By Cody Dalton
O-N-E Sports Editor
My view of the sports realm has remained fairly consistent, until the last 110 days or so. First, the NFL locked out its players on March 12. Then, this past Thursday morning at 12 a.m., my opinion of professional sports became even lower.
For the second time in just more than 100 days, another sports league, the NBA, locked out its players on Thursday. This begins yet another stalemate between two sides over one thing and one thing only — money.
I didn’t let the high-dollar player contracts, which I think are ludicrous amounts of money, bother me before, but this recent disagreement among players, owners and the topic of money has me completely baffled.
The greed between the owners over how much revenue they will receive compared to the players sickens me. Owners make so much money from ticket sales, merchandise sales, concessions and other various means of merchandising.
The players are really the least to blame for most of the situation because a lot of them want something close to what they had already agreed to in their last collective bargaining agreement. However, many of the big names in each of these sports collect a ton of money on their multi-million dollar contracts and the fear of a lockout is nothing for them to sweat or fear.
Who ends up paying for all of this struggle and lust of money? Two entities — the low salaried players and the fans.
There are many guys in both the NBA and NFL that play the game at fairly low pay compared to other high-profile players. Those “no-name” players are having to find ways to support themselves, while many of the “fat cats” in both leagues thrive from the over-lucrative contracts they’ve consumed over their careers.
I believe the most important of those suffering from these lockouts are the fans. I think the owners and players fail to realize they wouldn’t have a dime or any success if not for one entity — those who watch and support them.
The fans are the ones who buy season tickets, concessions, cable subscriptions, jerseys and other novelties of their favorite teams.With no viewers, there would be no television contracts and no revenue. Simply put, there would be no NBA and no NFL.
It’s bad enough most of us will never make anywhere close to most of the lucrative contracts these players have or revenue these owners’ gross. To take away the enjoyment of watching the games, though, is simply not acceptable.
So, enough already NFL and NBA. Settle your differences. End these lockouts. Agree to a fair deal and give the fans, who have supported you for years and made you the industry giants you are today, what they truly deserve — competition.
Until then, I’m going to stick to watching the smaller levels of sports competition. At least in high school and college, they aren’t playing under contracts or agreements. It’s about one thing that the players and fans share — the love of the game.
Cody Dalton is the sports editor of and a columnist for The Observer News Enterprise. His column appears in the Tuesday edition. Reach Dalton at firstname.lastname@example.org .