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NFL Lockout Over: Now the Fun Begins

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I am sure if you’re a big fan of the NFL, you are happy that the lockout is over and the season is saved. Now all of you who were wondering what to do with your Sundays in September without football can breathe a sigh of relief. And, as for those football widows and widowers, at least you will know where your significant others will be on Sundays. Why not grab a bag of pretzels and join in the fun?

That was a long 136 days of lockout, and I really didn’t think that the players and owners would get their acts together in time for the season to start on time. With yesterday’s agreement, training camps everywhere are throwing open their doors and welcoming the players with open arms.

After the deal was announced, NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith said that either side didn’t get everything it wanted, but NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said, “Football is back, and that’s great news for everybody.” Amen to that one!

As a Jets fan I was happy to hear head coach Rex Ryan shooting his mouth off again. Always boastful and kind of like the captain of a ship stuck in a terrible storm, Ryan has the knack for talking about good seas ahead even when he is throwing a life preserver overboard. Now he is telling the press “We got better” (during the off season). No one even broke a sweat at training camp yet, but Rex is ready to be the mouth that roared. I guess we fans of Gang Green wouldn’t have it any other way.

So now that the lockout is over, what was all the fuss about? It seems some of the best things accomplished were unrestricted free agency after four years, 47 – 48.5% of all revenue (down from previous years but the owners can’t skim one billion off the top as they always did), a salary cap set at $120.375 million, and a $620 million Legacy Fund to be paid to former players. The big one though seems to me to be that a rookie like super quarterback Cam Newton (first pick in the draft this year) can earn the big bucks with a four-year contract with an option for fifth-year cub option. To get a more detailed idea of what is going on, fans should check out the NFL web site for all aspects of the NFL collective bargaining agreement.

So football fans can get ready for some football. Get out the team jerseys and all the other paraphernalia. Watch the training camps and enjoy the frenzy of free agency. Things just got going and the excitement is already palpable. No other sport generates this kind of interest and excitement, and most fans do not really care what each side got or didn’t get. We were just waiting for a regular season and now we’ve got it. Great news for everybody indeed.

Photo Credit: AP

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About Victor Lana

Victor Lana has published numerous stories, articles, and poems in literary magazines and online. His books In a Dark Time (1994), A Death in Prague (2002), Move (2003), The Savage Quiet September Sun: A Collection of 9/11 Stories (2005) and Like a Passing Shadow (2009) are available online and as e-books. He has won the National Arts Club Award for Poetry, but has concentrated mostly on fiction and non-fiction prose in recent years. He has worked as faculty advisor to school literary magazines and enjoys the creative process as a writer, editor, and collaborator. He has been with Blogcritics since July 2005, has edited many articles, was co-head sports editor with Charley Doherty, and now is a Culture and Society editor. He views Blogcritics as one of most exciting, fresh, and meaningful opportunities in his writing life.