Fans have been left to drool over the names of Nnamdi Asomugha, Vincent Jackson and Santonio Holmes, as the NFL has officially locked out its players.
The player's union has officially de-certified, and the matter will now ultimately be settled in a federal courtroom. Both sides have stated that they are trying to do what is best for the fans, but America is much too smart for outlandish statements like that.
Both sides, the union and the league are in this for one thing: money.
This will not be an article debating which side is correct and/or why 75 percent of America agrees that the players have the right to be upset.
DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director of the NFLPA has asked that the 15-20 players who are to be invited to Radio City Music Hall in New York to boycott the draft and not attend.
Here are the top five reasons why DeMaurice Smith and the NFLPA are dead wrong about asking the players to boycott the draft.
Young children dream their entire lives of one day playing in the NFL. From the time that they are young teenagers, they push their bodies to their physical and mental limits to just have the opportunity to make it to the "league."
We all know of the players who have gone on to become almighty busts at the pro level, and you can bet that Ryan Leaf and Co. would rather forget their short time spent. So, why not let these players enjoy something that they have worked their entire life for?
How is Mark Ingram walking up to shake hands with Roger Goodell and hold his jersey any different than him walking up to receive his Heisman Trophy?
Sure, one is a collegiate accomplishment and the other is the pros, but they both are celebrating the wonderful individual accomplishments of that player. This is a moment that the players, coaches, friends, family all will remember for the rest of their lives.
Let's say that you graduate from high school, but you are told by your future employer to not "walk" and receive your diploma because they are having labor talks. But you KNOW that you will have a job with them anyways. Would you still walk? Absolutely! Everyone else was able to walk at graduation, so why should you be any different?
The NFLPA is dead wrong to ask these young men to bypass something that they have worked so hard to attain.
Peyton Manning is one of the players of the NFL who is clamoring for the 15-20 invited players to boycott the NFL Draft this year. Does anyone else sees how contradictory this statement is?
Peyton Manning was the first overall pick in the 1998 draft, and he walked to the stage in New York and celebrated the moment with his family. He stated, "The best moment of my life thus far." The guy is known as one of the most hard-working players in the league, so he obviously knows how hard it was to even make it to the NFL.
Don't you think it is a tad selfish that a guy who is set to be the richest in NFL history is asking collegiate players who don't have a dime yet (except Cam Newton) to not enjoy this moment?
Labor negotiations aside, these collegiate players are just that, collegiate. As of now, they are not associated with the union as they receive no money or benefits from them.
We all know how tough the league is on players' bodies, and that is why they are fighting for health benefits after the five years they leave the league. Football is these players' job and they have the right to be selfish and make as much money as they can in their short amount of time in the league.
The players invited to the draft have the right to be selfish (if you want to call it that) and enjoy this moment with the people they love with the team that drafted them. They have the right to celebrate this accomplishment with the owners and coaches of that team. They cannot do that sitting at home.
The union has officially de-certified and 10 players, including Tom Brady and Peyton Manning officially sued the owners in federal court.
The current NFL players are asking these collegiate athletes to boycott the draft as they one day will be a part of their union. The fact remains, however, that there is no union right now!
How can they be asked to listen to the NFLPA with the "union" in their current state? Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Co. are asking for their to be a cap on rookie salaries and veterans to be paid more (I may agree...) so why would these 15-20 players who are invited to the draft want to support this "union" that is trying to cut their pay?
Hypocritical to say the least.
The draft will take place whether the players invited attend or not. Sponsors are still lining up to be a part of the NFL Draft. Do you really think sponsors will pull out if Ryan Mallett doesn't walk across the stage?
This moment is for the players and their families, and they will be able to enjoy this moment even if it is from the confines of their homes.
What will the NFLPA gain by having these players boycott the draft? They are still being drafted correct? Take that Roger Goodell, Mark Ingram didn't show up! We have a lot of leverage on you now!
These players will still sign their massive contracts, and the NFL will still make a massive amount of money from the 2011 NFL Draft, whether the 15-20 players show up or not.
Both the NFLPA and the NFL have stated that they have the best interests of the fans in mind. The NFL has shown this is not the case by refusing to open up their books for the past 10 years and choosing to lock out the players.
The NFLPA has shown us that they are not in it for the fans by first choosing to de-certify and now this. Thousands of fans flock to NYC for the NFL Draft to cheer (and boo) their team's selections. How exciting is it to watch your favorite player walk across the stage and hold up their new team's jersey with their family?
If you have ever met someone who has experienced this (I have been fortunate enough) it is as rewarding for the family as it is for the player. The journey to the NFL is long, intense and stressful. Walking across that stage is the culmination of 18-25 (give or take) years of work. That is why we have ceremonies when your sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, cousins, etc. graduate from high school or college.
Heck, we have graduation ceremonies for third-graders!
The fans of the NFL are the best fans in the world. They are already being threatened with the possibility of a lockout, and now they are being threatened with this.
If you are lucky enough to be one of the 15-20 players selected to attend the NFL Draft, you should absolutely accept. You owe it to your fans, family and friends, but most importantly you owe it to yourself.