The Eight Upsides to an NFL Lockout
8. Fewer games means fewer concussions
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Part of playing professional sports is sacrificing the functionality of your body for your team. Linemen pack on extra pounds to protect their quarterback. Quarterbacks risk serious collar bone and arm injuries if they are caught unprotected during a throw. Terrell Owens famously suffered from the rarely diagnosed "running of the mouth," an affliction that somehow cleared itself up when he joined the Cincinnati Bengals.
One injury that has been associated with the sport the longest are concussions, which became a serious issue last season when NFL players racked up more than 150 reported cases sustained from practices and games in the first part of the season alone. So at least the year off would give players time to reduce their chances of causing any more serious long term injury and rest up for another season of skull-cracking goodness.
7. Less time for football means more time for ourselves
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Presumably, we work five to six days a week, then we're supposed to at least get a chance to rest on the seventh. Except that doesn't happen because by the time Sunday rolls around, we're upping our stress levels all over again by watching some multi-million dollar "athlete" play like he just stepped out of the Pop Warner league as part of some bizarre "Make a Wish" request to get sacked by Ray Lewis.
Plus, as fun as watching football is, statistically it's a tremendous waste of time. A recent study conducted by the Wall Street Journal measured the timing of shots of four NFL broadcast games on a single Sunday and found they aired an average of 11 minutes of actual playing time. Not having to watch a game on Sunday would not only give the fans a chance to get the rest we so desperately need before returning to the salt mines, it might actually make us more productive when we're in the office in between watching videos of cats kicking their owners in the nuts on YouTube. (And by the way, when you finish reading this, get back to work.)
6. The money we save could pull us out of economic hell
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Everyone can feel the strain of being constantly in debt and being told that sacrifices have to be made across the board, which strangely doesn't apply to the people who keep telling us that we have to make the sacrifices. Sacrificing an NFL season, however, could actually help with the situation.
NFL football might be a hallowed tradition but like all fabled American traditions, it's also a business, and the league racks up a huge wad of revenue every year. In just four years, the NFL scored $7.2 billion in incremental revenue, the percentage of which is split between the players and owners, which led to this lockout in the first place. So why not save all that money you spend on season tickets, body paint, and deep fried nachos and put it back in your pocket (assuming you haven't already sold your pockets for food by now)?
5. No fantasy football for an entire year
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I'm a huge football fan but even a die-hard like me would gladly give up the NFL to the annals of time if I didn't have to hear the people who play fantasy football talk about their picks and how the players are somehow conspiring against them to ruin their fantasy team for another season. The biggest fantasy in fantasy football are the people who think that anyone else gives a damn about their stupid fantasy team.
So it goes without saying that one less NFL season also means one less fall and winter of having to listen to our fellow fantasy heads in the office or bar brag or whine about how last night's game affected their points. What happened to just rooting for your hometown team and knocking back a few beers during Sunday's game? The only positive thing about fantasy football players are at least the Dungeons and Dragons nerds finally have someone to look down upon with pity.