Did everyone get their NFL fix over the last three days?
Will it be enough to satisfy for a while?
Let’s hope so, because now we have to wait.
The three day nirvana of the NFL Draft has once again been replaced with the on again, off again lockout, leaving the NFL in limbo for the time being as the issue is handed over to the lawyers to decide on the future of the league. The 2011 league year has yet to begin, the players can’t work out, the rookies can’t sign contracts, and everything associated with the NFL sounds more like a Tom Petty song then the normal process post draft.
Normally after the draft, the rookies report to Green Bay for rookie orientation, followed by Mini Camp at the end of May. This year, barring a miracle, the normal hustle and bustle around Lambeau Field by the coaches and players will be replaced by echoes in the Atrium, with a few fans taking the stadium tour and visiting the Pro Shop. The same fans who would be camped out in the parking lot autograph seeking before walking over to Ray Nitschke Field to take in practice are now left with little to do except wait.
There are two groups of losers in this mess. The first is the fans. The die hards who view their fandom as borderline obsession. The fans who make the trip to Lambeau Field just to experience it. The people who devote 4 months a year for football season, plus the entire offseason. The lockout hurts them, because it drives at the very core of their fandom. They cannot get what they want, and that is football.
The other group who falls into the loser category is the players. This is their profession, their livelihood, and it has been taken away from them. From a fan’s perspective, they are unable to practice with their teammates in any official practice setting. For the Packers, they are losing valuable practice time which would help prepare them to defend their title. What about the undrafted free agents, who cannot sign with any team until the lockout is lifted? Their careers have literally been put on hold until further notice. Now I am not saying that I am siding with either the owners or the players in this case; I have my own opinion which I am keeping to myself. What I am saying is that the players at this moment are not benefiting from the lockout, and who knows if they ever will.
Three days of all NFL has been replaced with the eerie quiet of the lockout. The optimism of new NFL players achieving their dream of playing in the NFL silenced, albeit temporarily (we hope), until owners and players can agree to play nice again. The all NFL mentaility of the fans for draft weekend has turned into empty stadiums across the country. No practice, no rookie camp. Nothing. Everything has stopped yet again.
We all must do the same thing now: wait.
Filed Under: John Rehor