And of course, they're going to do just fine. Like Hampton, I don't foresee the NFL losing any of its fan base because they were "circumcising mosquitoes" (really, Mr. Jones?) for four and a half months. On the contrary, it could even make for a revival of interest—not that this league needs it—simply because the suits agreed. You know Roger Goodell will do his best to bill it as a victory for the fans, who will want to feel like their interests (and not just their ticket sales) played a role in the deal. Do you feel represented, Patrick?
I'd glad you asked. As a fan, I don't feel represented. More importantly, I don't expect to feel represented. Not when Jerry Jones, Drew Brees,
and a bunch of well-connected lawyers sit down to determine who's getting what after said lawyers get theirs. (Death, taxes, the Second Law of
Thermodynamics, and lawyers winning even when they lose: These things you can count on). After all, the NFL isn't Congress. It's commerce. A
conglomeration selling stuff—in this case, eyeballs to television networks, along with hyperreal cleavage, irreversible brain damage and a way to shadowbox the
inevitable Sunday night melancholy of having to go back to work the next day.
Excuse me. Did I say fan? I meant customer. Throughout the lockout, nothing drove me crazier than the constant, low-level,
near-subliminal talk radio suggestion and/or conceit that football
customers were somehow owed the upcoming season. That the pigskin lovin' people of our great nation were facing the prospect of a large and
unjust harm. No. A thousand times no. None of us are owed a thing from Goodell and company, any more than Harry Potter junkies are owed another book
from J.K. Rowling. Attention, America: pro football is neither a gift, a right nor a unicorn. It does not exist because of your perfect, unblemished
love for the Carolina Panthers. It's the big screen you bought at a big box store, the vacant-eyed girl behind the peep show glass. It exists because
you pay for it. With time and attention, sure. But mostly with money.
As such, I can't share Jake's frustration. Unlike Hampton, I'm not exactly relieved. Football doesn't move me that way. And to get back to your
question, Emma—oddly enough, I do feel as though my interests played a sideways role in the NFL's deal. Probably because my interests are
simple, unitary, the same interest each of us increasingly brings to every waking hour of American life: entertain me. As a pre-baked conflict, the
lockout was pretty entertaining. Like a football game. Or Reality TV. Or the aforementioned Congress, which still represents our entertainment
interests through sheer showy dysfunction, even as laws are bought and sold.
And that's the thing, Jake: you say posturing and grandstanding as if they're somehow bad.