“Is This Football or Is This Politics?”

Max Bloch
Blog Entry 1

Well the NFL’s players and owners are buddies again and ready to kick off another season of great football. While the players are more anxiously awaiting this week’s matchups, I’m not sure if I’m ready.

As a DIE-HARD football fan, you could guess I was awfully annoyed during the spring and summer months of the NFL lockout. The players and owners actually escalated what is supposed to be a game to court cases. The whole politics and business in sports is, year by year, taking over and taking away from the play. A couple of specific events during the lockout and pre-season really irked me more than anything.

The first instance came in late July when Myra Kraft, the wife of the Patriots’ owner, passed away tragically from cancer. Players had to ASK PERMISSION from the NFL players’ union in order to attend the funeral and mourn with the Kraft family. In the midst of the funeral and the lockout, Tom Brady, who did attend the funeral, was actually suing Robert Kraft. Now Brady and Kraft have been noted for their excellent relationship over the years, yet during the funeral of a loved one, their minds had to be split over an antitrust lawsuit.

Then, as the lockout ended and teams started to recuperate, you have top name players holding out their contracts for the upcoming year. Wow, when does this nonsense end and everyone starts worrying about nothing but the season?! I guess the answer to that question is exactly one week before kickoff. That was when Chris Johnson, who despite competing against many worthy candidates won the “cry baby” award for the preseason, settled on his contract. This marked the end of business and the beginning of game play.

So am I excited about the upcoming season? Yes, but the events of this summer, in regard to the NFL, made me question whether football was more of a game or a political institution?