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Saved by the Locksmith

By Dave Bruning

The lockout is finally over. I have been on hiatus since Green Bay beat Pittsburgh. My computer and I had numerous issues to resolve before I could continue blogging and sharing my NFL thoughts with my 6 readers. God Bless all of you for your patience as I reworked my collective bargaining agreement with my computer.

First of all, I will continue to blog without monetary compensation. This was the primary reason for the lockout. Apparently words of wisdom aren’t cheap unless I’m writing them. Rest assured though, I did not entirely cave. My computer agreed to fix a sticking “L” key and the spell check option agreed to quit laughing at me. I did have to purchase a Tim Tebow mouse pad; surprisingly it was not hard to find! I did receive an autographed Tim Tebow Bible as part of my settlement. It’s amazing what you can get accomplished with a little give and take. GB bartering! Have you seen the Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith “Ebony and Ivory” video? Let’s play some football!

This whole lockout reminds me of getting locked out of my car. You can see the keys sitting there on the seat. You know your ex-girlfriend flushed your spare key down the toilet. You begrudgingly call the locksmith and he charges you $50 to unlock your door in 8.3 seconds. Not a bad hourly rate if I do say so myself.

Sarcasm aside, the NFL lockout is mercifully over. I fully expected an agreement to be reached, but honestly thought NFL fans would be looking at a 12-game season. It shouldn’t be that hard to split up a $9 billion dollar pie. I did it at home with my wife and daughter several times. In all fairness, we always seemed to end up fighting over the last billion dollars. The mirror says greed is not pretty, and the mirror doesn’t lie (a Def Leppard classic by the way).

Seriously, all sarcasm aside. I think the owners and players did a respectable job of settling their differences, although I think a lockout could have been avoided by exercising a little common sense. The owners clearly deserve to profit from their elite position in sports, as do the players. The owners strike me as dairy farmers who will try to milk a dry cow. Yes, they own the farm, but don’t quite seem to know how to take care of the farm. The players drive the game of football; it’s who the fans connect with and are passionate about. The best part of the new collective bargaining agreement is the new pension and health benefits for the players. The fans hear very little about the health of players post retirement. There is not a single player who leaves the NFL without a debilitated body. Post concussion syndrome is just one example of the hidden, long-lasting effects of an NFL career on the human body. Both sides deserve some credit for getting this right and working through their other issues; it just should not have taken a lockout to make it happen.

The 2011 NFL season has been saved. Goodell and Smith have come off as shining knights that saved the day. All it really took was acting in the best interest of the sport. Perhaps the United States Congress could learn a thing or two about negotiating from the NFL. Talk about a scary thought.

P.S. – I reserved the right with my lawyer and my computer to buy a new laptop next year if I am unhappy with our new deal.

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