I Have a Gripe

October 13, 2016

For the Love of Team

Every Wednesday night I watch Undeniable with Joe Buck. If you are not familiar, it is a great show. Sportscaster Joe Buck conducts a one-on-one interview each week with a well-known athlete. He has interviewed some great athletes. This week was one of my favorites – the great Lynn Swann.

I have always loved football. Watching teams like The Steelers of the 1970s and my beloved Niners of the 1980s hold great memories. At the time I didn’t realize it, but I was learning about a key skill for life – teamwork. A player started their career with a team and they stayed with that team until the day they walked off the field for the last time.

During the interview with Lynn Swann, he spoke about his love of team. How they sacrificed personal goals for the good of the team. When he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in Canton, he spoke of his teammates and his coaches. When he spoke of teammate, John Stallworth, he said:

“This is, this is the single greatest honor in my life. The single greatest honor of my life. And, if this is the greatest hour of my life, then I would tell you at this moment, this is only a half-hour. It’ll be the greatest hour when I can stand and sit in that back row and John Stallworth is wearing a gold jacket making this speech.”

To me, this is team in the truest sense of the word. In his greatest moment, he still took the time to recognize someone on his team he felt was deserving of induction into the Hall of Fame. Stallworth was inducted the following year.

Today’s pro athletes? Not so much.

Today it is all about the contract. There is no loyalty to a team, a coach, or the fans. It is about who will pay the most. They focus on their own stats and a fancy end-zone celebration instead of what they can do for the success of the team.

Sometimes the owners aren’t much better. While the stadiums built for theses teams are more and more elaborate, the ticket prices go higher and higher. Most people can’t afford to take their kids to a game. As a result, the scene of a father and son going to a game to enjoy a Coke and a hot dog has been replaced by guys in suits heading out after work while eating sushi in premier boxes.

I believe in loyalty.

September 19, 2010

The NFL and Loyalty…What Happened?

Filed under: Celebrity,General Annoyances — alvb1227 @ 4:38 pm
Tags: , , ,

Let’s make one thing clear…I love the NFL. My first memory of watching football is from third grade watching the Steelers playing the Cowboys in the Superbowl. I sat on the floor in my living room glued to the television.

Just like the years when our dads would go to work for one company and stay there until they retired, the same held true with the NFL. Those were the years when a player went to a team and stayed there. Period. Can you imagine Terry Bradshaw playing for anyone but the Steelers? I remember my stomach turning when my beloved Joe Montana went to…Kansas City? I felt betrayed.

Now it is about salary caps, contract negotiations and collective bargaining. I personally felt Darrelle Revis’ ongoing drama with the Jets was shameful. These guys make millions, not counting their endorsements. Now the players are potentially threatening a strike for next year if they extend the season to 18 games and aren’t “fairly compensated.” With all the recent opinions about public unions, like the NEA and the UAW, what about the players union? Where is the public outrage for these mega-millionaires instead of the “average Joe?”

Maybe I am naive, but when did pro football go from team loyalty to a business? I don’t see fans jumping from team to team. Why do players?

Don’t get me wrong. The owners in my opinion are just as much to blame. They want mega-stadiums and expect the local tax payers to pick up the majority of the tab through bond issues, while most of those tax payers can’t afford the new ticket prices. Life-long Jets season-ticket holders with tears in their eyes were forced to give up their tickets for their seat due to a ridiculously high “seat license fee.” And what is a seat license anyway? I NEVER heard of that one. Probably just another way to get money from attendees. And are they serious with the cost of sodas, beer and food at these games?

Like I said, call me a sucker, naive or whatever, but loyalty has always been a major issue with me. If I call you friend, you are my friend. If you light that fuse, which is long mind you, and I am done with you, then I am done. You wrong my family or my friend, you now have an enemy. I have stuck by my beloved Niners through the great years and the lean years. They are still my team. My husband has been a Giants fan for all his life. Period. People spend hundreds for special packages to see their teams if they are not local to them.

The point is, our teams make us crazy, but we stick with them. We believe in loyalty. If you ask me, the players could take a lesson from their fans.

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