Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Football Rant

I love football season.  Could care less about basketball.  Can't drink enough to enjoy baseball.  What in the world is soccer?  For me, it's football.  In my mind, it's THE sport.

Of course, I am watching the Vikings/Saints right now.  Don't have a vested interest in who wins or loses, but am enjoying the game.  Except for the beginning.  The part right after the national anthem.  The part where all the players walked out on the field holding up their pointer fingers in the air.

Al Michaels says, "They're holding up their fingers symbolizing that they are one."  Apparently, this is the players' way of showing they are in solidarity with one another as they face the upcoming labor dispute with the owners.

"Geez," I thought to myself.  "These guys really need some perspective."

I mean, don't get me wrong, I love pro-sports.  I'm a Cowboys fan through and through, but give me a break.  

These guys, both the owners and the players are arguing about how much they make off of a blasted game.  It's not like their major sources of income contribute anything meaningful to society.  (Note: I am well aware of different players' and owners having charities that they established because of their wealth.  These are worthwhile things.  The battle they are trying to wage is asinine.)  In my estimation, it's a battle between greed and greed.  Not a single player makes less than six figures.  Not a single owner is less than a multi-millionaire, and a few of them are billionaires. 

How many of these folks have lost perspective on reality?  Players claim they lay their bodies and, to an extent, their lives on the line.  I agree that they are high priced gladiators, but what makes them so special that they feel more valuable than a teacher who works in an inner city school where gang violence is prevalent and his/her life is truly on the line.  And he/she makes much, much less while trying to make a meaningful contribution to society.  What the heck does the ability to run fast with a pig skin sphere contribute to society?  And honestly, have any of these guys ever worked in a real job?  You know, a job where they had to worry about falling revenues, layoffs, pay cuts, and having enough cash to last week to week to pay the bills?  It's hard to have sympathy for them.

And as for the owners.  These guys are business men and women.  I understand that, but where is the limit to their greed as well?  I look at the new Cowboys stadium.  I marvel at its design and engineering.  It truly is a wonder, just as the Roman Colisseum is a wonder, but is the excess necessary?  Do we really need such extravagant arenas of entertainment?  Arenas that cost over a billion dollars?  Good grief.  Do you know how many people our local food pantry could feed with just 1% of that? 

As a lower, middle-class guy, I have one piece of advice for these guys: get real.  Most of you players make more than 90% of people for playing a game.  Stop thinking that you are victims.  You are privileged.  Come spend a year living on my income with my lifestyle and then go back to your game and see how blessed you really are.  To you owners: congratulations on your ability to make a buck, but be generous.  Most of you have more money than 99% of the rest of us.  You are majorly blessed.  Now be a blessing to others.  You'd get more sympathy if you were really and truly interested in making a difference in your communities instead of padding your bottom lines.  If you gave away half of your profits to local charities, food pantries, and community projects designed to help people overcome poverty and become contributing members of society, you'd have the sympathies of working people like myself.  You would find it amazing just how much respect you would get by being generous.

Luke 12: 15 "And Jesus said to them, ‘Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.’"

And, might I add, money.

Now, I'm going to be a bit of a hypocrite.  I'm going to get off this blog and go watch some football.  I'll even take off a Sunday later this year to watch the Cowboys/Texans game.  But there will be a part of me, a segment in the back of my mind that will vomit when I see the players stick their fingers up in the air.

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