NFL labor dispute hogs airwaves

Dan Nelson

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What would America do without football?

I guess we’d have more time to watch hockey, basketball and the MLB playoffs. But seriously, what would we do?

First of all, we wouldn’t get to watch videos of the always-controversial helmet-led tackles on any given week. We wouldn’t get to listen to the prima donna tirades from players about their disgust with undeserved fines. And we certainly wouldn’t get to waste our time watching ESPN and hearing phrases like collective-bargaining agreement, union decertification and 11th hour litigation.

Despite my sarcasm, I think I will actually miss the helmet-to-helmet hits.

I don’t think I’d miss football.

I’m sick of flipping to the sports section in the newspaper and reading about the sideshow mediation sessions that have made up the off-season so far. Oops, there goes one of those fancy labor talk phrases again.

First of all, the owners and the NFL Players Association were given a $9 billion budget. The owners decided that they would just cut a $4 billion check for themselves and figure out what to do with the rest of it. Needless to say, the NFLPA wasn’t too happy with that decision which led to more of that fancy litigation stuff. You wouldn’t know much about this unless you had a lawyer present while watching ESPN to translate whatever is going on.

Aside from the money differences, the players don’t think they’re being treated fairly. The owners are campaigning for an 18 game season as opposed to the current 16 game one. With the salary cap set to stay the same, the players feel like they’re risking their health and not seeing any more compensation in return.

My response to that is, ‘get over it.’

The players themselves can solve that problem. Maybe if they’d stop chop blocking and spearing each other’s heads, both of which are illegal in the NFL, there wouldn’t be so much risk. It’s not like they make $770,000 a season, which was the average salary for an NFL player last season, or anything.

If Albert Haynesworth can complain about being too fat to play while getting paid $100 million over seven years, then why shouldn’t the rest of the NFL be able to?

And what if we lost all of those shameless Super Bowl commercials and the chance of an epileptic seizure from a talentless halftime show?

I know one thing’s for sure. If it weren’t for one of the highest rated television events in America, I would have totally missed the chance to laugh hardily at Christina Aguilera forgetting the lyrics to the national anthem.

Maybe I’m being a little insensitive, but we’ll see how both sides handle next season’s player lockout.

In the words of Bart Scott, ‘can’t wait.’

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