Check out this article from Tara Sullivan, it’s worth a read…
Sullivan begins with an optimistic tone that really sheds light on the uniqueness of the NFL Lockout situation and how one positive outcome has been reached for the fans – exposure:
…Wednesday afternoon, a group of preschoolers from Hoboken had the best Giants seats in the house. Gathered by an open gate at the edge of Hoboken High School’s football field, nearly a dozen sets of 3-year-old eyes peeked through an open gate and straight into an informal practice session by a handful of Giants players. “That’s quarterback Eli Manning,” their teachers informed them as they filed past the gate, loitered for a bit, and eventually headed back to school.
One can’t help but tuck away the cynicism for just a second when you think about these preschoolers who got to see the Giants in action. Got to ask Eli for an autograph in their own neighborhood. Got to see their football team on THEIR turf for once. It actually sounds great for the kids, fans, and anyone else who got out to Hoboken High and watch the Giants practice for a change. In the wake of uncertainty caused by the CBA negotiations and training camp debates, it’s just plain nice to see a professional football team doing their thing out in public and making the best of it for themselves and their supporters.
But then comes the inevitable turn for the worse:
Welcome to the NFL, circa spring 2011. This is what a lockout looks like, and it is a picture of ridiculous absurdity. The recent draft class has nowhere to go, banned from the teams that just selected the players. The undrafted free agents are in even worse shape, barred from speaking with teams that in the past would have signed them already. Veteran free agents can’t negotiate either, and plain old veterans are looking for ways to stay in shape.
To quote Jerry McGuire, this is NOT what inspires people. And it’s not on Sullivan at all, don’t get it twisted — its nobodys fault for showing us the reality of this legal and monetary battle basically between corporate entities that has entered a painful stalemate. This is just another microcosm as to why this lockout sucks so bad for all involved, especially the fans. Sullivan’s piece today actually does a fantastic job of juxtaposing the extreme positives and negatives of the situation in the NFL right now, and although there’s too much cynicism and negativity going around about it — if you dig a little you find the positive. Sullivan was kind enough to highlight the positive it in the first paragraph, even if it’s only 5% of the total article.
But I can tell you first hand, my 2 year old son would LOVE to get out to the football field and see his QB throwing the football. That’s all it would take, forget the autographs, forget the PSLs, forget the questions, forget the lockout — he’d be THRILLED to get out to that high school field and see some guys playing ball. And there inlies the beauty of the situation underneath all the depositions, the arguments, the squabbles, the negotiations, the complaints - professional football is back in our own back yards.
It’s like the time the Yankees came to Amsterdam, New York at Shuttleworth Park and played an exhibition game…. my grandfather still talks about it to this day. There’s something positive that can be gleaned from this debacle. Are there problems? OF COURSE!! But for one second, can we just think about how the youngest of New York and New Jerseys fans got a little show this morning when if all was back to normal, they would never in a million years got a chance to experience.