Sadly, that is what I am saying to myself as I read NFL news these days. Here we are just three weeks away from the NFL draft and I don’t feel that excitement that I usually do. Sure, I still read articles here and there about draft rumors, but if this were any other off-season – I would be reading magazines, subscribing to websites, and scouring the internet just to find the smallest rumors about the draft. This year it is different. There are still draft magazines and expert mock drafts to be read, but I just don’t care.
I can thank the owners and players for killing my interest in the game I love. They teased us with extensions on the then-current collective bargaining agreement and told us that they cared about the fans of the game. But here we are stuck in an NFL lockout. Yes, the draft is going to go on as planned but there is no free agency, there are no mini camps, there is nothing to care about.
So why exactly is the NFL in a lockout? Simply put, grown men arguing over $9 billion. That is the amount of money that the owners and players can’t figure out how to split. The players want more and the owners want to give less. The bare minimum that an NFL player can make is $310,000 a year. Been in the league for 2 years? That number jumps to $475,000 a year, and the number just keeps rising from there. Those are just the MINIMUMS. I don’t think I have to discuss the millions of dollars that other players make. Starting to see why I don’t care anymore?
Yes they play a violent game and risk getting injured, but it is their choice to keep playing – so keep those slavery comments to yourself, Adrian Peterson. In the latest proposal from the owners they agreed to cut back on mandatory off-season workouts and even make training camp shorter, but the players want more time-off. When I see interviews with players complaining that they have to go to meetings during the week and that is too time-consuming for them, I just laugh. Reality check, anyone with a real job is going to have meetings every day and they don’t get an “off-season.” Again, it is becoming easier for me to not care about the NFL.
Finally, progress was made this past week when the NFL owners and players went to court in Minnesota under the ruling of Judge Susan Nelson. The players filed a lawsuit against the NFL basically saying that the NFL is breaking the law by not letting them go to work. Nelson could have ruled that the NFL was breaking the rules by forcing a lockout and that the off-season would start immediately, but instead she advised them to go back in to negotiations under a mediator. That sounds easy enough to the casual fan but of course the NFL wants to continue talks in Washington D.C. while the players want to stay in Minnesota. Even when progress seems to be made, they can’t agree on the simplest things. Hopefully, they can figure out where to meet and how to split up $9 billion, but when they do will anyone care? I know I won’t.
This is the first post from the newest contributor to MikesPickz, Patrick Bourque. We welcome him to the team and look forward to reading more in the future.
[Photo Credit: PreventNFLLockOut.com]