Hi. My name is Nick Castillo. You don't know me, but I certainly know you. Let me start off by saying how much I love you guys. Players, I will never be able to express the gratitude I have for you guys. You put your body through hell, you leave your family for months, and you do it for fans like me. I may not know all of you, or cheer for the teams you are on (GO BRONCOS) but I respect you and I thank you all the same. Owners, I have to thank you too. You make all of this possible. You are the ones who pay millions of dollars for the stadiums. You are the ones that pay our players. You may charge $8 for beer at the stadium, but you are just as big of a reason football is the best sport on the planet as the players. With all that said, I can't believe how selfish, stubborn, and immature you're both being.
I am not a naive person. I realize that the NFL is a business and it would not exist if everyone wasn't getting rewarded for all of their hard work and sacrifices, but canceling football because of your money disputes has to be one of the stupidest ideas I've ever heard.
Players, let's cut the crap. You got the better end of the last CBA deal. You can deny it all you want, but your own president Kevin Mawae even admitted it. Gene Upshaw got you the way better end of the deal. There is a reason why you guys want to keep everything the same and it's not because the owners are being greedy. You are being just as greedy as they are. They may not be going broke, but you guys got a much better deal then they did and it's time to renegotiate. So stop trying to play the victim in this dispute. Your "Let Us Play" commercial is ridiculous. A more realistic commercial would be "Let Us Play As Long As We Are Making An Incredible Sum Of Money". Now, I am 100% on your side when it comes to the 18 game season. 18 games is too much. You guys put up with enough injuries with the current schedule. So don't worry, I'll yell at the owners about that later, but here is my question for you. If the owners agreed to keep the schedule in the current format, improve post career health care, and cut rookie salaries and use the money for veterans, would you be willing to give back some of the revenue that you got in the last deal? That way, you don't have to play 2 additional weeks, you get better post career health care, and your going to get more money as veterans. Let me guess, you don't like that deal because you want more then that?
Owners, let me just start with this: 18 games? Really? That is an incredibly stupid idea. Mr. Goodell, you have repeatedly said that the fans want an 18 game season. I would love evidence of this. In fact, I don't know any people who want an 18 game season. The majority of the people I know agree that 18 games is too much on the players. On top of that, all of the current records will become meaningless. 1000 yard seasons will be an average season for running backs. You have stated that the fans don't like 4 pre season games. That's not entirely true. The fans don't like PAYING for 4 pre season games at regular season prices. Why should the fans have to pay regular season game prices for games where starters don't even play? Substituting 2 of those pre season games for 2 regular season games isn't going to help either. It's just going to increase the risk of my favorite player ending up on IR in week 8. If the fans had their way, they would keep the format the same, but not have to pay so much in the pre season. So here is my question, if the players agreed to give back some of the revenue, would you be willing to drop the 18 game season? The reason for the 18 game season was to create more revenue for the owners, but if your getting revenue back in a new deal, what is the point of moving to 18 games? Additionally, the amount of money you are paying to unproven rookies is alarmingly high. The players don't exactly like it either. Why don't you put a rookie wage scale in effect and use the money you don't use on rookies on veterans? That only seems fair. Let me guess, you want to use all that money to buy another yacht?
Let me summarize it all up. Players, you want to keep the revenues the exact same because it benefits you the most. Owners, you want more revenue and are willing to put our players health at risk to get more. Here is my final question for you guys, what about the fans?
Mr. Goodell, you have constantly talked about getting a deal done for the fans, but actions speak louder then words. The owners and the players have just began serious negotiations. You both have known this was a problem for a long time. It is one month before the deadline. It might be too little too late. You both want to talk about the money, but what about our money? Do you guys realize how many sports bars will have to be shut down if you guys lock out? Do you know how many businesses are going to lose millions of dollars because of your greed? Do you guys even care? I don't think you care at all. What evidence is there to show that you guys give a crap about any of us fans? Owners, how would you like it if we boycotted the food and merchandise at your stadiums? Would you care then? Players, how would you like if we never attended another game ever again? You can take your millions that you are arguing over and play for yourselves.
So for your sake and ours, you need to stop being so foolish. Go into a room, lock the door, and don't come out until you guys get this figured out because there is so much at stake here. Not only will your lives be affected, but ours as well. Don't be stubborn, compromise when necessary and get this thing solved. Nothing good comes from a lockout. Owners, you lose. Players, you lose, but most importantly, the fans might lose the most.
Sincerely, Nick Cast, A Fan