NFL Lockout – What it is really at stake

I am what the NFL has in mind. I am the target audience. I am the hardcore fan. I am one of those genuinely worried that the ongoing work stoppage situation has really no end in sight.

The 2011 NFL football season is at risk –  if not probably lost already.  And I, as a fan that has seen this labor ordeal develop with utmost hope that the parties involved will work things out and no games will be missed, am beginning to come to terms with the previously unfathomable possibility that due to the greed and stupidity of some I won’t have the joy of an NFL football season during 2011.

I am not alone. I am sure that many fans feel the same way I do. The NFL does not seem to know what I am beginning to learn. The NFL does not understand what is really at stake in this dispute.

You see, as a hardcore NFL fan I’ve lived my life thinking that I can´t live without the NFL games on Sunday, but that might be until I am ACTUALLY FORCED to live without it.

During those first Sundays of September I will feel angry and frustrated, but I do have a life outside my love for the NFL, and I will find something else to do. I will get by. Maybe the absence of football will bring back that long-lost sense of perspective that this sport is just a game, and that if the Giants win or lose is not really a matter of life and death. I may even get enough spare time to look at my life as a fan in retrospective and laugh at myself for how stupid I was for caring too much about an organization that obviously does not care about me. Nor does it care about others like me.

Without football, the die-hard fans might learn to become casual fans. Fans that will watch a game every now and then, but that won’t go out of their way to be there for every home game and in front of the TV for every away game.  The hard-core fan may become indifferent because it was forcibly taught on how to detach from the game. The fan might become somewhat ambivalent. The fan might become somewhat smarter, even.

We are all creatures of habit, and as such we have lived in the habit of having our football season every year. The NFL does not see that we might get into the habit of not having NFL football at all.

The NFL will be back alright. I just might not care as much when it finally does.