So much for an early ruling on the NFLPA’s request for an injunction on the owners’ lockout. There’s a new judge on the case, a woman named Susan Richard Nelson, who set the hearing date for April 6. Who knows what this unexpected wrinkle means? The players expected Judge Doty to waive this matter through in a hurry. Instead we have a woman with a man’s name who seems oblivious to the dire nature of the situation.
We’re seeing some hand wringing on behalf of the players, pointing out the life expectancy of an NFL player is about 55 years, far below the norm of around 70 years. It’s hard to see how making more or less money is going to make that expectancy change any. The easy solution, fellas, is to not play the game. It’s a choice. I suppose Congress will have to mandate putting a warning on football helmets: Playing this game is hazardous to your health. I’m sure that would make a difference.
All of the named plaintiffs on the players lawsuit are elite performers. You don’t see any Joe Special Teamsters on the list. Some say this is because J. S. T. will probably be Joe Used Car Salesman by the time the lawsuit is settled. My own theory is that the big names are on the list to prevent the owners from hiring some Good Fellas to get this matter solved quickly in the old fashioned way. Elite players don’t perform as well when their kneecaps have been busted.
The owners and players are using this lull in the action to pay lip service to the wonderful NFL fans that pay all their bills and salaries. Mostly by pointing fingers at the other side. Fans know these lip contortions are nothing but horse manure, but it’s served up anyway. Never in the flesh, of course, directly to fans, where the smelly serving can be returned via air mail in a hurry. No, the only time these gutless folks show up in the flesh is when adoration is in the air.
I once wrote an article that enraged an entire factory of workers. This was in my Kawakami days, when I felt like a failure if what I wrote didn’t piss off everyone who read it. The owner of the factory got word to me that his workers wanted me to come over and face them. WTF, I mused, and toddled over. For about an hour and a half, I just stood in front of forty or fifty of these people while they brayed insults at me. Afterward, a couple of them came up and shook my hand and said they couldn’t believe I had the nerve to show up. I didn’t tell them it wasn’t nerve so much as a suicidal impulse, but it taught me something. Unfortunately, this was also during my Timothy Leary phase and by the following morning I couldn’t remember what I’d been taught. I’m passing along the misremembered teaching now, as a double dog dare to the players and owners, just to get it off my plate. I need to make room for the manure.
P.S. On a side note, I haven’t been able to shake Frank Zappa from my head since last week’s flashback, so I’m throwing out this one. “I’m Not A Moral Victory Kind Of Guy” would have made a fabulous Zappa song. I can practically hear the tune just saying that phrase.