I woke up this morning with a numb arm and neck stiffness. As usual I did my normal warm up to get the blood flowing so my body can somewhat function close to normal. From the years of pounding I’ve taken in the glamorous yet not so glamorous game of football, I have nerve problems stemming from neck and shoulder issues. Now don’t get me wrong I am definitely not complaining, I love football and that’s what I signed up for. There are many players who face these same ailments and more everyday. Knowing this, the big money NFL owners still want to add two more games to an already long and grueling season. I have thought about this issue since it became a topic, and I see no other reason to do it but to enhance the almighty dollars they have already.
Following the owners meeting Commissioner Goodell expressed a great amount of support to start an 18 game season. Followed by another statement that the league is looking for ways to increase revenues. Seriously ? The owners need more money ? And of course, it’s at the players expense. When will the owners realize they need the players just as much as the players need them ? Yes, they provide many things for players in the NFL. Financial security, able to play a sport we love in front of thousands of supporters, incentives, benefits, etc. We are thankful for that, and are grateful. However, do they truly realize the impact it has on our lives ? The impact on our family lives, being away from our children, outside drama and distractions, being targeted and possibly taken advantage of by people. And let’s not forget the impact it has on our bodies. Although we train a certain way, it’s to prevent injury and minimize the amount of stress our bodies take from week to week. Long term damage is even worse. Concussions affect our mental capacities. From memory loss, to deteriorating motor skills, and many athletes are dying from Lou Gehrig disease because of the toxic proteins that form from brain trauma. Soreness, numbness, bad joint function and the list goes on. The average life expectancy of a normal person is 77 years old. For an NFL player it’s 55, that’s more than 20 years taken away. That’s 20 plus years a player doesn’t get to spend with his wife and kids. Heavier guys like lineman only live to be 50 -52 years old. So tell me, what two extra games would truly do for the NFL, besides take an extra 2-3 years per season off players lives and cause the possibility for more injuries.
This would also cause more labor issues. Already there is talk of a potential strike. This will cause even more problems considering there is no agreement in place. The players union is already fighting to retain fair revenue sharing, benefits, and more. This does nothing but create more of a problem for both sides. And a strike is not where the NFL wants to go with this. It looks bad for one, two it affects the players as far as pay, and three it affects the owners pockets too. Sure, they could find second and third tier players to fill in, but will as many people who come to see Andre Johnson come to see Jim from the Galleria ? I’m gonna guess, probably not. To me that would be like going to the Miss Universe Pageant expecting to see the most beautiful, most fit, the highest quality women each country has to offer but instead I get Aretha Franklin, Roseanne Barr, and Rosie O’donnell. I could only hope they bypass the swimsuit competition. Either that or I’m bringing my own stash of Pepto. The point, is that the owners will lose money fast, from concessions, television contracts, and advertisement. Then everyone is right back at square. one.
Sorry owners, but the players are what makes the NFL what it is. Fans come out to see their favorite players and teams, not average or third tier players or businessmen sitting in boxes sipping 50-year-old scotch talking about numbers or how big their yacht’s are. Adding two meaningless games isn’t gonna take their revenue to any substantial increase. The owners should really consider this and be fair. If they are really concerned about the player’s health and livelihood as they say, then it’s a no brainer. The schedule is fine, the divisions are equal in number and balance. There are more than enough injuries happening daily than need be. Even with the Collective Bargaining Agreement still being negotiated, fans are still very excited about the NFL. I’m sure most of these owners are golfers, they should take the same approach one would take when being coached on their swing. Less, is more.