Locked Out, Looking Away


Fellow Kansas City Chiefs, fans: I got nothin’.

I admit it. I almost called in sick today—insofar as it’s possible to call in sick to a blog, when a post can be written and uploaded without getting dressed or even getting out of bed, assuming you always keep your laptop within reach (what, you don’t?).

It’s not that I’ve given up. In fact, just the opposite—I had been putting forward what I consider to be a rather commendable effort in an honest attempt to keep up with the issues and various plot lines of the current NFL labor dispute. I’ve learned quite a deal about the Collective Bargaining Agreement, more than I ever thought I would or, frankly, should, given that my working conditions are not explicitly affected by it.

As “the process” has dragged on, and was postponed, and then dragged on, I found myself getting more and more distracted. If there was a last straw, it was Clark Hunt’s inane interview this weekend. As I read it, I started to get really annoyed, almost nauseous. Matt later articulated perfectly the complete lack of urgency or apology that had started to turn my stomach: “It’s all part of the process… process… process… process… process…” And then, nothing. I felt a bit like Peter (Ron Livingstone) in Office Space, waking up the morning after hypnosis, free of any concern for the never-ending drudgery. Read on about the owners and NFLPA’s latest moves? Gosh. I just didn’t feel like it.

Seriously—how long are we supposed to involve ourselves in someone else’s labor problems, especially when they aren’t taking us into account? When I lived in New York, my favorite Vietnamese restaurant was the target of a delivery strike, which effectively made it inaccessible (ordering from there was almost always an impulsive act, but walking 25 blocks to eat there or pick up food was not). Like me, all of the restaurant’s fans were on the side of the delivery guys, most of who were immigrants that the restaurant owners illegally underpaid. But soon enough, we stopped caring. We just wanted to know when we could order in again. When the dispute was finally settled, it was a glorious day, but we really had nothing to do with the outcome.

I don’t know about you, but by the time the NFL’s “armageddon” finally hit on Friday, I was already focused on other, literally earth-shattering news from earlier that day.*

*I just read that Japan is now thirteen inches wider than it was on Friday morning. In fact, Friday itself was a fraction of a second shorter than it otherwise would have been, due to the earthquake’s disruption of the earth’s rotation. WTF?

The NFL situation is not even the most important or most intriguing labor dispute right now (Hint: all those Wisconsin protests over collective bargaining rights have noting to do with the Packers).

Sorry—I didn’t mean to upset by getting into world events and even verging on the political, especially when my point here is the mundane. In no particular order, here are a few rather humdrum pursuits I would much rather carry out than read/hear/think about the NFL labor dispute until there is a resolution:

> Finish that dense book about the Korean War that’s been sitting on my nightstand forever. I ordered it after seeing a documentary on TV about “the Forgotten War” and was intrigued enough to want to learn more. I got a hundred pages in, and then totally forgot about it.

> Learn to cook Vietnamese food.

> Second-guess my decision to pick #14 Indiana State over #3 Syracuse in the first round* of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. It’s not like Larry Bird still plays for them.

*Well, technically the second round; now that the tournament has four play-in games, the NCAA is referring to those as Round One. Really? Am I the only one who thinks that’s ridiculous? So it’s not that those eight teams aren’t really in the tournament yet, it’s just that the other 60 teams have a bye? Awesome.

> Eat Vietnamese food.

> Take out the trash. (Okay, that’s not really something I would rather do, but tomorrow is trash day. Sorry—I sorta turned this into a to-do list. See what I mean?)

Is anyone at all out there experiencing the same disconnect? Am I just wrong or weak for turning away, at least for a moment?

Because, all that said, I know this will be a brief respite. And it’s not like I’ve stopped checking in at this site, so I’m sure I’ll snap out of it any day now—certainly before the hoped-for injunction gets things moving again. But for now, the time away hasn’t been such a bad thing.

It’s just part of the process, right?