Saturday, March 12, 2011

Top 10 things to do now that the NFL lockout has begun

OK, so the Nuclear Winter of No Football Larceny has started. What can the average everyday fan do in response?

10) Cancel your season tickets. (That'll show 'em! Put a stick in their ribs! Let 'em know you're there!) But seriously... there's no reason to go to a game, even assuming that the NFL continues to exist, given the ability to see games in HD with full access to food and drink that doesn't cost a small fortune. Also, since such a large percentage of the audience is in fantasy leagues anyway, you aren't really watching the game anyway. And the owners are among the most repugnant people on the planet, and just locked the players out while puling that the players aren't negotiating. So why not, well, not pay for seats anymore?

9) Burn your gear. This is always a win, particularly if you can do it on camera, in a trash can, while some mouth breathing blow-dried head from the local TV station phones in a "These Fans Are Angry!" piece for the local news. Both sides, of course, care very very much about you burning something that you already paid for, and will probably replace once the games start again. But hey, you got on the news!

8) Go to the local NFL sports bar anyway. So what if they've been overcharging for bad food and watery beer all of these years, under the auspices of having to pay for those big screen televisions? They are going to be really hurt by a lockout, and you'll still be able to watch cricket, rugby and soccer there, with all of your new Euro buddies. Good on ya.

7) Concoct violent plots. Oh, this is a fun one. Give in to the nasty little side of your brain, the one that feels permanently aggrieved if things don't go your way, and work out just exactly how you'd bump off an NFL owner. How much security could they have, anyway? And as soon as one or two of them get knocked off, I'm sure the others will snap to their senses and hammer out a deal. If the cops catch you, you'll still be a hero to tens of millions (especially if you take out Daniel Snyder), and it's not as if you'd be killing something, you know, human.

6) Get involved with sports talk radio. They'll really want to hear from you, especially if you are able to froth at length without resorting to outright profanity. Remember, he who goes for the most over-the-top invective gets all of the hot sports talk radio groupies!

5) Incite others. Hey, you know what would stop this whole thing right in its tracks? A STRIKE! Why, a fan strike in which we all show our angry faces is sure to sway a complex negotiation involving a ridiculous chunk of cash into action, particularly when both sides are convinced that they could more or less drop a Cleveland Steamer in our mouths and set new ratings records within six months. But sure, Norma Rae, grab that bullhorn and go for all that you are worth. You could get on the tee vee!

4) Call your Congresscritter. There's got to be some kind of PR grandstand that a government official could go for here, right? If nothing else, arrest and indefinite incarceration in Gitmo? (I knew that Obama kept that camp open for a reason. Brilliant!)

And the fact that your Congresscritter doesn't hear from you about wars, Social Security, health care, deficit spending, unemployment compensation, Medicare or anything else means... this is the magic issue that Ordinary Joes care about. So make the call! They've been waiting *decades* to do your bidding.

3) Switch to another sport. Back when I was a boy, when remote controls had cords and phone numbers involving a 9 or 0 involved significantly more aerobic exercise, we stopped caring about the NFL the minute that our team was eliminated from playoff contention. And since my team was the Eagles, that meant that we more our less had our Novembers and Decembers free for the finer things, like a Flyer team that actually won championships, and a Sixers team that big-marketed a prime Julius Erving to make the move from northern New Jersey.

We can, you know, stop paying so much attention to football. It's possible. Really and for true.

2) Change your sexual habits. Hey, life's short and death is long, and to quote your mom (a lovely woman) at the dinner table... how do you know you don't like something if you've never even tried it? I say, take all of the free time that you're about to have, and put it to good use in the service of some new demographic group, fetish or species. The months will just fly by, along with all of your old NFL-enabling friends!

1) Pretend it's not happening. Hey, this is all just a ploy, a scam, a trick to get both sides to try to give up more at the bargaining table. There's no way that there won't be football this fall, or that you'll have to SOMEHOW LIVE WITHOUT THE ONLY SPORT YOU REALLY CARE ABOUT ANYMORE OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD WHAT AM I GOING TO DO IT'S SO COLD AND DARK AND LONELY...

Anyhoo, Relax. It's all going to turn out fine! Like life.

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