What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
Editor’s Note: Thanks to the Movie The King’s Speech, George VI came back into the view of the American populace. If it weren’t for that movie, most Yanks had long since forgotten George VI’s role as a wartime leader and the fact he ruled sovereign over a quarter of the world.
Much as he did through the Second World War, His Majesty George the Sixth, King of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas, Defender of the Faith, and Last Emperor of India endeavors to lead us through the darkness of the impending NFL Lockout.
In this grave hour, perhaps the most fateful in history, I send to every household of my peoples, both at home and overseas, this message, spoken with the same depth of feeling for each one of you as if I were able to cross your threshold and speak to you myself.
It is difficult to ignore the ominous clouds gathering on the horizon of professional football. Across the realm, you subjects re barely able to turn on ESPN and not hear a grave and increasingly hopeless appraisal of the national game of America. As we move forward toward the expiration of the current collective bargaining agreement, it is increasingly apparent the NFL, led by Herr Goodell, is intent on marching on a path toward a lock out of its players; marching on a path to a long and costly battle which will be fought on many fronts and which will cost millions of dollars.
While this fight involves American football, understand the peril Herr Goodell poses to professional sport across the world. His dark and barbarous soul, one driven by greed and fed by his own hypocrisy, threatens to cast a pall across the world of sport from which no amount of money could ever extricate it. The tenets behinds his evil philosophy are many; yet they intersect at one central theme. Herr Goodell values money over the soul of sport.
It is for this reason, that I, as your King, believe that we must unite as a Commonwealth to stand in staunch opposition to Herr Goodell and his minions.
It is for this reason, that I, as your King, must state with unequivocal resolve, that should Herr Goodell choose to continue marching the National Football into the slaughter of a lock out, we must unite as a Commonwealth to liberate the National Football League from Herr Goodell’s tyranny.
It is for this reason, I will insist that while Herr Goodell is leading us into this war, I, as your King, will lead us victoriously from it. The moment Herr Goodell and his minions spill the first drop of blood, the moment the sports fans are deprived of the first game, I promise you there will be no quarter given, no mercy asked, and not one step backward until Herr Goodell and those of his ilk are no longer capable of exerting their will on the world of sport.
As we find ourselves on the precipice, I offer Herr Goodell one last opportunity to avoid the bloodshed a lock out will bring. There are three main points which must be addressed; these are the terms which will avoid a protracted battle for which the cost will be impossibly high for both sides. As I’ve been watching and reading about the issues on the table, it seems there are three issues there are simple solutions for. While I recognize everything in a negotiation is a bargaining chip, these are no-brainers for both sides.
First, there is the issue of the Rookie Salary Cap.
It is against all we stand for as honorable men to believe that it is fair to pay players at the top of the draft $50 million without them ever having played a down of professional football. Established players must be in favor of this as well as these unproven draftees take the bread from their ample mouths. Herr Goodell must show leadership and get the sides who already must agree on this issue to do so in an official capacity; the National Football League and the Players Association must agree to a rookie salary cap.
Then, there is the issue of financial transparency.
The Players Association seems bent on being granted access to the NFL owners’ organizational financial statements so they may validate their position one way or another. However, this will never happen as the owners know that public funding for stadiums would evaporate if it were discovered NFL teams were overflowing in ready cash. The Players must be ready to abandon this wish.
Lastly, there is the issue of the 18-game Regular Season.
This, as the most nefarious and harmful of ideas in this crisis, is one that is so dark and soulless it must have originated from nowhere else than Herr Goodell himself; as if it came from a vacuum of decency and slowly eroded the souls of the owners tempted by a few more dollars. Herr Goodell stressed this himself as a means to increase revenue for both sides and ensure the continued success and expansion of the product. Even the teams themselves can’t support this, if for no other reason the money will not offset the exposing of their most important assets, their players, to an increased risk of injury. The players do not support this as it they who will be injured. As the players must abandon their wish to be granted access to the accounting of the owners, the owners must abandon this wish.
In the interests of the National Football League, in the interests of its players, and in the interests of sports fans across the width and breadth of this realm, it is vital that we not continue this march into the fires of a lock out. Together, we must save the game; a game that still is the master of the domain of television, a game that continues to enjoy financial growth in a time of global economic malaise, and a game that Herr Goodell would suck the very vitality from if given the chance. Together, we must save the game; we must destroy those who would destroy it.