The football lock-out between the team owners and the players union ended this week after five months of negotiation. The 2011 football season has been saved! But what would have happened if common ground was not reached and there was no season? What was my back-up plan? I’d have been video gaming instead of football watching.
‘You’d play video games instead of watching football,’ you reply to me with a shrug of your shoulders and a questioning look. Yes. I know, that’s weak, but that was my Plan B.
I admit to you my weakness for football viewing. Two scenarios could have negated the season for me:
1) If the owners and players could not reach an agreement and decided to forfeit the 2011 season, or
2) If the owners and players reached an agreement too late to play the entire season and decided, instead, on an abbreviated schedule. [example: 12 games rather than 16.] At that point my plan mandated that I would have skipped the NFL until next year.
In scenario (1) there would simply have been no games to watch. Under scenario (2) motivated by my disgust for how both parties of the NFL handled themselves, I would have self-imposed my own lock-out and not watched the games. In either case, Football season would have given away to Video Game season. The football games would have been a considerable temptation though, but I would have relegated myself to video games. Certainly we agree that my back up plan, had it become necessary, sounds less than heroic. Regardless, thankfully such harsh action is now obsolete.
Football games dating back to my youth are etched crisply into my memory. The age old question, ‘Where were you when JFK was shot?’ Well, I was not yet alive then. But I do recall where I was when I was watching my first Super Bowl [January 1976, the Steelers beat the Cowboys 21-17]. [I was lying on the floor, we had deep dark green carpeting, in the family room. I recall it was a bright sunny day.] I also recall where I was during the viewing of every Super Bowl since then. I can reflect back on significant games dating back to the 1970s remembering where I was and who was there (i.e., 1978 - the Holy Roller game where the Raiders intentionally fumbled the ball forward twice into the end zone on the final play of the game to beat the Chargers, 1993 - Buffalo Bills coming back from a playoff record 31-point deficit to beat the Houston Oilers, 1982 - Joe Montana’s pass to Dwight Clark in the back of the end zone to beat the Cowboys in the NFC Championship Game and propel the 49ers to their first ever Super Bowl ever, 1985 - Joe Theismann’s leg getting brutally broken on Monday Night Football followed by opposing player Lawrence Taylor wildly signaling for the medical crew to tend to the shattered player). Great memories I could list for another page or two. I look forward to adding more memories this football season.
Hopefully you’ve got a few things in your world that make you tick. For me, one of those things is the NFL. Week 1 commences September 8. Happy footballing. Or if you’re disgusted, play a video game.
3 hours ago