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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

September 25, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Sports

NFL lockout looms large

The NFL draft is like the MLB All-Star Game of professional sports drafts — it’s the only one anyone actually watches.%image_alt%

While the big lockout has been lifted as of Tuesday, there’s still a mess of confusion. With draft weekend set to kick off today, this year could be one of the most disappointing drafts of all time considering the league won’t allow players to work out even though the lockout has temporarily ended.

I was too young at the time to remember the 1994 MLB strike, and as crushing as I’m sure that was, I’m finding it even harder to imagine going a whole five-plus months without football. It would be about as hard to quit eating pizza while still in college.

I’m not sure what’s expected of us football fans on Sundays if there’s no season. We may have to start going to church. Or maybe we can start watching soccer. I could definitely get into watching Ochocinco’s antics on the pitch. If only the owners and players could stop arguing over a measly billion dollars.

The fans aren’t the only ones who’d suffer without the season, though. Young rookies and veterans alike would struggle from missing the year. Not only would they be missing out on some moola, but they’d also miss a year of game experience they need to stay in tip-top shape.

With all of the mess, the players have managed to stand strong together. DeMarcus Ware even opted not to accept his $60,000 the league decided to give to players to help financially support them. I love Ware, and I totally appreciate that he wanted the money to go to some players who are “less fortunate,” but 60K is chump change anyway for a guy who’s guaranteed $40 million through 2015. I mean, it would’ve been nicer if he passed the 60K along to, oh I don’t know, a senior at a private institution in upstate New York.

The NFL had the nerve to unveil the 2011 season’s schedule a couple of weeks ago, and players reacted strongly. Maurice Jones-Drew, Steven Jackson, DeAngelo Hall and Brian Dawkins highlight a list of players who made statements on Twitter about the tease. Jackson tweeted, “I see our new schedule is out but does that mean they will #LiftTheLockout tonite too? We want to play, especially on MNF #LetUsPlay.” Hopefully the schedule’s release means they’re getting closer to an agreement.

I just hope, come Sept. 8, I can turn on NBC and hear Al Michaels’ beautiful voice as the past two Super Bowl winners — the Saints and Packers — square off in Green Bay.