As we are midway through our first week of the NFL lockout, the badmouthing between players and owners are well on their way with vicious tweets slamming from one to the other. The icing of the cake for me, however, isn’t the tweets or the idiocy of certain players who relate this situation to slavery (look up Adrian Peterson’s recent interview with yahoosports for that nice quote) but the disturbing news that the NFLPA is trying to discourage college players from attending the Draft in April.
The draft in April is the one sure thing that the fans have to look forward to thanks to this lockout and the players representatives want to ruin that by making non-professional players miss out on the once in a lifetime opportunity? That’s absurd and more than a little insensitive to the fans plight in all this.
This proposed plan is beyond idiocy. I get that the bitter millionaire players want to disrupt anything that the NFL wants to do that promotes their product during the lockout but this isn’t the way to go. The draft is huge for fans and players alike and the experience of walking on that stage after your name is called is an honor these kids have striven for their entire life. To ask them to forgo that is an act of insanity that would not be forgettable.
In one swoop, the NFLPA could do more damage to their brand than this lockout could do!
Commissioner Roger Goodell was interviewed Tuesday night by ESPN’s Adam Schefter and offered his thoughts on the possible NFLPA action.
"I just think it’s a shame for young men that are starting their careers in the NFL, that are having that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to come across the stage, become an NFL player for the first time [to not be able to attend the draft]," Goodell told Schefter. "It’s a really special moment and I hope they get to experience it."
He also went on to express that while having the players there is a plus, and it does bring in viewers, it isn’t necessary and that the NFL has done the Draft in the past without players and is prepared to do so again if needed.
"The draft in the past we didn’t have players there," Goodell said. "It’s just part of our effort to make it a fan event, to make it more appealing.
"We had 45 million people … watching the draft last year," Goodell said. "People love to see the reaction of these players when they’re selected and I think that’s part of the excitement of this event — not only the team that gets them, but also the players’ reaction."
There is still a lot of time between now and the Draft. Time that could be used to heal fences or at the very least, time that could be used by the NFLPA in this situation to come to their senses. Let the college players have their moment and let the fans enjoy it.
There will be plenty of opportunities this summer to stick your tongue out at the NFL.