Boycott the 2011 NFL Draft
This past week the NFL schedule was released. Normally I would have the Bills schedule memorized by now. This year I know they open at the Chiefs and play the Eagles Columbus Day weekend, my annual pilgrimage to the Ralph: but that is it. I cannot even say for sure who they play in the home opener.
Next Thursday the Bills will draft 3rd, a huge pick that will help determine the direction of the franchise for the next decade. You cannot miss with this high of a pick and not have it come back to bite you in the rear(see Mike Williams). And yet I cannot muster much excitement for the Draft either.
The dark shadow that is the lockout have dampened my most tried and true annual, weekly and daily rituals in regards to the NFL. And I am tired of it. I had to chuckle to myself when they released the schedule in the midst of the lockout. They had to be forced to mediate. And then after three days they suspended talks until May 16th.
What could possibly be more important than ironing this thing out? (besides feeding your own egos and delusions)
Every time someone from either side opens their pieholes to enlighten us plebes to the wisdom and righteousness of their point of view I lose a little more interest in the product as a whole. This is no longer I am taking one side or the other, I am taking my side. I am boycotting the NFL Draft. I will not give them my Nielsen point, or given my basic cable existence…I will not give them my streaming hit.
Will I check in who the Bills picked later? Sure, but I will not go to an NFL sanctioned site: not NFL.com, not BuffaloBills.com…nope I am done until they are done doing the job and breaking this lockout.
As a Bills fan I have other caveats with regards to the resolution: the Draft must remain intact, there needs to be a Salary Cap and rookie salaries need to be fixed. As a human being I hope all the parties involved do more for all retired players, both in terms of bumping their pensions and giving them the health care that many of them desperately need.
“They paved the way” is not empty rhetoric, it is the truth. They played for the love of the game and much less money: building community loyalty and strong fan bases. Those fans and their progeny, who were often raised as a fan of that team from birth, help pay the player’s salaries and fill the owners pockets with their hard earned dough.
I am tired of all of the empty posturing to fans. Neither side will listen unless we give them reason to. A dip in the ratings for the NFL Draft would be a nice wake up call to all involved. I know it will be hard to stay away, but think long term and show the owners, players and Mr. Goodell what is really at stake: the loyalty of the fans.