Steamboat Pilot & Today sports reporter and photographer Joel Reichenberger can be reached at 871-4253 or jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com.
Find more columns by Joel here.
Steamboat Springs It’s getting close. The deadline I imposed upon myself to start caring about the labor issues in the NFL is drawing near, only one month away.
I decided months ago I couldn’t possibly care about the ongoing conflict until July 31, when training camps should be under way and preseason games were looming.
The date I didn’t choose, however, was any date last spring, much, I gather, to the great dismay of ESPN.
The spring and early summer have been torturous for anyone with a healthy and sane interest in sports. The Worldwide Leader has done nothing but cram the NFL lockout down our throats, when in fact very, very little has actually happened.
How, in any way, would life have been different for any of us had labor relations between the players and owners been solved an hour after Green Bay scored its last touchdown?
The NFL Draft took place, and we all got to watch, just like always. And we all got to wonder why we watched.
I guess we’ve missed out on some “Organized Team Activities,” i.e. summer practice, but, and be honest here, is that really a loss?
I didn’t think so.
Our lives are the same, and they will be for at least the next month, and probably two months.
Of all the offensive reporting that’s come out of the whole situation, little has knocked me over more than the concept that the NFL would come just short of doing humanity a grave disservice by not playing, that it’s the NFL’s duty to show up every Thursday, Sunday and Monday so as to somehow lessen the burden of an economic recession.
Of course, it’s hard to figure that from any actual reporting done on the subject. Every single NFL story for the past four months has included the tag, “if there actually even is a season.”
That’s all changed recently, of course. Now, as my deadline and real, actual deadlines do approach, what’s happening? Oh, the sides are “getting close.” Speculation was that a deal was to get done last week, but, I’ll sarcastically assume in a bid to squeeze more drama from this onion, the sides couldn’t quite finish the deal and we have yet another week of fun.
So what can we do? Boycott ESPN? Hardly. Everything that’s anything in sports is on the network anymore.
There is sure to be plenty of frustration to go around, however. Now we have a whole summer and fall with inane saber rattling from the NBA’s lockout.