By: Russ Goldman
The NFL Lockout continues as we wait a ruling in early June in the Appeals Court. Based on what I am seeing on social networks, and hearing on the radio I feel the fans are starting to get tired of this labor dispute. Both sides could be in the process of really upsetting their customers, which are obviously the fans. I feel it is time to turn up the heat on both sides, and make our voices heard a bit more. That being said, I think it is time for NFL fans to unite regarding the lockout.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft is concerned that the longer the labor battle goes on, the more the players and the league will alienate the fans. (FILE:Icon/SMI)
The NFL has passionate fans of 32 different teams. We might disagree about our clubs, but I think there is one subject we can all agree on. We all want football. I say the fans need to be even more outspoken then ever to put the pressure on both sides to get a deal done.
The more the fans discuss their displeasure, the more leverage we have in forcing the sides to negotiate a deal. I heard it yesterday on Sirius NFL Radio as fan after another fan voiced their concerns and feelings about the lockout.
Here in Boston, the local media has been attempting to have the fans pick a side between the players and the owners. I think many fans like myself don’t care about the details of this dispute or who ultimately wins the deal. I think most of us just want football.
The longer this situation goes, the worse the season could be in the end. I have heard the argument that as long as they start in September, everything should be fine. I don’t see it that way.
Right now the teams are missing important off-season activities which include mini-camps, OTA’s, passing camps and a conditioning program. They are also missing an opportunity to complete their roster with free agency.
How can the product on the field possibly be the same without a proper off-season? It has to be affected, and I think we will see it now regardless of when the the season begins. Time right now is being wasted as we wait for a court decision.
What both sides should be doing is seriously negotiating a deal. They have had court mandated mediation sessions, but honestly what is being accomplished with them?
It is time to put the heat on these sides, and let our voices be heard. I have a feeling that the sides are starting to feel it. Bob Kraft is quoted in Monday’s Boston Globe discussing the fans and his concerns. Here are Kraft’s quotes courtesy of the Boston Globe.
“The problem can be solved. I really believe that,’’ the Patriots’ owner said during an event at Gillette Stadium. “One of my concerns is we not aggravate our fan base, because they don’t understand and they don’t want to understand whether it’s the owners, the players [at fault], they just want to have football.
“We have to be very careful — and I think we’re coming to that point now — where we start to hurt ourselves collectively in the eyes of our fans. Because in the end, the fans just want football. They don’t want to hear about all of this meaningless squabbling.’’
I understand if fans want to pick a side, and I don’t have a problem with that. However, I think we all are in agreement that we want for there to be a 2011/12 season. It is in everyone’s best interest to start really negotiating to get a deal done now.
It takes two to make a deal, and both sides should compromise to make this happen. There is enough money to go around.
But, in this whole dispute I think it is the fans that are being forgotten by the players and the owners. We are the customers that allow them to make the NFL such a financially lucrative League.
I think we have to continue to show our displeasure in this lockout. Here are a few things you can do.
1) Talk About It On Social Media Networks – Twitter and Facebook are becoming powerful tools to get your message across. You can connect with other fans that feel this way. The chatter can build and get back to both sides.
2) Call Sports Radio Stations – I think this is a great way to get the awareness out about the lockout. Again, the more talk about the subject can get back to the players and the owners. They need to know that fans are upset.
3) Email Your Local Sports Writers – These writers can become the voice of the fans if they decide to write about the lockout. Let them know your displeasure with the process, and maybe they will write about it. The media is a great way to get the message to both sides.
4) Email Or Write your team – I say let the clubs know that their fans are not happy with the labor situation. If they believe their customers are very upset, they might act quicker than later.
Whether you are talking about it on the social media networks, or in the media itself, it is the time to really be heard. The fans do matter, and we should let the owners and the players know that fact.
You can follow me on twitter at Russ_Goldman.