Loyal Fans Get Hermatile About Possible NFL Lockout

Glenn CardSenior Analyst IMarch 16, 2011

GREEN BAY, WI - FEBRUARY 06: Green Bay Packers fans Karen Payne and Scott Cyr react to a Steelers touchdown while watching the Super Bowl at Stadium View Bar on February 6, 2011 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Matt Ludtke/Getty Images)
Matt Ludtke/Getty Images

I’ve heard enough about the NFL vs. the now defunct NFLPA. All the noise is making me hermatile.

The owners want to take back the franchise from the players. On the other side, players are fighting for some more job security, safety concerns and maybe a little retirement nest-egg.

The franchise owners claimed they were not getting enough return on investment in the old CBA agreement and abandoned it early. And no, they will not open their books to allow everyone to see how little income is made through their respective franchises.

It is also said that the NFLPA has only been giving lip service to the prospect of mediation. The plan was always to go through the motions to only decertify and then look for litigation to gain advantage for their demands.

I am not so naive that I actually believed that there would be a simple solution to this labor dispute.

I’ve been around long enough to have witnessed labor unions destroy an industry. I’ve also seen the pendulum swing the other way with owners and upper management teams profit mightily off the backs of their workers.

I’ve been in picket lines and I’ve also crossed them. I am a bit upset that these two sides couldn’t come to an agreement if for no other reason than to appease the fan base.

If I had to pick a side then I would probably go with the players. But, and it is a big “but,” now that the NFLPA is no more, we’re hearing individual players voicing themselves about the failure to come to terms and about the looming lockout.

I commended the union for pursuing safety issues and retirement funds for the players. The career of an NFL player is measured in a few short years, and it is now statistical fact that many of the former players will deal with physical disabilities for years after their careers.

I have a little advice for those outspoken players, “Shut Up.”

You might think you are winning over the hearts of the fans, but truth be told, your jersey cost me half a day’s pay. If it gives me pause to think that at the NFL’s current base salary, a player is making at least eight times my take home pay then there are other fans out there thinking it also.

For the owners I also have a little advice, “Shut Up.”

There were very few businesses as profitable through these last two years of economic disaster as the NFL. With the profit sharing agreement between the franchise owners I doubt that any of them are clipping coupons to stretch their income dollars.

With the NFL’s push to provide competitive parity even the perpetual bottom dwelling teams show glimmers of hope in every outing. It is every fans mantra at the end of every season, “Wait till next year, my team will be better.”

This plan has a desired effect of creating additional profit for all involved. Network sales have been at an all-time high as well as apparel endorsements all topped by soaring ticket sales.

Somewhere some egos got stroked the wrong way and foolishly the owners allowed this fight to move from mediation to litigation. Unless each and every owner shows up to court in torn jeans and mussed hair I don’t see that justice will be falling your way all too soon.

What do you think is going to happen if you are forced to open your ledger books in public court?

All the while, as these two Goliaths battle it out, they have all but ignored the lesser employees, the vendors, cashiers, and security personnel. There is an entire economy that has been built up around and is directly connected to the NFL.

Livelihoods are bound to be lost in the wake of an NFL lockout. Are the owners sure that they want to be pointed at when there is an upward blip in the unemployment rate?

Lastly, it is the fan that is forgotten in all this. Ultimately, it is our collective lowly dollars that drive the entire industry of the NFL.

I have heard lip service that it’s all about the quality of the game experience for the fans, my arse. It’s starting to look like it is about wrenching a few more bills from my wallet.

The last time I could go to a live game was because I got the tickets for free. Even then, I still spent more on my entertainment than I should have.

What has been forgotten by all is that for a fan, this game is a past time, an escape so that we can concern ourselves with something beyond our day to day worries. It’s a hobby about a game that gives us enjoyment.

So as a fan I would warn everyone involved in this NFL labor dispute, if you remove the joy from us for even one day how long do you think that you can retain our interest.

As a point of example, Major League Baseball still hasn’t gained me back as a loyal fan. Nary a dollar have I spent in their direction in many years, about all they get from me are a few derisive comments.

If I have to worry about whether or not there will be an NFL season this year then it is a worry that I don’t need to add to my pile. I’ll do without it, I’ve done it before.

I can always find another pony to ride to give me my thrills. I’m really starting to get a little hermatile about this whole situation.

I may not be of the majority of NFL fans but, I’m sure that I’m not alone either.

HUMOR — To Editors: Hermatile is not a real word yet. I figure if I use it often enough I'll get it in to Webster's Dictionary eventually. Hermatile: extreme and excessive bitchy behavior (not gender specific). Further definition can be found at the following link: