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A roundup of news on sporting events, people and places in Southeast Michigan by columnist Jim Evans.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Evans experiences labor pains

I’m being selfish.
I do not really know the finances of the ongoing labor problems in the NFL.
All I know is that shortly my Sundays will be endangered.
And I do not like that.
I do not know about profit margins.
I do not know about salary caps.
I don’t know about any of that stuff. I am a sportswriter and a fan, not an economist.
I know Doritos. I know bean dip. I know I just bought a television with a 50-inch screen and have the high definition box from the cable company lining up in the backfield.
And I know I did not get that television to watch “The View.” I did not get it to watch Oprah’s last show. It’s not for Ellen or Cops or even SportsCenter.
It is to watch sports, and more specifically, it is to watch the National Football League.
So I have a vested interest in the players and the owners getting a deal done.
So does my wife, Kim, who probably does not want to deal with a cranky husband relegated to raking leaves, planting bulbs and generally doing busy work around the house this fall.
So let’s get at it, owners. You, too, players. I know you both think you are the only two sides in the negotiations, but you are forgetting the most important part of the equation.
The fans should have a seat at the table, too. I am serious. I know the owners think they pay all the bills, but who enables them to pay those bills? Who fills the seats on Sundays? Who buys the television packages during the season? Who wears the home team’s jerseys and flies the home team’s flag and who gets to the stadium four hours before kickoff to grill ribs and brats and chicken and dish out baked beans? Who turns on the television when the team is on the road?
We are getting back to the 50-inch Panasonic. That is very much a luxury item in the Evans’ house. It replaces an old-style 27-inch Zenith, that kind that weighed about 1,234 pounds. But we needed a new television. I told Kim I couldn’t wait to see the Discovery Channel specials on it. I told her I really was looking forward to watching the National Geographic Channel on it and boy wouldn’t our five-disc series “Planet Earth” look spectacular in high definition?
Honestly, I felt ashamed even as I extolled the virtue of those vistas. Inwardly, I could not wait to see Ndamukong Suh turn someone into corned beef hash. I relished witnessing Calvin “Megatron” Johnson soar over a couple of Lilliputian defensive backs in the corner of the end zone to make a catch that actually counts against the Bears. I wanted to see Louis Delmas turn a receiver’s legs to Silly Putty with a monstrous hit and Matthew Stafford rear back to throw a bomb to Nate Burleson, who did not even have to break stride to haul the football in.
So you see, the fans have a lot at stake in the ongoing labor dispute. There are more than two sides at the table.
There is also a table filled with dips and chips and beer and soda and pulled pork and fried chicken and barbecue ribs and more food than the early Pilgrims ever figured could be gathered.
Get this thing settled. I swear on Pete Rozelle’s grave, if not I am going to have to haul that television back to Costco. Reason for return, they’ll ask? The ongoing labor dispute in the National Football League, I’ll answer. I’m not sure if they’d buy that rationale. It seems to me the return policy only extends 90 days.
Please do not make me watch that five-disc Planet Earth collection. I have nothing against the environment, but I would prefer that environment comes with a whole lot of slam dancing on Sunday afternoons.
I swear on a stack of baby harp seals, I am beginning to panic.


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