Opinion: Football season is over



James Sherman

James Sherman

James Sherman is a junior newspaper journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]

This is the most depressing time of the year. This is the real beginning of winter. When the weather turns harsh in November or December, you still have the holidays to raise your spirits. After New Year’s, some of the magic that had been lingering in the air for the last two months disappears. But football fans still have a sport to follow, like some weird religion, as a reason to get out of bed on those cold, Monday mornings. College football bowl games are awkwardly sprinkled throughout the first two weeks of January, and then it’s up to the NFL to show us why college football needs to adopt a playoff system.

After the NFC and AFC Championship games, there is that phantom weekend: the first weekend without a meaningful football game in the last five months. Is this extra week to allow the players to heal before the big game, or a strategic move to make us fans salivate for our last supper of the season? As a fan, I can only subscribe to the latter. When the Super Bowl is over, the door is quickly slammed shut, and we realize we are trapped in a room with no football for the next seven months – if we’re lucky.

This off-season may potentially go into overtime. The owners of the 32 NFL teams and the players have to agree on a deal before they play any games next season. Basically, the players want to continue to make money like Diddy, and the owners don’t want to pay them like washed-up 90s hit-makers turned business moguls. There are other issues that need to be agreed on too.

For instance, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is rallying for the league to increase its regular season from 16 to 18 games. After claiming all season that player safety is one of the league’s “highest priorities,” one can only assume that squeezing every last possible cent out of your product, no matter what, is a top priority.

An alternative to next year’s potential lockout would be for the owners to hire replacement players. This would mean that we could see Keanu Reeves playing quarterback for the Cleveland Browns next season. This would cause quite the dilemma for Cleveland fans that happen to hate Keanu Reeves. Support a Keanu-led Browns team, or abandon the team and boycott it because of its decision to hire an actor without any discernable quarterback abilities as the temporary face of the franchise?

If there is no NFL football season next year, these are the kind of delusions that football fans will experience regularly.

The best-case scenario would be for owners and players to agree on a deal before their current contract expires in March. The owners agree to continue to give their players large salaries, and the players agree to play an 18 game season with two bye weeks. This would elongate the football season about a month, resulting in the Super Bowl being played in the ides of March. Players, owners and fans all win. Again, worst-case scenario: Keanu.

Make the deal.