When Sport Imitates Life: The NFL Lockout Mimics the US Recession
The NFL lockout is (X) amount of days old depending on when you read this article. No matter what, it is currently the longest work stoppage in league history and threatens the life of its 2011 season by the day.
Meanwhile in America, we are supposedly coming out of a recession, and I guess by the definition, then yes, we are. Jobs are no longer being lost at astronomical rates, but they aren't being replaced either. There is still an alarming amount of Americans looking for work.
So now I guess you may be asking what this has to do with anything, why this common knowledge is being thrust into a piece about a however-day-old lockout. It's simple really.
As the cliche says, "Life imitates Art."
Now, a sport which millions of people enjoy and follow each and every Sunday is in the same position as we as a society—trying to find out who to blame and where to go from here.
In football, it is much simpler to figure who may be to blame as their are only 32 owners, whereas corporate America and its subsidiaries have too many to count.
There is also a similar correlation to the haves and have-nots in both spectrums. You have your NFL players with six cars and three mansions, just like your power attorneys and executive businessmen. On the other side of the spectrum is the blue-collar guy fighting to feed his family alongside the player who isn't making millions and is struggling to get and/or stay in the league while paying his bills.
Some of these players have turned to other leagues, while others have turned to blue-collar work themselves, some even teaching.
Denver DB David Bruton is substitute teaching, for just under $100 a day. Eagles OL Winston Justice has taken a job in a local coffee house. Meanwhile, Browns DL Brian Schaefering will take almost anything at this point.
You don't see Tom Brady begging for change or bringing your pizza to the table now do you?
It's similar to that of our society today, as many are willing to do just about anything. You see people bagging your groceries or flipping your burgers, not knowing that they may have college degrees, or were just victims of the recession.
CEOs and execs may appear on TV shows appearing that they care, but we all know that isn't true as they go back to their fancy houses and good lives. Come to think about it, that kind of sounds like the owners.
Speaking of which, the lockout is now not only affecting the players, but the staff that works for the franchises. Some owners are cutting salaries by up to 35 percent for employees making as little as $40K a year.
Does this sound like the recession to you? Is it the rich trying to continue their way of life and cutting back from the poor and middle class? Is this starting to appear like Michael Moore's next Hollywood movie?
Life imitates art, and now today, the sport of football is imitating life. When September the 11th comes around and we take time to remember the day for what it truly should be remembered for, their will be no kickoffs, no nail-biters and no amazing catches.
If that is indeed true, then everyone is a loser—except for those top 5-10 percent of which have enough to live a comfortable life without football. Fans, players and franchise employees will all feel the sting as we talk about how this could have been avoided, how it will be resolved and the toll it has taken on everyone.
If this lockout does not mimic the recession of just a few years ago, then I don't know what will. But I guess a bailout to the owners would be a fitting end when it is all said and done.
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