Getting A Fix

Posted: July 27, 2011 by Dinner Party Animal in football, NFL

Let’s not kid ourselves, pro sports are basically legally sanctioned drugs that don’t require a needle (unless you’re a Bills fan).  An iron-clad rule in drug dealing (not that I know anything about that world) is that you never let the addict hit rock bottom.  Once someone bottoms out, they stand a chance of getting clean, and as a dealer that’s not good business.  Sure, you can hold out on them for a little while, especially if they don’t have your cash, but eventually you’ve got to hand over the goods.

That hit home with the NFL this week.  For years, they’ve been the guy with the real primo shit, and the lockout was their way of letting all us addicts know just how much we need them.  I mean, the internet and sports radio went batshit loco at the very thought that players might be changing teams, and here we are in late July.  Fuck the baseball trade deadline, people are far more interested in where Matt Leinart will troll for nightclub snatch this fall.

I know firsthand how a league can overplay their hand.  Years ago, I was a dedicated NBA fan.  I’d do the kinds of things that a guy without a girlfriend will actively brag about, like stay up all night to listen to my team play the LA Clippers in Japan on a pirated internet stream at 5 am.  I even bought a basketball jersey, which is the worst fashion choice a male can make that doesn’t involve the word “Tapout.” Suffice it to say, I was hooked.

Then my team moved to an overgrown cattle ranch in the middle of America’s taint, and now I spend more time watching soccer (SOCCER!) than following the NBA.  I hit rock bottom, and realized that I’d rather not give my money to a league that treats me like I just passed over a fake $10 bill.

So it’s with that in mind that I was confident that the NFL would never actually test the limits of what fans would endure.  It’s easy to say now that the NFL is an unstoppable juggernaut, by far the most popular sport in America. It’s easy because it’s true, but just because it’s true in 2011 doesn’t mean it has to be true forever.  It wasn’t true 40, 30, or even 20 years ago, and it might not be true in 10 years time either.

Sure, it seemed unlikely that the players and owners would leave $9 billion on the table, but considering what’s going on in DC right now, assuming the rich and powerful have a modicum of common sense is a loser’s bet.  Still, they know the pusher’s ethos, and they pushed us just far enough to remind us that as much as we hate them, we need them way too much to get clean.  Because shit, who the fuck wants to do something other than watch football on a November Sunday?

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