Post-lockout backlash

Posted: July 26, 2011 by terryvandrovec in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

The NFL lockout ended today, meaning the 2011 season will go on pretty much according to plan.

And I’m kind of annoyed about it. Hear me out.

In working through this inside my head, there are a few possible reasons for these surprising feelings, which honestly didn’t develop until Monday.
First, the Green Bay Packers, my favorite team – and frankly, the only squad in any sport that I genuinely root for anymore – is the defending Super Bowl champ. So no season, no giving back the Lombardi Trophy. And I’m half of serious about that – it’s possible I would have taken more joy in retaining the title than from watching the season.
During a recent work interview, a sports psychologist told me that there are two subsets of personalities in sports – those who want to compete to win and take what’s theirs (BAS) and those who sort of want to avoid losing (BIS). I’ve come to the conclusion that I fit into the latter. (Humor me – pretend you find that surprising.)

The other reason for my perturbation: The giddiness displayed by the general public. There was a childlike glee shown today by so many grown folks and, well, I’m not sure this news merits that. Not because I don’t like football – I do; it helps feed my family. Rather, no real NFL activities were missed aside from some OTAs and the whole situation could have been avoided. Now THAT – players and owners figuring things out before threatening the livelihoods of so many regular Joes who have businesses that piggyback on games – would have been reason to be celebrate.

The lockout lasted 132 days, most of which were much ado about nothing. For some perspective, my youngest daughter spent 133 days in the NICU. Now that was excruciating. That was worth sweating, worth crunching the details and dissecting the angles.

I’m really not trying to be a buzzkill, although I’m fairly skilled in that art. I’m glad that Sundays will go on as usual – I’ll be watching – and it’s good that the undrafted free agents will be able to chase their dreams and try to earn a wage with their unique talents. But I’m not going to jump up and down.

Unexpectedly, some of the joy has been taken away.

Now … get off my lawn!

  1. I’m not going to lie to you, I’m not jumping for joy either. The Cowboys are my team and over the years I cringe while watching them play. There are things in life that are more important to me than football, but football certainly makes my weekends that much better. I enjoy reading what you write, it is entertaining and a different view than what I am used to.

  2. Look at it this way, Terry… at least we have a reason NOT to root for soccer.

  3. Jerry says:

    Wow. Really? I’m deeply sympathetic to what your family has been through, but bringing that up here is out of bounds. By bringing it up you’re basically using guilt, rather than any sort of insightful argument, to push readers into taking your side. That is a cheap move that is, frankly, beneath you. I honestly can’t believe you made the reference. They are in no way related.

    • That’s fine and I respect your opinion. Not trying to guilt anyone into choosing a side, just relaying a comparison that struck me while on the treadmill. My main point is this: The resolution of the lockout has made me – and maybe no one else – feel like the sport has gotten overexposed in good (end of lockout) and bad (during lockout).

  4. Jim Gentle says:

    Doug Gottlieb nailed it yesterday. Does anyone truly believe that at any point in the negotiations that someone stood up and said hey wait, what about the fans. The players got what they wanted, the owners got what they wanted and the fans will be paying more for it. Someone remind me why we should be celebrating.

  5. shawnfury says:

    I have a theory that if the league had lost half the season or even the whole season, whenever it came back it would have actually been even more popular than ever. That first game back you probably would have had 15-hour pregame shows and performances by Bon Jovi, Adele, Springsteen, the Who and Beyonce, topped off with fireworks before the Colts hosted the Packers. The NFL really does seem bullet-proof, unlike what happened to the NHL, MLB and NBA during their lockouts/strikes, when it took years – not to mention more steroids than were ingested by the East German women’s swimming team between 1960 and 1988 – to bring back their popularity.

    This is just a theory, of course. Could be like Homer. “In theory, communism works. In theory.”

    • Shawn, while I think you are right about how the league would have fared. I would caution that I think MLB felt that way before missing the season. It was America’s past time. Additionally, I think that the immediately post Jordan/Magic/Bird NBA felt invincible.. until it was vinced. So while I agree with your assessment, I would be cautious about how secure I was in that assessment. I think the real risk is allowing people to see that a. they can live without your sport and b. allowing them to become addicted to the OTHER forms of entertainment that invariably exist out there. Some of them, and maybe ALOT of them, never return.

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