By Brad Thompson–
CHICAGO (WSCR) If it hasn’t dawned on you yet, the NFL lockout is impacting fans. How do I know this? Commissioner Roger Goodell said so on Wednesday in Indianapolis. Thanks for keeping us in the loop Roger.
Any respectable fan realized months before the lockout happened that if a collective bargaining agreement wasn’t reached, the game would suffer. So why was it necessary for the commissioner to publicly acknowledge that the draft’s television rating were down by roughly four million people and traffic on NFL.com has decreased? I could have guessed that.
At 72 days and counting, I’m fed up with the lockout and the lack of progress that’s been made. Of course ticket sales are down, of course people aren’t viewing as much NFL content. What are we supposed to do, drown ourselves in the mindless back and forth pandering between the owners and players? Rush out and buy tickets for a season that might not happen? Or spend our days trying to figure out the legality of it all? Spare me.
The next thing uttered out of Goodell’s mouth needs to be, “We have a deal.” Until then, I don’t want to hear anything else from him. All the jockeying for position and news coverage surrounding the lockout is just making it worse. The speculation about if the season will start on time, what will happen in free agency and when rookies will be allowed to learn their new team’s system are mind-numbing.
Just when things couldn’t get any better for the NFL, greed took over. Talk about ruining a good thing. The popularity of the NFL was at an all-time high, but that’s not the case now. Fans are rightfully disgruntled. And no matter when the lockout ends, it happened on Goodell’s watch. Sure the owners and players are the ones who can’t figure out how to split up $9 billion in revenue, but Goodell will forever be linked to this lockout.
The only explanation for Goodell to insult fans by telling us something we already knew is if this is his way of publicly calling out the owners and players. If by stating the obvious about the negative impacts of the lockout to the media, he thinks it will help get a deal done, then great.
After more than 10 weeks of a lockout, I don’t care which side is more at fault. Clearly there’s plenty of blame to go around. At this point, I don’t want to hear any more about the lockout and I especially don’t want to hear the commissioner making asinine statements about things everyone already knows.
You’re right Goodell, the lockout is hurting the NFL and its brand. Now tell me something I don’t know – like when will the lockout end?
Do you agree with Brad? Post your comments below.
Brad M. Thompson, a former college football player and coach, made his return to the Midwest in 2009 after fighting wildfires out West. He earned his master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and covers the Big Ten Conference and Chicago sports. Follow him on Twitter at @Brad_M_Thompson. Find more of Brad’s blogs here.