Thursday night started an excellent NFL season that was a bit marred by a show of “solidarity” before the actual kickoff between the Saints and the Vikings. In case you missed it, after the national anthem was sung players from both sides stepped onto the field and held up one finger and showed what I believed to be mutual respect. As it turns out, this was actually a carefully orchestrated move by the NFL Players Association to show that all of the players are all standing together and not backing down from a lockout in 2011.
There’s a couple of reasons I have a problem with this. First off, they did it right after the national anthem which was pretty uncool. It’s disrespectful to our country, (especially our soldiers fighting for our freedom overseas) and I thought it was very disrespectful to the young woman who had just sung the anthem.
Second, it was completely pointless. I mean, they’re in a union. We KNOW that they stand as one. As a matter of fact, that’s exactly what it means to be in a union. It’s the goddamned definition of what a union is. There’s no need to do this. It’s totally unwarranted. (What? You mean that millionaires get along? Well, I never…)
Also, this was supposed to be a pretty intense matchup because of what happened in the playoffs last year. I understand sportsmanship, but come on we’ve been waiting for this game for eight months…let’s see some hard hitting action! Don’t fawn over each other for the sake of jersey revenue.
For me, I do have to have some knowledge of what is going on in the labor dispute BECAUSE I COVER THE NFL. Do I understand why a lot of fans WOULDN’T care about it? Absolutely. No question. They have their beer and chips, they just want to watch the game. And what’s worse, a lot of those guys sitting on that couch wanted to play football for a living, so it’s hard for them to reconcile seeing a bunch of dudes arguing over a few million dollars in mechandising revenue. From the fans’ angle, all of these guys make plenty of money and there’s no real need for this dispute in their eyes.
I just want to see the game too. I’m a writer, but I was a fan first.
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