Well, this is what it’s come down to. At this point I find it nearly impossible to not side with the players during this pointless lockout. As more and more details emerge of Oakland’s workout week in Georgia the more I’m reminded of just who the true professionals are in this labor dispute.
According to reports, the Raiders could engage in an 11-on-11 scrimmage with the Atlanta Falcons during their self-imposed week long camp.
Now on the surface there are many reasons why this is not a good idea. Many will be quick to throw that injury word out as if the players aren’t already taking risks before there was any mention of this.
However, I see this much differently. I see this as the defining moment in what the historians will ultimately write about this labor stoppage. The players kept playing when they weren’t allowed to while the owners kept reaching for money that was never theirs in the first place.
For starters, Richard Seymour himself is footing the bill for the week of conditioning and camaraderie. I’d like to know the last time the owners dug into their own pockets first instead of asking the fans to foot their bills.
Secondly, Seymour has even stated that he’s going to have a couple hours open to the media. Talk about a transparent policy of governing. We all know hat happened when the players asked the owners to open up their books.
Finally, this speaks to the love of the game which each of these men carry with them everyday. If this were a strike instead of a lockout do you think the owners would be getting their staff together on their own dime and preparing as if the season were going to start any minute? I highly doubt that. Chances are most of them would see this as an opportunity to cut costs.
I say most owners because Al Davis isn’t like most. His staff is staying busy and useful by any means necessary. Even if that means Chuck Bresnahan has to sell a few season tickets himself to keep collecting a check.
Yes, there are plenty of reasons why the Raiders and Falcons have no business engaging in an unsanctioned scrimmage. But it’s not like having coaches present ensures injuries won’t occur.
Maybe some of this is all propaganda made to suck the likes of myself into the corner of the players. Well…it worked.
If these guys are spoiled millionaires who play for checks and not love then why would they risk their livelihood when there is no end in sight for the lockout? The simple answer is because they genuinely love what they do.
In every business there is the contentious relationship between the artists and the owner. The owner wants to dictate terms of the artists’ work and the artist wants to be left to his endeavors without interference.
Generally I’d say both sides need to give up something in order to get something. In the NFL labor dispute the only thing the players should give up are rookie salaries. Forget giving up another billion off the top. Gordon Gekko might like those business practices but we the fans just want what the players want – football.