With only one game left, preparing to part from NFL

The owners are threatening to lock out their employees if the NFL owners and Players Association don’t come to a contractual agreement by March.

It’s Sunday night, one week before the Super Bowl, and guess how I’m celebrating? No, I’m not going to be in front of my television on this night. Instead, I’m planning on going to a movie with my wife about a ballet dancer.
Yes, I know that Black Swan is a psychological thriller nominated for a bunch of Oscars, but after 20 straight weeks of Sunday nights parked at home or a local sports bar watching hour after hour of NFL action, on this – the first Sunday night P.F. (post football) – I’ll sadly be at the movies.
Some fans may argue that I should be at home watching the annual Pro Bowl game.
But honestly, there is nothing “pro” about the Pro Bowl.
Neither of the Super Bowl teams are represented, both offenses and (especially) the defenses play at subpar speed, receivers don’t lay out for balls, and the quarterbacks never get sacked.
While the NFL tries year after year to make its version of the “All Star” game relevant, no player wants to go all out in a game that doesn’t count.
The only thing worse than an injury in the Pro Bowl is an injury in a meaningless preseason game, but at least a Pro Bowl injury, as embarrassing as it may be, occurs after the season is over.
Then again, a Pro Bowl injury could jeopardize a player’s season the following year.
Although, next season may be different for all NFL players.
The owners are threatening to lock out their employees if the NFL owners and Players Association don’t come to a contractual agreement by March.
In case you’ve been living on a desert island for the past year, what that means is that after this Sunday’s Super Bowl between Green Bay and Pittsburgh, there might not be any football for a much longer time than what we’re used to.
That’s right, if the owners and players don’t come to an agreement, America’s most successful sports league may be postponed for – well, nobody knows just how long! I’ll be honest: I don’t have all the facts about the dispute, maybe I’m in denial and can’t bear to read anything in regard to a potential work stoppage, but it’s a true shame when billions of dollars of income aren’t enough to keep people satisfied.
Again, without delving into the specifics, one word keeps popping up again and again in my mind – greed.
I remember the last time the league went on strike. The year was 1987, and players seeking the right to free agency and to guarantee themselves a bigger share in league revenue staged a 24- day walkout.
The season was reduced from the 16 to 15 games. The games that were scheduled for the third week of the season were canceled, but the games for weeks 4-6 were played with replacement players, otherwise known as “scabs.”
Most of the veteran players did not cross picket lines during the strike.
Luckily for me, as an Indianapolis Colts fan, one of the players who did cross the picket line was starting quarterback Gary Hogeboom – and yes, for all you youngsters, I’m talking about that old-geezer who showed up on the hit show Survivor: Guatemala a few years ago.
That year, the Colts ended up making the playoffs for the first time since moving to Indianapolis, finishing the season at 9-6.
They may have gotten trounced 38-21 in the Divisional Round at Cleveland, but at least Indy got its first taste of playoff fever.
However, despite my team’s success, the players demands’ were never met, and it was the game of football and the fans that really came away “scabbed.”
So on this Sunday night, the streak of 20 straight Sunday nights of football is sadly over.
And after the Super Bowl, who knows what’s in store for us American football fans here in Israel, or anywhere else around the world.
I do hear though, that Natalie Portman is not a bad ballet dancer. Please pass the popcorn.