NFL fans everywhere, including myself, are currently disgusted with what is going on between the NFL and and the players. Whether you are on the side of the league, the players, or neither one thing is certain: fans want a 2011 season and want football back now.
Fans are what make the NFL! Without the fans there would be no fat paychecks for the owners or the players to cash in on. So if we the fans are making them rich, then why are we getting cheated when they can't decide how to spend OUR money?
Obviously, we are addicted to football and the NFL and players know this. If they thought there was any legitimate chance of a sizable NFL boycott, a CBA would have been in place months ago.
While I highly doubt there is a chance of an NFL boycott, I have taken note on some creative ways to show the NFL and players just how much we disapprove of the lockout after reading several articles and blogs. If you want to make a point to the NFL and players, the best way to get their attention is to hit them where it hurts most, the wallet.
Some of these ideas seem doable and some seem far fetched, but without further delay, here are six ways to show your disapproval.
Every year tons of NFL gear is bought but by us, the fans.
Players change teams, rookies emerge and of course we need to have the most up to date jerseys at $80-$120 a pop. Like any fan, I need to have my Vikings flavor of the year quarterback jersey, a Vikings coffee mug on my desk, and an Adrian Peterson action figure displayed on the shelf in my office.
One good way to send a strong signal to the league is to cease buying any NFL gear until a CBA is reached, or send an even stronger signal and refrain from buying gear for the 2011 season (assuming there will be a season).
And if you are a Redskins fan and no longer want to wear your McNabb Jersey (assuming he is gone), then sew a new name over top of the old jersey. I personally find it acceptable; it's not like you are sewing a Polo brand logo onto an Old Navy shirt.
If you want to send a message to the NFL, don't go to the games. Let their billion dollar stadiums be riddled with empty seats. Send the message that if you want our support and state funding to build your stadiums, you better start appreciating the fans.
Now I know it would be hard for season ticket holders to skip out on a game and why should you if the money is already spent. But if you are not one of those ticket holders and had thoughts of attending an NFL game in the near future, why not just spend that cash on hosting a sweet party for your friends on game day while watching it at home?
If you cannot bring yourself to miss out on attending a game (or games), make a statement by not purchasing food or beverages sold in the stadiums. This one should not be hard to do considering the ridiculous prices they charge.
Now this is where the advantage of tailgating comes into play. Eat before you go into the stadium and make sure you booze it up prior to the game. Then of course when the game is over, head back out and continue the same trend.
It is nice to be able to watch every NFL game from the comfort of your home despite what region you are in.
But instead of spending $300+ on the NFL package, how about supporting your local bar showing the games? Take your money and spend it at your local restaurant or bar. I know for me it's almost a Sunday tradition to go to the bar, order brunch, and watch the games throughout the day (although watching the Vikings play last year, I would be 4 drinks in before half time).
I have two arguments against this method.
#1. The bar has to purchase the NFL package as well, and sometimes multiple packages per bar.
#2. You can't exactly always bring your family to a bar to watch football games.
The NFL makes hundreds of millions of dollars each year from advertising. Companies will pay 2.5 to 3 million dollars for a 30 second advertising spot.
What if we decided to show the the NFL we were displeased with their shenanigans by avoiding products advertised by the NFL? Would companies decrease their allocated NFL advertising budgets?
I would think a ploy like this would take an awful lot of committed people to pull off, but if it worked, just think of the statement it would make.
If the league and the players can't decide how to spend all the money they make off of us fans, therefore denying us football, then let's stop funding their billion dollar stadiums with our tax money.
The argument for states contributing hundreds of millions of dollars towards new NFL stadiums is that it creates jobs and stimulates the local economy. Can you imagine having a brand new empty stadium partially funded by your tax dollars sitting empty generating zero dollars for your local economy all because the rich are arguing over who should be richer?
I know I'll catch some flack for this, but I am all for local economies partially funding new stadiums. It increases jobs and stimulates the surrounding economy. But, all of the benefits become null if the stadiums are not being used due to a lockout.
Football is a great sport, and that is what keeps us fans addicted. This is why the NFL can impose a lockout because they know that the fans aren't going anywhere.
While I think these ideas are interesting (some better than others), it would take a massive organized movement by fans to accomplish any of these and make a statement to the league and players.
I do hope the fans and the league get their priorities straights and do it soon.
If you have any ideas or suggestions that I have neglected to mention please do so.