This is an easy one. No preamble necessary. The owners opted out of the old collective bargaining agreement, the owners engaged in slimy, secret, illegal negotiations behind the players’ backs, and the owners locked the players out. The owners are the villains here. They’ve sucked our blood for years, like disgusting, gluttonous ticks.
Or, more accurately, like medieval nobility. NFL owners are the new aristocracy. They bleed their subjects dry while simultaneously soaking up their adulation. They live off the sweat of others, and use part of that sweat to fund endless propaganda meant to fool the ignorant. Its time we finally react appropriately to this shameless fiscal lechery. This lockout needs to be the spark that starts the flame. These owners aren’t living legends, they aren’t loving patriarchs, they aren’t local heroes, and they aren’t brave pioneers. They’re old, greedy men, most of whom were born rich, grubbing for as much of our money as they can get their clammy mitts on.
I know its tempting to blame both parties equally. The players did reject an offer, after all. An offer that, according to the people who made it (and only them), was “very good.”* And then, lo and behold, an immediate NFL media blitz talking about how much they wanted to get a deal done. When it comes to subtle manipulation of the masses, nobody beats the NFL. They’re like the Michael Jordan of fooling of robbing people. I’ve already seen the tide of public opinion shifting slightly back their way. When it comes to a propaganda war, the players simply cannot compete with the league.
*Is that right, NFL owners? You approve your own offer? And you’ve provided a partial list of things you offered!? Well, I’m sold.
There is a difference between millionaires and billionaires. A huge difference. One group sacrifices their bodies to ensure they and their families can have comfortable lives (for a while). The other group owns things, sits in luxury suites, and uses our tax dollars to create more revenue for themselves in a perverse, grifting circle of life. It seems pretty clear to me whose side we should be on here. And hey, what a coincidence, that side is full of the people we actually pay to see!
More truth after the jump:
Let’s bring this home to KC for second and talk about our owner. You know, the guy who inherited a football team, along with a vast fortune, from his father? The guy who makes more off one Chiefs home game than most NFL players make in their entire lives? Here’s what Clark Hunt, paragon of ownership, had to say about the lockout (Teicher gettin’ after it) :
“I really view it right now as just part of the process….”
“I think what happened yesterday is just part of the process.”
“Unfortunately, the players felt they needed to go to the litigation strategy as a means to try to get leverage in the process.”
“From a business standpoint, I don’t think a whole lot changes for the Chiefs in the next couple of months…”
“At times during the mediation process….”
Hunt later added “Process.”
Not a lot of urgency there. No hint of an apology, either. This attitude seems to be pretty consistent among the owners. “We did all we could. We bent over backwards. We’re very confident. We believe in family values.”
Dig this reaction to Hunt’s interview by ArrowheadPride frontman Joel Thorman. He attempts to be diplomatic, but you can tell this rubbed him wrong too (the lack of urgency from Hunt is the first thing that struck both of us). To me, that is telling. Thorman doesn’t look to rock the boat. That site as a whole is overwhelmingly positive in its coverage of the Chiefs. But Thorman is also a reasonable man. And of his five thoughts on this interview, three are critical of ownership. For the token positive thought he had to use an email from one of his commenters. Again, telling.
The NFL has become a gross place. And really, that was true before the lockout. Coaches refuse to answer questions. GMs work as hard at self-preservation as they do at player development. Announcers say only what they’re told to. Owners keep the financial information under lock and key*. The flow of carefully controlled propaganda is endless. Monday Night Football plays like a 4-hour infomercial highlighting the glory and perfection of the NFL. The owners box is shown multiple times during every game.
*Is anyone surprised that in the end, the books were not opened? I’m sure not. Some will no doubt say the owners are within their rights keeping the books closed. You’re correct. But what is their motivation for doing so? There can be only one: they’re making a preposterous amount of money. If they weren’t, they would release their financial records and end this nonsense right now. The fact that that isn’t happening should tell you all you need to know about how good their offer really was.
How did we get here? Has it always been like this? I highly doubt it. The players and coaches are responsible for the game’s evolution. The owners are responsible for the evolution of greed and deceit. Or would you rather blame the players for that? The guys who have spent their whole lives taking orders and playing a game? The guys who are 22 years old when they enter this business? Who come from predominantly poor or middle-class backgrounds? Those are the guys you want to blame for this mess? Give me a break.
Blame Caesar, not the gladiators. And render unto Caesar that which is his. In this case, boos, disgust and scorn. And $22 for the right to park your car on his property.