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An Open Letter to the NFL

Normally, I would use this space to talk about my wild, goofy life. Remember, I did warn you that I would talk about sports once in a while. Well, this is that once in a while.

I have been thinking about this lockout mess today. I have watched all the name calling and the accusations flying in tweets from Greg Aiello, the NFL PR guy, and others involved in this stupidity. “The fans are now starting to side with the owners” was one comment I saw today. Really? Says who? So, I got on my soapbox and wrote a letter.

An open letter to Roger Goodell, NFL owners, & NFL players:

First, let me express my condolences to the NFL players who are out of work. I do hope you can find constructive ways to occupy your time during the lockout. I noticed that Tom Brady has managed to console himself by going to Brazil to dance in the streets with his lovely wife, while Chad Johnson/Ochocinco did something more constructive by holding a mini-forum at a seafood establishment for 100 people to get their thoughts about the lockout. Bravo, Chad! I am impressed, and I do not say that lightly.

Since you are out of work, it is time for you to figure out how to make those millions (or in the case of the NFL owners, billions) of dollars last until you all learn to get along. This mean you will probably have to cut back on those trips to Disneyland (or DisneyWorld, whichever you prefer), those vacations overseas, and you might actually have to give up that Rolls Royce Phantom you’ve been dying to get your hands on.

Do you ever wonder how the typical American wonders how to stretch out their money? You don’t? Well, I’m going to tell you because I think you should understand something about one of the fans that you all are so “passionately” fighting for.

I am your typical American: I am married, with a hard-working husband and a wonderful 16-year-old son. By the time we pay all of our bills on payday, we are lucky if we have $1000 to stretch for the rest of the month. With a 16-year-old in the house, you have to take into account clothes, food, doctor’s bills, medicine, etc. in that $1000. Forget about the car that doesn’t have an A/C belt, or the other car with the A/C that cuts in and out all summer. One of the adults in the house needs glasses? Yeah, that’s not happening because I can’t afford the extra expense.

Let’s talk about a college education for the 16-year-old. While many of you owners & players are trying to decide what kind of luxury car you’re going to buy next or where you are going to build your McMansion, I’m busy telling my son that he cannot go on the church’s mission trip because we can’t afford to pay $250 so he can do what his heart desires: helping people less fortunate. Did I mention that my son wants to become a minister so he can continue to help other people? Why don’t you spend a few sleepless nights trying to figure out where the money is going to come from so he can go to college to do that? Do you know how hard it is to tell a kid who has a great gift for reaching out to people that he can’t because you don’t have the money? Oh wait, I forgot, you don’t care. You’re too busy fighting over nine billion dollars because you don’t have enough money right now. Let me cry for you a minute.

Owners, you want to lock out your players? No skin off my nose. Knock yourselves out! Players, most of you want to get upset about the fact that you can’t make your multi-million dollar contract money stretch to cover your parties at the Vegas casinos, here’s a box of tissues. Go find a corner and cry. For those of you that do great things through your foundations, I hope you are able to continue to do your good work. But frankly, I am pretty sure I can find something else to do on the weekends if you aren’t playing football.

This is the typical American, gentlemen. I love football; don’t get me wrong. I am a Redskins fan married to a Cowboys fan. I live in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, but I will never go to the house that Jerry built because I can’t even afford to stand in his party zone. I won’t go to an NFL game, even if I could afford to, because I will always think of better ways to make my money stretch instead of spending hundreds of dollars on a ticket. So you just keep worrying about your nine billion dollars, guys. I’ll be over here trying to figure out how to make sure my son can do his ministry. I’m sure that nine billion dollars is much more important than a 16-year-old helping other people, or millions of people in Japan who have had their lives wiped out by an earthquake and tsunami, or the millions of people in the United States who are living paycheck to paycheck who just happen to be the reason you get paid in the first place.


Teresa L. Watson