football.

But the every day fan isn't the only one who will end up getting hurt if the two sides can't come to an agreement.

What about those that count on the NFL for a job? Those that take tickets, work concessions, or work in the team stores every season will have to figure out something else.

The television networks like Fox and CBS will need to decide what they're going to do with hours of television that is normally reserved for the National Football League.

So while the players and owners squabble over how much money each side wants or needs, there is more at stake than just their own pocket books.

Sure there are some players and owners who realize that but unfortunately not enough of them do. If they were to take the focus off themselves and put it where it needs to be, the CBA would have been signed long ago.

The two sides aren't void of blame in this situation. In fact, they're sharing the equal amount until an agreement is reached.

At this point, it seems neither side are realizing what's important. Until they do, fan support could begin to dwindle more and more as each day, week, and month go by.

It's time for the players and owners to come together and find some sort of middle ground where progress can be made. Doing that will show the fans they are willing to get something done to make sure the NFL still has a home on Sunday afternoon.

Follow Todd Kaufmann @T_Kaufmann and National Football Authority @NFAuthority on Twitter

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