Wow. It finally seems to be over, though people are saying the same thing about those Hairy Pooter movies, and I don’t believe Hollywood will ever stop popping those out.
But let’s say the word on the “skreats” is correct, and that both sides are ready to sign on the dotted line and get to work. This has been a hell of a time for football people. Fans have slumped in their recliners, watching bowling and God knows what else was on, unable to scour for those tasty morsels of mini-camp and free agent news that usually make this time of year so bearable. Writers and bloggers have strained to publish something, anything of note. How in the world do you put a positive spin on this dark time, other than the fact that it’s coming to a close? We’ll give it a try.
Why did this shutdown happen? Why were those padlocks thrown on the weight rooms and practice fields? Why has this war been waged for so long? Why have we suffered so? The quick answer: The NFL is kind of freaking awesome.
This wasn’t some league in trouble, with two sides clawing one another to death aboard a sinking ship. No, these were two sides fighting over a delightfully massive hunk of profits. This was a $9,000.000.000 pie, too tasty not to go to war over. Not a single owner would open their books. Why? Well, to be honest, those books would have looked pretty darned lovely.
Was it sickening to watch this scramble for ducats, millionaires and billionaires slugging it out at the expense of the fan? Of course. Blame at this point is worthless, though we have our opinions. But moving forward, perhaps it lessens the sting to know that this entire fiasco happened because the league we all know and love is doing incredibly well. So the first couple of regular season games may be a bit more sloppy than normal. It is ultimately more than worth it to secure the balance between management and labor.
This remains the hardest hitting sport in the world. This remains the league with the greatest parity in existence. This remains the most magnificent athletic contest mankind has ever conceived. And very soon those padlocks will be gone. The top brass will again toil endlessly to build winners. The players will once again spill their blood, sweat and tears on the field of battle.
More importantly, fans will start buying their tickets. Fans will start prepping for fantasy drafts. Fans will start scouring the web for those practice reports and trade rumors. The nightmare is over, guys. It will fade into the past, as a footnote. As for the future? The National Football League, and our SoFlo Sea Mammals, will be around for a long, long, time.
GO DOLPHINS, and feel free to follow us on Twitter @thebottlenose