So the NFL lockout is coming to an end.
Actually, I was overjoyed thinking about how five months of frustration will vanish as soon as the owners and players agree to a new CBA. Once that puppy has been signed, free agency will begin and all will be right in the NFL world again.
Then I got to thinking: Just what did the fans get out of all this?
After months of listening to the owners and players bicker, all fans are left with is football. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a nice parting gift but we weren’t the ones who were so willing to take it away in the first place. It’s not like the fans went up to the owners and said, “We’re going to suspend football unless you reduce the price of tickets from three vital organs and $10,000 to something a little more cost effective.”
No, we just wanted football to carry on as normal and were willing to keep spending in a down economy in order to make that happen. So I ask again: What do we get at the end of all this?
The truth is, the fans will once again walk away as losers. Sure, free agency will start again (love that free agency!) and the games will soon follow. But are the owners dropping ticket prices across the league? What about beer or other concession items? Is parking at the stadiums going to be cheaper? I know that some teams were willing to give fans a break on season tickets with the threat of the lockout lasting all year, but what happens when the season goes on as normal? Will the owners give fans a deal just for suffering through months of their greediness?
I love the NFL and I will return. The moment the lockout lifts I’ll be one of the many people pounding the daily rumor mill to see who is signing with whom. But sadly, not once did I read about what the league planned to do for us. Granted, maybe teams have something in store for fans that I’m not privy to, but I doubt it. With the league expected to double its profits over the next two years, I highly doubt that anyone is willing to give fans a break. No, the only thing I envision happening when the lockout ends is the league standing there with its hand stretched back out.
I’m not suggesting a mutiny here, but as fans we need to remember who this lockout was all about and it certainly wasn’t us. At the end of the day, the only thing we’re going to receive is the opportunity to continue to line the pockets of those who were at the root of our frustration these past five months.