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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fans Should Take Entertainment from NFL, Leave Empathy Behind

If and when the NFL players finally realize they have no choice and go back to playing a game for a living, I will not be one of the masses doing cartwheels. I will be happy to use them for my entertainment on Sundays and Monday nights, but I’ll be damned if I care even for a second who got what.

Years have passed since I cared enough about the Eagles to have any real emotion for a win or a loss by the team. My apathy came mostly from a decade of watching Andy Reid fail over and over by doing the exact same thing over and over. I don’t expect much different this year, especially with a defense that just couldn’t get it done last year and now has no time to change anything under the new coordinator who – let’s not forget – was last seen coaching the offensive line.

Admittedly, the arrogance of the players is fresh in my mind. When a guy like Brandon Graham, who is still as likely to be a bust as a productive player in the NFL, tells fans it’s their job to watch the games and not have an opinion, it’s enough to make me wish the owners had bent them over the barrel even more.

The latest hold-up in the negotiations was players claiming that they were individually sitting down with the proposed collective bargaining agreement to decide how to vote on it. If we had to wait for half these guys to read the document, NFL football would never be played again. Actual business people don’t read things their lawyers tell them to sign. Guys who were handed a degree because they could play football sure as hell aren’t doing anything more than what union leader DeMaurice Smith tells them to do.

It’s as laughable as their talk about what a strong union they are. They’re no more a union than politicians are public servants. What other unions make a point to legally dissolve the minute there’s a work stoppage? It’s a bargaining chip. Even that would be bearable if we didn’t have to listen to the absolute garbage of Smith act like the players have some big decision to make about whether or not they want to be a union.

Uh, DeMaurice, even I know the NFL gives up its anti-trust exemption if the players aren’t a union. That’s not happening. There’s no choice involved.

It’s nothing more than lawyers keeping themselves relevant.

But yet there’s guys like Graham proving what lapdogs they are, tweeting, “DeMaurice Smith is a great representative for the players. I love that he is not pressured to get this deal done if it's not right!”

Hmmm, again, wasn’t the hold up over the weekend because the individual players were looking over the deal?

Half of these guys aren’t smart enough to stay out of trouble on Twitter, which limits their stupidity to 125 characters. And we’re supposed to believe they’re “reading over the document.”

Duh.

From their own comments on Twitter on Friday, players tried to convince the public that there was no deal and we were all just duped by the media. Lamar Chaney ripped fans on Twitter for getting their information on TV. Graham actually made the idiotic argument that fans weren’t at the meetings, and therefore couldn’t possibly have an opinion.

I’m guessing this is why they spend so much time retweeting flattering comments from wannabee groupees. Debate isn’t exactly their strength.

Apparently, the players weren’t at the meetings either – and it was their meeting. It’s the only explanation for this weekend’s absurdity of the players suggesting that the owners were ramming a deal down their throats.

After six months? We’re supposed to believe the owners suddenly wrote up an agreement, voted on it, then gave it to the players for the first time to ratify?

It was completely absurd. Smith acted like he hadn’t been involved in the negotiations and somehow this endeared him to the players. No one thought to ask, what the hell have you been doing since March?

In the end, the lockout was (or eventually will be) a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing for the fans – assuming a full season kicks off September 8. I’ll enjoy the games, attempt to root for the Eagles knowing disappointment looms, and root a lot harder for the team I “pick” to win on any given Sunday.

And I’ll feel sorry for fans who think either side cares about the fans enough to deserve even a tweet of support.

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