Attention NFL Owners, Players and Fans: Read This Letter During the Lockout

John ZaktanskyCorrespondent IMarch 12, 2011

Lockout, Schmockout. When all the dust settles, the NFL will once again draw fans like a shiny new Tonka truck attracts kids at the playground ... right?
Lockout, Schmockout. When all the dust settles, the NFL will once again draw fans like a shiny new Tonka truck attracts kids at the playground ... right?Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Dear NFL owners,

What a bunch of cry baby NFL fans we have, huh? They keep whining about furloughs and pay cuts and increasing expenses and other poor people junk.

Like any of that really matters, right? Come this fall, they’ll still shell out plenty of money for tickets and jerseys and stadium bratwursts.

They’ll put a styrofoam wedge of cheese on their heads, grab a few Terrible Towels and yell like crazy while spilling a bowl of Doritos on their LazyBoy.

They’ll leave their wives and children behind as they sneak out of church early and head to the sports bars with the high-definition big screens and two-dollar pitchers.

The problem with these ungrateful fans is that they just don’t understand. They don’t know their roles—that you guys are the ones who wave the dog biscuit and they’re the ones jumping through hoops, rolling over and begging for more.

And they just don’t understand your situation. How could they? To them, the biggest money they’ll ever know is cashing in when someone lands on their Park Place with a big red hotel. They’ll never understand what you’re going through.

But I do.

I know how hard it is to make the big decisions and to protect what is yours. I went through the same trials you are right now.

It was just a few short days ago, at a sand box behind my school. It was there that I first introduced my shiny new yellow dump-back Tonka truck.

Man, was that a day! Not that I really played with the truck myself. I don’t like playing in the dirt, so I let my best friend Maurice play with it, and I watched.

And so did all the other kids, all from poor families. None of them own a shiny new Tonka truck. None of them will ever own one. Their parents are miners and farmers and work in factories. Their shirts all have blue collars. They’ll never afford a Tonka truck like that.

So Maurice played and played in that sandbox with my Tonka truck, and the other kids watched and oohed and ahhed. They started paying me to let them get close to Maurice and the Tonka truck. Jelly beans and M&Ms and other yummy things to eat. Since Maurice did such a good job putting on a show for the kids, I even gave him a few of the jelly beans. Am I a good friend or what?

I was raking in the Dum-Dums and Gobstoppers. I even was drawing pictures of my Tonka truck on pieces of paper and T-shirts using my crayons, and those silly kids would give me Gummi Bears and gumballs for them.

Man, life was good! Until that ungrateful Maurice started thinking he somehow deserved more candy. The nerve of that kid! All he had to do was play with the Tonka truck. Most of those poor kids would kill just to have that chance.

All I asked him to do was spend an extra hour or two in the sandbox. More time playing meant more candy from all those school kids drooling over my Tonka truck. He mumbled something about more time in the sandbox meant he should get more candy. That he had more of a chance of skinning his knee or getting sand in his shorts or something.

Whatever! What a punk that Maurice was. I told him that to his face earlier today. He threatened to stop playing with my truck unless I gave him more candy and treated him nicer.

And the other kids started to complain then, too. They said I should give Maurice more candy. They said they wanted a chance to touch the truck—to play with it themselves!

But, it was my truck. I didn’t need to share it. Maurice and I took the truck into a room and shut the door. Those other kids might not like what I had to say to him. We started to negotiate. I even offered to give Maurice one whole extra Tootsie Roll.

When it was obvious that Maurice wasn’t going to accept what I told him, I grabbed my truck and planned to go home. He still yelled and complained until I had enough. I broke the truck into pieces.

If I wasn’t going to have things my way, than no one was. My mom and dad would just buy me a new truck, anyway. You may have heard of them. They go by the initials CBS and FOX.

And so I walked back out into the play area and noticed that the other kids had been digging around in the sand box and found some other toys. They found an old basketball and a baseball mitt and even a scratched up hockey stick. They actually looked happy and content. The nerve of those brats!

Just wait until they see the shiny new Tonka truck I take in tomorrow. I'll just find someone else to play with it for me. The other kids won't even notice. They’ll be so tired of those old, crusty toys they found, that they’ll shower me with candy just to see my new truck—right?

Well, thanks for taking the time to read this. I need to go do my homework now. Something about writing a letter laced with sarcasm, whatever that means?

Looking for something productive to do during the lockout? Check out We've already got loads of offseason fantasy football articles to read on our 2011 offseason page.

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