The Fans Aren’t Victims…Yet (and other misconceptions)

situation.  Stuck in the middle is the fans, and the media has made it clear that we are the real victims here. 

It’s just not true.

This morning I’m going to address the biggest fan misconceptions about the NFL labor mess.  Good people have opinions on both sides of the issue.  Many of you disagree with my take on the labor situation, and I’ve enjoyed the debates.  There are points to be made in every direction. However, there are some common ideas out there about the nature of sports labor that are not useful. Much of what fans believe is irrelevant and distracts from the real issues.  These are not issues of fact (how much the owners offered or what benefits the players want), but rather ‘world view’ issues about how fans perceive the conflict.

Take whatever side you want, but just make sure you haven’t fallen into one of these traps first:

1.  Fans are the real losers in this lockout.

NO. Not yet, anyway.  To date, no fan has lost anything.  No games have been canceled. No games are likely to be canceled.  It’s entirely possible that they will, but we are still many months away from that. In fact, in about three or four weeks a court injunction could completely lift the lockout, and just like that football will be back, without any fan having lost ANYTHING at all.  The same ‘selfish players’ that scuttled talks in favor of court will then be ‘heroes’ who successfully guaranteed football in 2011 (unless the owners win on appeal).

Now, if come September we are stuck with empty tax-funded stadiums instead of NFL games, then yes, fans will be the losers, but for now, the rhetoric about fans ‘suffering’ needs to cool down. You haven’t been harmed or wronged in any way, so stop acting like a victim.  No one has lost anything.

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