By Shawn Muller–
Every Sunday afternoon in the fall, people around the country gravitate towards their favorite drinking establishments, invite their friends over for a little BBQ and refreshments, or simply sit in front of their computers anxiously awaiting a day full of NFL football and happiness.
As the players and the owner’s inch closer and closer towards the impending lockout– that will cease football operations completely in 2011– folks around the country will be missing out on their hallowed- Sunday rituals. Instead of food, drinks, and fun, NFL fans are going to have to find something else to occupy their time—time that would normally be spent watching America’s most popular sport.
Now, I am not going to try and tell anyone how they should spend their soon-to-be “freed up” Sunday’s, but I will tell you this: while a lockout may feel like there is a sudden void in your life, not being able to watch football on Sunday’s is not going to be the “end all be all” of human existence as we know it. The majority of us will find a way to move on (see those people that are always around you…they are your family), just like we did in the summer of 1994 when baseball decided to cease operations, and no World Series was played (sorry Expos!).
When I first wrote about the probable lockout, I made a case for the owners and the players to remember the people who made the $9 Billion possible: the fans. The fans in the stands made the 9 billion dollars in revenue this past season possible for both the players and ownership. For the players, it is the fans in the stands that turn some of them into a “star player”—that in turn—affords that player the opportunity to make the amount of money that he does by simply playing a game. For the owners, it is the fans in the stands that sell out the stadiums, the die-hards that continue to pay the ridiculous seat licensing fees, the factory worker that spends half of his paycheck (and most likely more) to take his family to a game, that allow you the luxury of becoming even wealthier than you already are.
Our lives do not– and will not– sit in limbo because one group of spoiled rich men and another group of spoiled rich men can’t agree on who should make even more money. We, as fans of the game of football, do not depend upon the NFL franchises for our livelihood.
But many people do, and they are the forgotten half.
People that work the concession stands, the ticket booths, security, the vendors in the stands that give us our cold beer or hot dog , the people that sell game programs, the parking attendants…all of these people– in the 32 cities that are fortunate enough to have an NFL franchise—DO depend on the NFL for their livelihood.
The people whom I mentioned above…are the people that are much more important in this ordeal than us fans. These are the people I should have considered previously when writing about the lockout…and for that I apologize. These are the people that are going to be hit the hardest by a work stoppage, not us idiots jamming our faces with brats and beers, watching from a bar or a stadium seat.
If the NFLPA and the owners do not come to an agreement soon, thousands of “common folk” will be out of work. I can guarantee you–Mr. Player and Mr. Owner–the people who make the stadiums run on game day, do not have a million dollar bank account to “fall back on” in case there is a work stoppage, unlike yourselves.
We fans will be able to handle not seeing football games being played on Sundays, assuming a lockout does occur, because life goes on.
But how will the “forgotten half” deal with it?
That is the most important question of all…
Do you agree with Shawn? Post your comments below.
Shawn Muller has lived in the great city of Chicago for 7 years. He is a 2002 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and, in October of 2010, Shawn received his certificate in radio broadcasting. In his free time, Shawn enjoys spending time with his wife Melissa and 3 year old daughter Ava, catching any live sporting event, and traveling. Check out his radio show, Grab Some Bench with Muller and Bangser” every Thursday night at 8:30 P.M., at www.blogtalkradio.com/spmuller24.