SPORTS WATCH
The Players Are Quickly Becoming the Villains in NFL Players Saga
by Gus Jarvis
Mar 17, 2011 | 3485 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Even though it’s Christmas in March, with the excitement NCAA Tournament and my UNC Bears making the tournament for the first time ever in some sort of Christmas in March miracle, I am not a happy person. In fact, I am getting crankier and crankier. And, really, I have NFL players to thank for that.

Talks between the now decertified NFL Players Association and the NFL owners have moved from the negotiating table to the courtroom – simply wonderful. While both sides say the process won’t entirely play out in a courtroom, the bottom line is there is a very good chance that this could take a long, long time and a 2011/2012 NFL season for the first time seems seriously in jeopardy. Sweet.

Before Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker put the kibosh on any kind of compromise on the collective bargaining rights of Wisconsin’s state workers, we watched a nation of Americans, from coast to coast, rally behind those workers who faced losing their collective bargaining voice in that state. I am wholeheartedly in support workers rights to collectively bargain. The teachers are the ones needing protection, not the state of Wisconsin.

So why is it that I have such a hard time taking that same opinion over to the depressing NFL lockout? I should be supporting the players in this dispute and not the big and mean, NFL, right? Some reason, I keep leaning toward the owners’ side of this whole thing and it’s probably because they keep their mouth shut more than not.

I don’t need Saints quarterback Drew Brees tweeting that us NFL fans shouldn’t worry, a resolution will be worked out. Actions speak louder than words, Drew. Make a goddamn deal. See some compromise. Make a deal, man. Either make a deal, or keep quiet. I don’t want to hear about what’s going on until there is a resolution.

And then there’s Adrian Peterson. Talk about an NFL player who needs to shut the hell up. In an interview with Yahoo! Sports after the Players Association decertified and the NFL owners moved to lock players out, Peterson went to far and likened the disagreement to slavery.

“It’s modern-day slavery, you know? People kind of laugh at that, but there are people working at regular jobs who get treated the same way too,” Peterson said. “With all the money…the owners are trying to get a different percentage, and bring in more money. I understand that – these are business-minded people. Of course, this is what they are going to want to do…but as players, we have to stand our ground and say, ‘Hey, without us, there's no football.’”

Did Peterson, who is scheduled to make just under $11 million in the 2011 seasons, just say that playing in the NFL is like slavery? Peterson has said the quote was taken out of context. However you may want to read into it, he used the word slavery and the NFL. Give me a break. It would be wise for the players to keep that man shut up until this thing is resolved.

Up next on my list of grievances against NFL players is there so called “alternative event” for the upcoming NFL draft. According to various ESPN Radio reports, the NFL Players Association is telling incoming rookies that they shouldn’t show up to next month to the always-overly hyped NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Instead, the players would hold an alternative event to keep the biggest day in a prospective football player’s life still special.

Give me a break, here. This sounds like the so-called “altern.ative beer-free” Fourth of July celebration I attended a few years back. I was the only one that showed up. What the NFL players aren’t taking into account here is that the draft, for the NFL fans that are still left is something worth watching. Something to ignite our dreams for the upcoming season. I want to see the Denver Broncos pick a player, have him put a hat and hold up a jersey with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. As cheesy as it sounds, I want to see it. And it turns out million of other fans want to see it to. Go ahead, players, try to take that away from us now, too. All just for making Roger Goodell look bad while standing on the NFL Draft stage? How childish can we be here, people?

The players are quickly becoming the villains in all of this. If most of America made over $8 million a year and they still weren’t happy about their pay, maybe the players would get some of us on their side. As it is, most of us who pay for the $90 ticket make only a tiny fraction of that.

Sorry if I am having trouble relating to the players’ grief in all of this, but it’s hard. Perhaps I should be just as angry at the owners? Maybe so. At least they are keeping their mouths shut. I don’t feel like they are selling something to fans like a used car dealer, in the way that the players are.
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