Fandom in sports is a one-way street. Just because you care passionately about something doesn’t necessarily mean it cares back, as sports fans have learned time and time again. In the NFL Lockout, there are no winners, but the fans are the only side with no real voice in the matter. Fan protest groups wind up looking comical, and according to Yahoo!’s Michael Silver, are good for a chuckle among the real organizations fighting for your money.
Yes, I know, Derek Anderson – it’s not funny. I realize that I shouldn’t be goofing on the notion of fan dissatisfaction, given the fact that consumers’ appetite for all things NFL helps justify my professional existence too.
Yet against my better judgment, and until proven otherwise, I’m laughing at the lot of you, with a volume level that would make Dr. Evil proud. Rest assured, I have lots of company.
And why wouldn’t they be? Every fan-led protest is just an admission of love in disguise. If fans are out there rallying for a voice at the table, they’re surely not going to stop caring about the NFL when it comes back on. Until this lockout reaches a point where fans start losing games, this all amounts to small potatoes.
But Silver’s column speaks to a more professional question of the psyche: why do passionate football fans put up with all this nonsense? Why would anyone care so much about a system that they have so little say in? Until those questions are answered thoughtfully, fans will continue to have no say in things while players and owners take their money right to the bank.