Moral Dilemma


My wife said something the other day that I haven’t been able to get out of my head. In between coverage of the earth quakes in Japan and public employees being stripped of their bargaining rights in Wisconsin, there were the NFL CBA negotiations. She told me how ridiculous the NFL problems are after seeing those things put side by side. I felt slandered and betrayed by this woman I love.

I could write another article about how passionate I am about the NFL. I could tell you how every weekend during the season is designated to this game in my house. My wife loves football. I love football. A couple years ago after a game, my wife nervously asked me what was wrong with her. She was anxious and felt sick after the game. “Congratulations” I said, “you’re a real football fan.” The transformation was complete. So why did I feel like she was attacking me and the game of football when she expressed her concerns?

After sitting on my wife’s comments for a while, I’ve had a bit of a revelation. In the wake of thousands of people dead and thousands more missing in Japan, and collective bargaining rights being stripped from public employees in Wisconsin – which could trigger the same move in other US states – the NFL negotiations turned desertification and lockout just seems silly.

I’m not sure what’s more alarming, just how crazy I am over football, or how little I can care about real major disasters happening in the world. I suppose it’s easier to admit that it’s terrible and move on, rather than to confront the real issue; that maybe my passion is being channeled to the wrong outlets.

Maybe we’re all that way sometimes. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make the NFL’s CBA problems go away. The loss of the whole or any part of the 2011/12 season would be a disaster. The NFL could easily pull an “NBA” and lose a large portion of their fan base (I was one of those NBA fans who loves the game, but hasn’t watched with any real seriousness since the 90’s), in turn hurting the growth of the game and economies in cities all over the USA. When will professional sports organizations learn from their past mistakes?

I read some stat in SI magazine last weekend, something like $20 million of local economic activity is generated by a single NFL game. A total of 100,000 stadium workers affected, and out of jobs if things don’t resume. So, football is important if nothing but for the continued rebound of our economy.

All things considered, it’s a telling time in the world. Between disasters in Japan, changes in Wisconsin, and the NFL’s lockout, there is a lot to get worked up about. My conclusion? It is good to process what we value and why. It’s great to love football and it’s important to keep it in perspective. Let’s just hope the man who predicted a Steelers/Packers Super Bowl last year is right again.

Did you know?
At $150M, Dan Rooney’s net worth is the lowest of all 32 NFL team owners.