I like wrestling.  There was a time that I watched Monday Night Raw live every week.  I would flip over to the game, but wrestling was my main focus.  But then something happened.  WWE decided to treat their fans like idiots.  This didn’t happen once or twice, but over and over.  After a while, I decided that I didn’t like to be treated like an idiot, so I stopped watching every Monday.  Instead, I put Raw on the DVR.  Now, I only watch if I hear something good is on the show or nothing else is going on.  Most episodes get deleted before I ever watch them. I'm a fan, but not like I once was.

I like football too.  Growing up, I would go to the high school games with my dad, who still attends to this day.  We always watched or listened to the Mountaineers and the Steelers.  I attended all the home games when I was in college.  I have a season ticket for Northwestern, a team I have no allegiance to other than fandom of football (and a good tailgate).  In the last decade, I’ve become an addict of the NFL like so many other people.  I have to watch the Steelers and I usually watch at least a few other games a week.  I watch on Sunday and Monday night and Thursday was becoming part of my routine.  But something has happened along the way, starting a few years ago and increasing with some regularity.  The NFL treats me like an idiot.  They think I can’t see through their focus on “player safety.”  They want me to believe a line of garbage about locking out the players.  And now, they’ve thrown away the integrity of the game by locking out the men who already struggle to make order out of chaos in the officials.  Over what?  Pocket change for the NFL in terms of money.  So what for then really?  How about ego.  Because they can.  Because they know I’ll still tune in next week.

And they’re right.  I’m not going to stop watching.  Calling for a boycott is stupid because we can’t do it.  We’re addicts and we’ll need our fix.  We can’t stay away.  But there is something I can do.  I can watch my Steelers and then turn off the television.  I can stay away from a night game that doesn’t feature any teams I care about.  I can get a new hobby, do those chores around the house, or maybe just cut down on my bar tabs.  I’m not going cold turkey, but I can cut back.  I don’t want to be played for a chump anymore, so I can do something about it.  Will it hurt the NFL?  Of course not, but maybe if enough people go from three games a week to one, they may notice.  Maybe Coors won’t be so eager to pour in the money for ads.  Maybe ESPN, NBC, Fox, and CBS won’t be so afraid to anger their almighty boss in Roger Goodell.  Maybe I’ll have a better life for it.  College football is great and it’s on all the time.  The Steelers games will still be fun to watch, but maybe some moderation is the key.  Then I won’t feel like a fool for giving so much to a league that doesn’t care about me or any of its fans.  Then I won’t feel like such a chump for letting the NFL call me an idiot over and over and me doing nothing about it.  I think I’ll start this week.  No betting on a league that isn’t on the level.  No spending my whole day on Sunday watching football and drinking beer.  I think it’s time for NFL fans like me to reclaim our self respect.  Roger Goodell and the NFL owners, you’re not going to call me a fool anymore.   Even an idiot like me can smarten up after a while.

Category:general -- posted at: 9:36am CDT