Tuesday, July 26, 2011

If You Get To Call Anyone Involved In The NFL Lockout A Winner, I Get To Call You Satan's Butt Monkey

There are headlines that you see in this world, and you know as you are clicking on them that the only reason you are doing this is because... on some level, you enjoy hurting yourself. And that's where we are when you click on this little piece of forced sludge from Ashley Fox, formerly a midddler for the Philly papers, now a peon for King Mouse. Ms. Fox believes that the following people can be called "winners."

> The owners and players

> Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith

> The lawyers

> Veteran players and

> The city of Indianapolis.

Let's examine each in turn, shall we?

Owners and players: Um, not to quibble here, but this was a negotiation, and for both sides to win we pretty much have to enter the world of Participant trophies. Bullspit, basically.

The owners got to keep their exhibition games, got 5% more despite already having a wildly profitable business, and have to pretend to be angry about the guaranteed spend that will only really hurt the 2-3 slobs at the bottom of the city barrel who will either move to Los Angeles or sell to some freshly heeled snob in 1-2 years for a handsome profit on their original investment. They also get to keep their non-guaranteed contracts despite the fact that their league is basically guaranteed decrepitude, and will soak the public for a fresh 8 games of unwelcome Thursday nights. If you think the players won this, or even could, you're high. Or that a massive media conglomerate pays your bills.

> Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith. Honestly, you think that a commish that couldn't keep his league from four months of pointless PR bloodbath is a winner? If you crash your car in a ditch, and do thousands of dollars of damage, but keep from rolling it down a cliff... that doesn't make you a winner. It makes you a loser. Perhaps a lucky one. But not more than that.

As for Smith, he lost the legal high ground, gave back what we talked about before, and failed to improve the life of his charges. He never put the owners in any real moment of unease, didn't risk the player's PR perception for cash (which is, well, something that Labor almost always have to do in a corrupt and complicit media environment), and left money on the table. Not exactly winning behavior.

> The lawyers? The lawyers always win. One more reason to hate them.

> Veteran players. Well, they still get to play exhibition games, but they do get to miss some training camp and get a bump in their minimum salary... but honestly, it depends on the role, really. Some positions are much more reliant on their teammates than others, especially in regards to collecting the numbers that drive bigger contracts. If I'm a QB, I'm really not loving the idea that my backs and line aren't as up to speed on their blitz coverage as they might have been otherwise. If I'm a back who needs to hit so many yards per carry to get paid, I'm not loving the lack of cohesive line play. And so on, and so on. There's precious little win here.

> The city of Indianapolis. Well, whatever; out of town cash spends and all. But why does anyone care about the well-being of the hotel and hospitality workers of freaking Indianapolis, or fails to understand that the "$400 million" of quoted economic benefit just comes from every other part of America, and that it wouldn't have been any kind of tragedy if it had stayed there?

Look, there is only one real winner in this: the broadcast networks and media properties that would have stunk like fish in noon heat if there was no NFL this year, or if the league had counterfeited their season by shortening or bastardizing it.

And the fact that the media that's telling you who the winners and losers are from this thing... won't tell you that they are among the winners?

Well, that's a little bit telling now too, isn't it?

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