It’s not unusual for NFL news to be scarce at this time of year. The May – July period has a few OTAs sprinkled into the void, but these events are not exactly scintillating entertainment. The coming of summer makes this dead time mostly tolerable.
That and the excitement and anticipation of the coming new season, with newly drafted players on the team and, in the 49ers’ case, a new coaching regime. But this part of the deal is missing this year. Every discussion or speculation concerning the new season is immediately hedged by the phrase “If there is a season.”
Indeed. Any discussion about how the 49ers will perform under Jim Harbaugh’s leadership is essentially a discussion about the 2012 season. A wee bit far away to get juiced about. The 2011 season looks more and more like it will be a bastard affair.
The big unknown at this point is how NFL fans are going to react to this sabotaged season. The owners and players clearly don’t care much what fans think and are sure these fans will trot right out to the ball park, as soon as it is open for business, and resume their love affair with the game, the league, and the players.
This view of the fans is historically accurate. Every major sport has experienced nauseating labor disputes which disgusted its fans, and every single sport has coughed a bit and resumed making massive amounts of money from these fans, who put aside their ill will just as soon as the games are once again played.
The football blogosphere is a whole other enterprise from fans, owners, and players. This world is loud, opinionated, and year around. It is also an unknown quantity in the typical player/owner labor dispute, having sprung into existence during a time when no sport was going through labor pains.
Although recently obscured by views and opinions unrelated to football, this site is a member of the aforementioned sphere. As such, it is part of the lab experiment known as what to discuss when there’s nothing to discuss, and will it make any difference in the labor dispute. The first wave of boredom veered down the typical and tired old Democrats vs Republicans road. A whimsical attempt was made to open the door to a religious donnybrook, but that grenade, thankfully, did not explode. Hopefully, these two argumentative standbys will not be doing an encore here.
The football world’s biggest blog spot, ProFootballTalk, has lately vacillated between whining and careful exasperation about the labor dispute. It will be interesting to see if PFT eventually takes a more proactive stance. If, for instance, the players and owners had to conduct their selfish little war while being ridiculed unmercifully by every blog site in America, at least these chumps would suffer some serious, and perhaps lasting, red ass for their efforts. Whether that nudges them toward a new CBA and labor peace any sooner remains to be seen. Maybe it’s time to go dig up some dirt about the lives of the key players. Make this labor dispute start costing the participants, instead of just the fans.
In the end, it’s all about entertainment. It there ain’t gonna be no football, there’s gonna be something. The blogs are not going to go away. And they are not likely to be quiet or passive. The closer we get to training camp, the louder and angrier the voices will grow.
If the labor disputants think their own rhetoric is getting nasty, wait till they get a load of the vitriol that is heading their way from Joe “Bloggin’ Man” Blow.