Category Archives: NFL lockout

Hey fans: The NFL lockout is all your fault

Roger Goodell and NFL owners

Welcome to a world without football. It’s time for all of us to learn legal terms like lockout and decertification and injunction. There are a lot of questions, and the foremost among them is who to blame.

And fans, it’s time for you to admit: It’s all your fault.

You were the ones who stopped coming to terrible preseason games. Don’t you know you were killing the golden goose? The NFL teams who wanted (10 home games worth of revenue figured the only way to recoup that money was to go to 18 regular-season games – damn the players and their health. The players had the temerity to question the side effects of extra games from a health standpoint, and 18 games became a sticking point in negotiations. Who knew that would create such difficulty?

(OK, so maybe the negotiations got past the 18-game issue, and in plenty of time – at least 8 hours before the extended deadline on Friday. The bottom line is that it never would have been an issue if you would have just gone to the damn preseason games and bought a couple of drinks and hot dogs.)

Don’t try to wriggle out of the blame, fans. It’s your fault, because you’re voters too. As franchises (yes, their values now top $1 billion) asked for publicly financed stadiums, you finally rebelled. You let Minnesota’s Metrodome age until the roof fell down. You let San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium age to the point that the venue (yes, it was good enough to host a Super Bowl just 12 years ago) is no longer an acceptable venue. You forced Jerry Jones to (gasp) spend his own money on the new Cowboys Stadium – and then you got mad when he tried to make money by selling more Super Bowl tickets than he had seats.

At least you anted up personal seat license money to finance part of those stadiums. But it’s still your fault, because you didn’t give these billion-dollar corporations a completely free ride. No wonder the owners’ profit margin is shrinking.

That means it’s your fault, fans, that players wanted owners to open the books and see why the profits were shrinking. It’s your fault that players wanted to see how franchises do business – and how much these billion-dollar franchises finance their lifestyles. If you fans had just done your civic duty and voted for new stadiums, there wouldn’t have been any problem, and we could have all continued with business as normal.

And now, fans, you’re siding with the players. Why the hell do you care if they stay healthy after they retired? They already entertained you. Forget about them and watch the cheaper (meant to say younger) guys.

Yes, fans, it’s all your fault. So when you get your season ticket renewal forms in the mail, write the check and send it back. Watch the draft in record-setting numbers, just like you did the combine.

Actually, we have a better idea. Let’s just make this college football. We’ll take advantage of the players, give them a little something for their trouble just to soothe the conscience, and make rules that make the players disposable. Doesn’t that sound swell? Everyone loves college football, right? (Let’s get our lawyers on that.)

So it’s all your fault. And since we didn’t get our TV-network funded lockout fund, go ahead and pay for those tickets for games that may not happen. You know, the same games we’re cancelling by locking the players out, just so we can get our piece of the pie and the piece that you took away from us by actually expecting us to make business decisions.

Do the right thing, fans. After all, it’s all your fault.

Signed, your friendly neighborhood NFL owner

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FR: Players’ lockout pasttimes

With a one-week extension in the CBA negotiations between NFL owners and players, there’s still hope that a lockout can be avoided. But in case it can’t, several players are looking for alternate ways of spending their time and making a little extra money. We’ll compare these pasttimes via Football Relativity if we get enough entries, but for now here are some of our favorite multitaskers.

By the way, if you see a story about a player with an interesting pasttime, leave a comment or send us a note. (See the contact link for how.)

Hines Ward preps for DWTS, via

Steelers WR Hines Ward, part-time dancer – Ward joins a long line of football players who have participated in the ultra-popular dancing competition, although Jason Taylor is the only one who has done so during an active playing career. But Ward doesn’t run the risk of missing much offseason work, and with 13 years under his belt missing a minicamp won’t be a big deal. The dancing will keep Ward in aerobic shape, and it will also serve to raise his profile, which will help with post-career endeavors. Whether he wins the mirror ball or not, Ward will win in the court of public perception – as long as his purported dirty play doesn’t carry over to the dance floor.

Jets LB Bart Scott, part-time wrestler – Scott debuted on TNA wrestling on Thursday night, scuffling with a couple of wrestlers before coming out on the wrong end of a fight with Kurt Angle. Scott’s boisterous personality fits in with the pro-wrestling world, and TNA has used other similar athletes (for example, baseball’s A.J. Pierzysnski) to bring in viewers. Scott technically can’t have a wrestling match unless the lockout becomes official because of his contract, but the way Thursday’s appearance ended, he may still find a way to stay involved in the world of wrestling.

Ravens S Tom Zbikowski, part-time boxer – Zbikowski, who has emerged as a starting safety in Baltimore, is also an accomplished fighter with a 75-15 amateur record and a first-round knockout in his only pro fight. If the lockout becomes official, Zbikowski had a cruiserweight fight on March 12 and won on a first-round TKO. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Zbikowski fully pursue a pro boxing career in the future, and if the lockout lingers another fight or two this summer could be in the offing.

Chad Ochocinco, part-time soccer player – Ochocinco, who got in a war of words with Zbikowski, thought better of a fight and instead chose a different sport – soccer. He’ll spend a day in late March training with Sporting Kansas City of Major League Soccer. The Kansas City team called what appears to be a promotional stunt a “tryout,” so it’s possible Ochocinco could find himself in an actual pro game. It’s a nice publicity move for the team, but we can’t see Ochocinco taking a soccer career seriously when he already has football and reality-TV irons in the fire.

Donovan McNabb, college basketball analyst – McNabb was a two-sport athlete at Syracuse, starring at quarterback and also playing for the Orange basketball team. So with the NFL shelved, McNabb spent the first Thursday of the NCAA tournament working as an analyst for Comcast Sports Net Mid-Atlantic, a Washington-based media outlet. The Redskins’ QB certainly has a future in TV, but getting a first shot covering hoops instead of the gridiron is just another strange sign of how the lockout has affected players.

Dallas Clark, actor – The Colts tight end used his lockout free time to try to start an acting career. His first role, a two-line cameo on CBS’s Criminal Minds, airs in April. We’ll have to see where this leads for Clark before moving him up the charts.

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