Roger Goodell, NFL Draft
A lot has been made of the potential impact of a prolonged NFL lockout.
In the middle of one of the worst stretches ever for the US economy, where millions of Americans are losing their homes, and searching for jobs just to get on their feet, we are faced with no longer having NFL football to look forward to.
We should be offended, and most of us are.
After all, this lockout is about one thing, and one thing only: Which insanely wealthy group gets to become even more insanely rich?
Players vs. owners.
Rich vs. richer.
Compelling arguments can be made for both sides. The players are the ones people come to watch, but just as you couldn't expect Jerry Jones to play running back, you couldn't expect Tim Tebow to put himself in a position to buy and operate an NFL team.
Owners and players alike are very rare breeds who worked extremely hard to be in the position they are in now.
Will the two sides come to an agreement before we lose games from the season? Who knows.
But when the NFL does open for business, will it have really lost anything?
Will you continue to watch the NFL whenever it comes back?
Sure, they gave fans something to whine about, and be disgusted by, but are any of us going anywhere? Can any of us stand to boycott the teams we love?
There will be some that can keep themselves from tuning in to the game on Sunday, and restrain themselves from checking the scores on NFL.com or checking Google for news on their teams.
But I can't.
And the NFL knows it. They know that they are loved and that the fans will always be there one way or another.
We are like the woman who refuses to leave the abusive boyfriend. The drunk that wakes up in an alley and then goes to drink the next night.
They've got us, and they know it.
The owners stand to lose very little money through this whole ordeal. This however, is only a small part of the reason the owners are in the drivers seat for these negotiations.
Many owners, or their families will be making money from their respective NFL teams for decades after the draft class of 2011 rides off into the sunset.
Also worth thinking about is that by time Von Miller, the #2 pick of the 2011 draft was born in 1989, his boss, Pat Bowlen had owned the Denver Broncos for five years.
Champ Bailey, 32, who in all likelihood just signed his last big contract shortly before the lockout, was a mere 6 years old when Bowlen bought the Broncos for $78 million.
These owners can afford to wait. The players cannot.
Players the age of Champ Bailey very rarely get another big contract. This is a league that generally gives players away as soon as they hit 32-33 years of age. The window of opportunity for players to make big money is very small.
In other words, the players should be in a far greater hurry to get a deal done than the owners, and thus the NFL will simply wait for the players to crawl back to the table this summer, where they will give the league exactly what it wants.
This was never a negotiation, because it never needed to be.