I know, like we need any more proof. Let's face it, both sides are earning ridiculous sums of money that come directly or indirectly out of the fans pockets. It's almost astounding that they are basically fighting over it right in front of our faces while turning every once in a while and flashing a fake smile to say "Oh, but we DO care about you". But that's what they are doing. And I've read and posted my fair share about the lock-out and the crap that both sides have pulled, so I know this is nothing new. But what happened today with the Players not voting and the comment made that the 21st wasn't a solid date for them was just a slap in the face. Of course the fans felt it, but what's new about that? I mean we've been dragged through the mud as far as they could take us, what's one more day or so? But the people that I am talking about with the baby powder fresh on their faces are the 7 men being inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame.
Every year, the NFL brings more attention to these guys than any other sport does with their inductees by hosting the first game of the year the day after the induction ceremony on the same grounds. Millions of fans either remember or learn about how these men changed the face of the game, even if they just tune in to watch the game itself being played that day. Those 7 inductees worked hard throughout their careers and sacrificed their bodies for more than a decade in order to consistently be the best of their era. This moment should be the pinnacle of one's career, though it seems like this is well surpassed by "the big contract" on the current player's career high points.
Since none of this year's inductees were Eagles, save Dent in his final season who contributed so little that I honestly can't remember him dawning Eagles Green, then I'm personally not very invested in the ceremony. But as a player you would think that they would want to give those men the proper respect they deserve. By not holding their vote today and subsequently publicly stating that the 21st is not their deadline, ultimately implying that they are going to fight over any and all scraps left on the table before they move on no matter how little chance there is that they will get any of said scraps, they basically are saying that this game really isn't that important to them. Sure, it may be nice since it would draw in a little extra revenue to squabble about, but other than that? Who cares.
I can understand that it's important to them to max out the deal while they can, which is what this move is about. I don't even come close to buying it when they say things like "We want to give the fans football". They don't give a fuck about us and it's obvious. It's not like they are fooling us about it and I doubt either side understands or has any remorse at all about the angst we as fans felt this off season (lest it has an adverse effect on their precious pie). But the players and the history of the game that they are shoving aside like it's nothing is telling that even the game doesn't really mean that much to them.
I know the HOF game isn't canceled yet, but it surely was in grave danger and this move could be the final nail in the coffin for it. Moreover, the comments made by Kevin Mawae about "not being tied the 21st as a deadline", he might as well have said "we don't really give a crap about that POS no money earning game". Yes, it's only a preseason game and this and that, but what it represents is something that every player should strive for and hold high if they really do care about the game of football. And that was their one tagline that they could still hang their hats on, that even if it wasn't for us then the game itself is still important. It's certainly obvious now that really the game and tradition means nothing to them.
I was disheartened enough before this announcement. Once they said that they didn't vote I almost had a numb uncaring feeling. At this point I really do feel like the dead horse that both sides are beating, cold and emotionless. The season will still likely be "saved", but this whole process has taken the "fanatical" part out of my fandom.