Did NFL Players Just Give Owners The Finger?

Shane PattonCorrespondent ISeptember 10, 2010

Thursday night was a great opening night to kickoff the NFL season. New Orleans knows how to throw a party and they did just that Thursday night.

Last seasons Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints came out throwing and Drew Brees was incredibly accurate while easily moving his team into the endzone on their opening drive.

Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings were able to answer before the game settled down into an odd defensive battle. The Saints were able to hold on to a mere 14-9 victory in front of a Superdome crowd of 70,051.

There seemed to be a lot of things fans could take away from the season opener. The Vikings looked rusty and need to work on their timing. The Saints are going to have a difficult time repeating with everyone in the NFL gunning for them.

The scary story line from last night may be one that most fans missed. Before the start of the game, many players from both the Saints and the Vikings stepped out from their respective sidelines and raised their index fingers in unison. It appeared that they were all just pointing to the sky and saying, "We're number 1".

That was not the message the players were trying to send. Drew Brees, Steve Hutchonsin and Jared Allen had apparently met prior to the game and decided to get some players together in order to show their solidarity as NFL players. A sort of "All for One, One for All" type demonstration.

Most NFL fans are aware that the NFL players union and the NFL owners are in a heated debate over a new labor deal.

Last night the players decided to show their solidarity in front of the 70,051 fans in the Superdome and the millions of fans viewing the game on NBC. Was this a shot at the owners? Were the players attempting to gain support from the fans? Will it work?

Do fans really care about the labor talks? Fans have waited for months to watch professional football and before the game even starts, fans were reminded that there might not be an NFL season in 2011.

The economy is in the tank and doesn't appear to be getting better any time soon. Is this really the time to fight over millions? Should millionaire players and billionaire owners really be fighting over the profits in front of the fans who may simply be scraping by?

For many fans, football is an escape. It's great to cheer for your favorite team and lose yourself for hours while high-fiving and chest bumping with everyone around you (if you like that sort of thing). Most don't want to be reminded of a possible lock-out.

Both sides have good points to their arguments and appear to be further apart then ever before. After witnessing the demonstration last night it appears the NFL may be heading into a possible work stoppage in 2011.