Friends, the NFL season is in jeopardy. This has been coming for months and it’s finally here. The millionaire players have locked horns with the billionaire owners, and we the fans are caught in the middle like innocent children in the midst of a messy divorce.
Well, fortunately for us, divorce is the norm these days and most of us grew up learning how to transform parental guilt into short-term, material gain (yes mom and dad, you scarred me forever, but if I had a new car I might be less inclined to slit my wrists).
The lockout is still pretty new, but I foresee that this story will soon be as old as the “breaking news” of Brett Favre’s latest retirement/unretirement/texting-scandal/playoff-interception. Until now, the tone that the media has been taking regarding this issue has been caught somewhere between pleading (“come on guys, you can work it out….we really want to watch football this year”) and mild consternation (“if you can’t play nice we’re going to castigate you very, very gently and then go back to adulating you the second the issue is resolved”).
I’m here to suggest that we take a whole new approach to this issue.
Absolute and utter contempt!
The situation is patently absurd. Here are two parties at the helm of a nine billion dollar business who are both so used to having everything their way that they don’t even consider even the slightest compromise even when it means preserving their own gravy train!
Yeah, sure, I’d like to throw a tissy fit the second things went bad at work too (like if the governor of my state decided to strip away all my benefits and threatened to throw me in jail if I complained). But I just can’t dig my heels in and scream “NO!” because I have a family to support and the bills are barely getting covered as it is.
To be honest, the concerns of millionaire athletes or billionaire NFL team owners don’t preoccupy me in the least. What they all need is a good solid serving of reality delivered by a swift kick in the butt.
As one employer once told me, “son, everybody can be replaced.” Well, here are ten things that can easily replace the NFL on your busy fall schedule.
10. Soccer: I never used to like it either until I headed down to South America. What I found there was that the fights in the stands are fiercer and the women are hotter than anything you’ll ever get at an NFL stadium. Sure, if there was an NFL game to watch, I wouldn’t even attempt to sell what is internationally known as football. But friends, there are no NFL games, and beer tastes better if there’s some kind of sport up on the big screen.
9. UFL: It’s too bad the XFL didn’t wait a couple decades before launching their ill-advised escapade. No fair catch and strippers instead of cheerleaders…how could that recipe have possibly gone wrong? Still, today we have the UFL with aging NFL veterans like Daunte Culpepper and Jeff Garcia leading the way. Maybe somebody should give Tommy Maddox a call?
8. Madden: Heck, the graphics are getting so good that I can’t tell the difference between a Madden game and the real thing anymore anyway.
7. Church on Sunday: This is more of a “spring-cleaning” suggestion, but if there’s nothing better to do on Sunday (like watch football), you might as well do some cramming on the eternal salvation of your soul. Besides, if you go to church for the entire autumn of 2011, you can make the argument that you never have to go to church again.
6. Pick-up neighborhood football games: Sure, I can’t run with Charles Woodson, but I think I can take that fat guy who bags groceries. If there aren’t any digitized images of superior athletes to worship, I might as well just start worshipping myself.
5. Hassling NFL owners: Maybe a deal would get done if we did some kind of “children of the corn” type of protest. I’m not endorsing anything violent, but maybe we could all just assemble on the public roads leading two and from the owners houses every Sunday (I’m talking thousands of people). We could just stand in the street with vacant, staring eyes as the owners tried to drive their luxury vehicles to various meetings where they only intended to sit around and act petulant.
4. Fill various NFL stadiums with guacamole: Seriously, when the overhead shot comes panning in, don’t you always think, “how cool would it be if that stadium were filled with guacamole?”
3. Lingerie League: I’ve never actually seen one of these games, but I hear that the players actually demonstrate superior fundamentals.
2. Try to genetically engineer some heart for players and owners: Remember how announcers used to say, “that guy loves the game, he’d play for free.” I hope nobody ever says that again because it’s obviously everybody plays for the money.
1. Lockout the NFL: We, as the fans, could demand a settlement of several billion dollars before we consented to return to watching the stupid games of the stupid owners and stupid players who obviously don’t care enough about their sport to avoid a work stoppage.
So there you have it, there’s plenty to do besides worry about the problems of billionaires and millionaires. NF….what? I’m sorry, I don’t have any idea what those letters refer to. Perhaps you could sprinkle your dialogue with thoughts and concepts that are actually relevant.