Here's a tidy summation of how we've managed to get to where we are with the NFL lockout. A few years ago, the players and owners agreed to a new CBA, with only Ralph Wilson and Mike Brown voting against the agreement, in Wilson's case because he's old and easily confused by things.
Then, almost immediately after that agreement was approved, all the other owners suddenly decided WHOA HEY! THIS AGREEMENT BLOWS! And so, this March, they opted out of that agreement and locked out the players. The players, for their part, were happy with the terms of the original CBA and wanted to keep playing. But then Roger Goodell, who is a fucking stooge, told the world that players being happy with the CBA means the CBA is totally unfair.
Now, the players decided to break up and sue the NFL to get the lockout lifted, which it was for seven seconds leading up to the draft back in April. The owners then fought to have the lockout reinstated while they appealed, and managed to temporarily prevail. So here we have one side that has shut down the operations of football TWICE, and another side who A.) didn't instigate the lockout and B.) sued to STOP the lockout and get football played again. This is now the longest work stoppage in NFL history, and it is the result of a labor battle initiated by the owners. Those are facts. It should seem obvious whose cause you, Mr. NFL Fan, ought to get behind.
So it baffles and angers me that there appears to be actual people out there who are squarely in the owners' corner when it comes to this labor war. I went to this post at PFT the other day, where Florio outlines a rumor about the league going out of business if they lose their appeal, and the number of pro-owner comments were just … fucking … I don't even know. They must be plants. They have to be plants. That's the only explanation. How else do you explain comments like these? (Click to enlarge.)
It's like a group of people went directly to their computers after walking out of a screening of Atlas Shrugged. You can find retarded commenters at virtually any Internet forum (why, just scroll down!), but the idea that there are people out there who would like to see the owners succeed in PREVENTING THE PLAYING OF ACTUAL NFL GAMES to spite NFL players strikes me as … what's the word? Oh, right. FUCKING INSANE. Please God, let these people be planted there by Jerry Richardson. Don't tell me there are people out there this breathtakingly hardheaded.
Do you know how many NFL teams are owned by people who inherited their respective franchises? Eleven. ELEVEN. Over one third of all NFL teams belong to people who did nothing to deserve them except shoot out of the right uterus or fuck the right spouse. Two more NFL teams are owned by scions of American industrial giants (the Lions and Jets). And somehow this makes them business geniuses who deserve to lock out their employees and rob the country of its favorite sport? Really? The same shrewd people who apparently screwed themselves into such an allegedly shitty labor deal not but a few years ago? Is there ANY situation in which a billionaire can be fucking wrong, then? Or is their wealth simply an overriding character trait that trumps all flaws?
There's a distinctly political turn to much of these lockout arguments among fans. I guess if you think the players are right (and I do), that makes you a dirty liberal and there can't possibly be a decent case to be made. All unions are bad, which means the NFL players are ungrateful and lazy and deserve to be booted out on their ass because the owners are the beginning and end of why the NFL is successful.
No success is ever entirely self-made. Billionaires don't just crawl out of a fucking swamp and then work 23-hour days until they're filthy rich and deserving of every penny. There are a million factors that go into the making of a successful person, and hard work is merely one of them. There's an element of luck. There's certainly an element of breeding. There's an element of good timing, of catching the wave at the precise right moment. All of those things factor in, not to mention the millions upon millions of tax dollars used to subsidize the stadiums many of these fine gentlemen happen to now own. But these pro-owner people seem to believe that NFL owners are fucking magical money unicorns that came out of a glowing cistern on a mountaintop, and they have carte blanche to strongarm people accordingly.
I hope they're planted by the league. I really do, though some polls suggest otherwise. Because if you are a real, living, breathing person and you're actually rooting for the league to continue to, you know, not playing, then you can go fucking die. If you have a beef with the union breaking up and suing the NFL, then you're too stupid to understand that suing the league was essentially ALL the players could do, because for years now the owners have been hellbent on losing games in the 2011 season specifically to squeeze more money out of the players, as much as humanly possible. Many owners didn't bother to show up for the initial negotiating sessions in March. They want their lockout, and they're going to exhaust every shitty, awful option they can to make it happen. And they sure as shit don't care about your concerns in the process. You're the fan. You're just a fucking sheep.
Meanwhile, the players, who used legal recourse to return to the field, are the bad guys? Why? Because you think they may try and get rid of the draft, even though that will NEVER happen? (And it should be noted here that getting rid of the draft and making all incoming rookies free agents is far more in the spirit of unbridled capitalism, though that apparently only matters if the beneficiaries of said system are white billionaire cocksuckers.) Are you that fucking dumb? The idea that players are just dumb assholes who should be grateful that their noble employer sees fit to pay them ANYTHING is a bizarre and downright feudal stance to take. These strike me as the thoughts of someone with a massive political blind spot, where your politics so utterly consume you that you can't be bothered with the reality staring you in the face. This doesn't need to be a political argument, and yet there are people out there desperate to make it precisely that.
I love football. Football is pretty much what I live for, and it seems to me that only the players are interested in making football a reality this fall. So if you're somehow on the side of management in this NFL dispute, please know that you are wrong and that you are stupid and that I fucking hate you.