The question on my mind entering Sunday is not "Are you ready for some football?" It's "Which side are you on?"
If you haven't already heard, the NFL will be using Scab referees for Sunday's games (and for the near future) due to the lockout of NFL refs.This has created turmoil for both fans and players. And these refs, some whom come from the likes of the Lingerie Football League, haven't quite gotten their job responsibilities down yet.
Dave Zirin from Edge of Sports has a good break down of what these numbers mean:
"Consider the multi-billion dollar entity that is the National Football League. Then consider that NFL referees are 119 part time employees who make $8,000 a week. As Jeff MacGregor calculated at espn.com, at a cost of $50 million a year -- less than one percent of total revenue – NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell could hire 200 full-time officials at $250,000 a year. Conversely, if Goodell gets everything he wants from the referees union and he doesn't have to spend too much in legal fees, it works out to league-wide savings of just $62,000 per team."
That's not a lot of money from Mr. Goodell and company. And this isn't quite the "millionaires vs. billionaires" theme of the last NFL lockout.
So what's the proud son of union parents do? Am I supposed to just stop watching football?
Well...probably. But I don't think the other 99.999% of fans will follow suit. Football is just too big, too ubiquitous, too all over. And I'm a budding sports journalist who can't afford to let my politics interfere with my career.
I am surprised this issue hasn't gotten more play in an election season. Maybe it just affirms the fact that people don't like their sports and politics served on the same plate.
To go back to the refs, I don't like them when calls don't go the way I want them. I don't like them when they take too long at the review booth.
However, I hate it when the little guy isn't getting his fair shake.
Am I going to watch the games? Yes. Am I going to keep an ear to the ground for union updates? You can bet my AFL-CIO workers for Obama button on it.