The 2011 NFL lockout is bad. Really, really, really bad. All of us hate it, and why shouldn't we? It's ruined the off season and now threatens to end 2011 for good. Can you imagine that? Our second-to-last year on Earth and no football to show for it. Just to recap, here's why I'm particularly bitter about this...whatever the hell it is.
Starting with the obvious: no football. But it's more complicated than that. Back in April, I took this position at MCM feeling as though I'd reached the pinnacle. This was the coolest thing to happen to me in awhile. It combined two of my greatest passions in the world; Titans football and writing. Everything is awesome! Not only was I doing what I love, but I was going to be given a platform to gain some more exposure for my writing. My father was a journalist, and even though the days of newspaper are coming to an end, it's always been lingering in the back of my mind that this could be part of my future career should I choose to pursue it.
The Lockout refuses to allow me to do that. Every day, it's a challenge to find things that interest me as a football fan. I've always held the belief that if I'm bored writing it, you, the audience, will be bored reading it, but these days it's not easy to find some kind of Titans, let alone football, news that I can run with and develop. In short, NOTHING IS HAPPENING. From a blogger standpoint, this is literally the worst thing that can happen. Our main objective is to interest and to inform, but also to keep the reader coming back for more. To do this, we must put out fresh, interesting content multiple times a day. Obviously, when less news is available, it becomes increasingly difficult to find buzz-worthy material. So you understand our plight, but from the average fan's standpoint, what else about this thing bugs the bejesus out of me?
- The first result in Google under "chris johnson" is the baseball player. Seriously. But he's not just any baseball, player, he's an Astro. The Astros are one of the teams that I consistently forget about when listing MLB teams in my head. Them and the rest of the NL Central. And then, as if to add insult to injury, they lump him in with Jay freakin' Gibbons. Gag me with a spoon gnarly.
- There are no UFL/AFL teams in Maryland. Or if there are, I've never heard of them. Baltimore is home to approximately one football team that I can stand to see play; the Baltimore Mariners, our minor-league indoor football team that surrenders field time to Pop Warner squads. Seriously. Evidently, we've also got the Maryland Maniacs that play in some kind of indoor league, but come on, everyone knows this is a Mariners town!
- The rookies are getting shafted here. Yup, that's right, I said shafted. Sack up and deal with it. It's 100% true. Everyone knows that you get better at football by playing football. What's that? Can't talk to our coaches because the owners and vets can't figure out how to divide $9,000,000,000,000? Oh, no that's cool, I'll just wait over here and waste the first four months of my pro career not in training camp! Good talk boys.
- I'm starting to like the NBA. Is this a positive? Potentially. I've always wanted to like the NBA, but to be honest, it just seems like
a huge waste of time kind of a joke until the post-season starts, and even then I've found myself supremely bored more often than not, so I've generally curbed my enthusiasm about the Wizards and pro basketball as a whole. However, with all this free time on my hands, I've been watching a lot of hoops and, by God, I'm enjoying it. The way I see it, this is a result of one of the following; A) I've always been a fan of basketball at it's core and this is me tuning in at a very exciting time, or B) There's nothing else on TV so I'll lower the standard for entertainment and make an exception just this once. *Flips to the Bulls/Heat game*
- Speaking of TV... I've been catching up on a lot of my favorite shows lately, but also have been coming across some real duds. I've always been a big fan of Modern Family, and now that I've got all this free time, I can afford to watch it and not miss much in terms of off season news. Expect this trend to continue late into the summer. Same applies to Bones, and The Wire, both of which I've discussed at length here on this very site. By the way, Bones really started to annoy me near the end of season six. Hal was right, someone needs to save the show from its own writers.
- I don't understand it at all. Yup, I still don't have a clue as to what's going on. Yes; there is lots of money at stake, yes, the CBA has expired, and yes, until a new agreement is reached, no football will be played. But the thing that gets me is the intricacy of the whole thing. It almost seems like you need a few years of business school to get anything out of this at all, so I've decided to pretty much stop trying to follow along. That reminds me...
- Some people think they understand it. Stop, we get it, you went/are in business school, even though that's what I said it would require to understand this thing, I'm fairly certain that you're just as lost as the rest of us. There are exceptions to the rule, but if you had to explain it to the average Joe (this guy...), you wouldn't get very far. It's a botched mess of legal terms and stuff. Yeah, stuff is pretty much the best word I can give to describe it at this point.
Also; is it weird that every time I hear a different "explanation" of the whole thing, one sounds like Jar of Flies and the other sounds like Dirt...? Whatever, look it up.
You won't look it up...
- I want to see which team picks up Plaxico Burress. Seriously! He's my favorite type of wide receiver; big, tall, kind of fast, and dominates in the red zone. I want to see where he lands. Yes, I know, he shot himself in the leg, (insert lame shoot self in the foot joke here...) but sometimes you just gotta pop one off, know what I'm sayin'? 'Course, I'd recommend shooting for the sky every time, but that's just me. The sky is some serious B.S. It's always up in your business like "Yeah, I'm blue, whatchu got?" Don't you hate it when that happens?
So yeah, this goes way beyond no football for me. Anyone else? Feel free to share and consider this the official "We Hate the Lockout Thread" 2011.