Look out for lockouts!
This past humble evening, I realized that my columns needed a little extra “oomph.” Also, since I’ve started tweeting (if you need more of a daily Shans fix, hit up “shanscheel” on Twitter one time), I have been motivated to become more in touch with the news of the world. Because, believe it or not, there are more important things out there than my weekly escapades to morning practice and my love for Peyton Manning, so I decided to investigate the issues on the one and only Sports Illustrated website. (Side note- the Colts lost by the most embarrassing point margin yet to the Saints…painful, yet Drew Brees is my fantasy QB so I guess things even out.) Now, I know you football fans out there knew of the completely ridiculous NFL lockout that took place earlier this season, preventing training camp and pre-season from occurring on schedule. Honestly, to think that a bunch of big buffoons up there are selfish enough that they can’t figure out how to split up a few hundred MILLION dollars is embarrassing. I hoped that this would be the last of the lockouts for a while. But no. As of last night, thanks to SI online, it has come to my attention that the NBA is also in the midst of a lockout.
Two Words: You’re. Kidding. Real talk, people of the national sporting community: lockouts are NOT a good reflection of our professional sports franchises. Now, in all seriousness, I do not follow the NBA or know very much about basketball at the professional level, other than watching the LeBron James episode of MTV’s Cribs. But TWO LOCKOUTS IN ONE YEAR? Usually, as any good sports fan should, I stand up and defend the purpose of professional sports to any nay-sayer who dares to diss them in my presence. However, as of late, it seems that there are people who are in the professional sporting industry simply to make a profit, not to support the game they love most. And that’s what saddens me. Readers, we cannot afford to lose the true meaning of sports in all of this money-haggling business. Two lockouts are two lockouts too many.
Granted, it is necessary that league owners, players and commissioners work out the monetary issues in order to keep their programs running. I recognize that without some dollas floating around, there won’t be any games, or teams, period. But must it take SO LONG to settle something that simply pertains to money? Yes, one could argue about logistical complications – specific players’ contracts and what not. But there are kids out there who depend on these professional teams for inspiration. As corny as that sounds, it is the truth: why do you think organizations like NBA Cares and NFL United Way are so effective? Sports inspire people. They bring communities, counties, even the nation’s biggest cities together, as a family. With more and more sports being put on hold, the focus shifts from this aspect of sports to its superficial, financial aspect.
I don’t want this phenomenon to continue. Honestly, I don’t think it NEEDS to continue, if the professional leagues of our great nation decide to place their focus on the true meaning of sports: passion for the game, community spirit, and pride in athleticism, as opposed to money. I am not saying there won’t be issues in the future, involving money, that won’t need to be solved. I am simply saying that selecting a solution of negociation that doesn’t only stress financial stuff will prevent the sports fans and league affiliates alike from forgetting the real reason why they play their game.
I know, readers, that some of you must know more about lockouts than myself. So I’m curious: what is your take? Food for thought right there.
Until next time…Scheel is out.