Face it, the NFL lockout has kind of dragged out. My sense is that fans were concerned at the end of last season, but then the season ended – as it always does – and fans move on to other sports – as we always do.
So the lockout petered out and became a non-story. Until the summer. Now that hockey and basketball are over – and there’s only baseball – now is the time that this fan starts to focus on the NFL. Seems the players and owners feel the same way.
Rumor is the lockout will end next week, and that the NFL Players’ Association had a secret contingency fund, lockout insurance, if you will, to help the players hold the line. Good for them. I never quite understood why there was a lockout to start with – neither side made a great case. But my understanding was the players wanted the status quo, and no one explained why that was a bad idea. Sounds good to me, right?
Of course, what I don’t want is another season of the Redskins status quo. That, I could do without. Despite fan loyalty, the consistently poorly performing product on the field and the long traffic-packed trek there and back is beginning to wear. I mean, who is surprised that the Redskins are having a hard time selling season tickets? Particularly in the football-free lockout summer doldrums. And in a still struggling economy. Let’s not forget that.
But, the end of the lockout means back to reality – for the Redskins organization and for us the fans.
Just yesterday, I was talking about going to a game with a fellow long-suffering fan.
“Let’s go to a later game,” he said.
Me: “Later game …? But not too late. I mean, there’s always that game in the season when you know that the season …” I trailed off, but he got my drift. Poor guy, so optimistic. Hate to burst his bubble. Of course, this same friend thinks the Nats have a great young core … and he’s serious.
“Oh. Yeah. I see what you mean.”
Who wants to go to a game to see a team that’s 3-7 and hoping to go 6-10, right? Oh. Right. That’ll still be me. Once the season starts, I won’t be able to help myself – I’ll be on board and excited, thoroughly crushed when they lose, particularly if it’s a NFC East game.
Until then, while the season is still officially on hold, I can look at things clearly … but soon I’ll be digging out my gear and making plans to go to the game.