Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The NFL Labor Dispute

I have noticed more rabbits during my delivery route lately. They appear in my headlights and scurry this way and that both in the street and on front lawns, then disappear behind the safety of a bush or house or into a field. Of course, in the face of the (in comparison) huge monstrosity of the vehicle I drive, they must be terrified at my existence in their world. This morning I thought of the unfortunate occurrences taking place in Japan as I watched one particularly scared rabbit zip in and out of my vision. We have such grand opinions of ourselves, building great monuments into the sky, harnessing nature to power our lifestyle, and debating the will of the Creator as if we have a clue what the grand scheme really entails. Yet in the face of photos and videos of the devastation of a natural disaster such as has happened in Japan, we are off erred a glimpse of the power of nature. Unfortunately, the humbling that we feel is only short lived.

Which brings me to the ongoing labor dispute in the NFL. Generally, I lean toward the side of workers in most labor issues. To me, owners/business operators hold the vast majority of the cards so when a particular labor group can draw even or perhaps inch ahead, I feel it is a win for all workers. In this case, though, we are talking about millionaires fighting with fellow millionaires, and it leaves me cold. Regardless of who wins this fight, the loser will still be neck deep in money.

In reality, all football fans in particular, and sports fans in general are the losers here because no matter how is shakes out, the fan will foot the bill for someones increased revenue.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a big sports fan. I follow all the professional sports teams of Philadelphia, and up until recently was able to attend a few Eagles games each year. So it is not easy for me to say that I hope there is no football season this year. I hope the two sides cannot come to an agreement to share the billions of dollars at stake, and decide the play chicken with the sport. I hope that their resistance to compromise (by the way, when did compromise become an indicator of weakness?), causes a complete cancellation of the 2011-12 football season.

More importantly, I hope that fans like myself come to realize that sports is just a diversion from life, not life itself. That we can enjoy our Sundays (and Monday nights, and sometimes Thursday nights, and, yes even Thanksgiving) without the sport. I hope that we find more time to spend with our families, more time to walk in the neighborhood or the local park. More time to read, listen to music or go to a movie. I hope we find that it is nice to watch a football game, but not necessary. Then, perhaps, when the labor dispute is settled, the embattled millionaires will realize that they need us more than we need them and sports will revert back to its proper priority in life.

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