My Manifesto on the NFL lockout. It's time to act.

Time is running out on getting a new CBA done with the full season intact.  That doesn't seem like it will happen, the union, the players, the reporters all saying it while the owners keep quiet.

I've heard a lot of discussion of people not caring about the issue because it is "Millionaires vs. Millionaires," but it is about much more than that:

The NFL is more than a business.  It is football.  College football is huge, but even during the season fans debate where players will get drafted, whether they will be good at "the next level" or not.  The NFL is the major league of the most popular sport in our country.  With apologies to baseball fanatics, the NFL is our national pastime.  The fans season starts before the previous season ends, with draft speculation and us couch scouts checking tape and reports on College players, evaluating their college system and different pro systems.  It continues after the draft with free agency and ota's, discussing potential depth charts and this years players to watch.  After that you have training camp and the preseason and back into the actual season, where NFL games constantly take the top ratings on television.  The Super Bowl is the most watched event of the year, it was watched by almost twice as many people as watched the world series, the entire series, adding all five games together.

My point?

The NFL does not belong to a group of owners.  The NFL does not belong to a larger group of players.  The NFL belongs to us.  It belongs to the fans, to our country.

Unfortunately you and I don't have a voice in the dispute.  We don't get to talk to the owners and players about our difficulties and expectations.  We don't get to talk about paying taxes for a new stadium, or going in debt to keep season tickets, or for a co-worker of mine taking out a $7,000 loan to see her team play in the Super Bowl, exactly 5 months after she paid off her trip to the last one her team was in.

We don't get to chime in on whether we like an 18 game season, or if we support retired players health care.  We get one voice, and that is whether we choose to invest money in the final product.  We get to pay for football the way they present it, or choose not too.  We can't walk up and talk about how we want it be in their meetings.

Fortunately, we have another option.  I don't really like th option, and I don't think anyone else does either.  But it sure beats losing a season to this current stupidity.  That option is politics.

2012 is an election year.  Primary ads, as we all know, will be running by February.  A February that may not have a Super Bowl.  Many, and I mean many senators and congressmen will be looking to us to vote for them to keep their jobs.  I say we hold them to work for us.

I'm E-Mailing all the people I can vote for, and the state level for both parties.  My message is clear.  If there isn't a full football season next year, I'm not voting for a single incumbent in the primaries.  Further I won't vote for the ones that evade 2012 in future elections.

But they have more important things to do you say.  I agree.  But tell me this, have they done it?  Are they currently doing it?  They spend time writing bills commemorating boy scout troops, giving themselves raises and for goodness sakes waxing philosophical about steroids in baseball.  For goodness sakes they haven't stopped on that last one yet.

They can spend a day and write a letter to the NFL saying "Work this out without impacting the season or we'll have a review of your anti trust exemption."  A long nasty process that would involve a lot of hassle and financial information being closely examined.

I don't want congress trying to fix football, I just want them to make the NFL keep going.

I know this site is politics free, but there is nothing partisan here, please keep it that way in your comments.  This is about football, and our only voice being the people we hire to represent us, the same people who assure the NFL it's ability to operate.  They can apply the pressure we can't, pressure before the final product.  They can make this happen.

But again, time is running out.  Please, if you understand what I'm saying here, threaten you politician's job.  Tell them you'll vote against them if they don't stop this madness.

Here is a website that will get you to your representatives website, just write them a message.  They won't read it, but a staffer will, and they'll record the number of people that send that kind of message.

You can go further and write newspapers and ESPN, call the radio shows, whatever you do get out there and spread the message that we will take out our anger on those who represent us if they don't represent us here.

If you don't want to take this course, well. . . you could write the NFL headquarters and threaten to not watch games or buy merchandise anymore, but I know I will, I could hate the league but I'd still love the Steelers.  I won't walk away even if they break the union and ruin the game.  I love the Steelers far more than I care who my representative, senator or even the president is.  I've been alive for 6 different presidents.  I hope to see a lot more.  I've seen the house and senate change hands, speakers come and go, even the Supreme Court go through major shifts and changes in persons.  

I'm willing to support more change, different people, I'm willing to put my love of football and the Steelers ahead of any single politician or party affiliation.  I want football.  I want it uninterrupted.

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