If you're a fan of an NFL team from another city, the sports bar is your home away from home. Lots of big HDTVs are a must, as is a good selection of draft beers. Good food is a plus, especially good wings.
There aren't a lot of Kansas City Chiefs fans here in Washington, D.C. , and my K.C. friends refuse to leave the suburbs on Sundays, so I usually end up chatting with fans of other teams. It's great. I've met so many great people and learned so much about what the sports scene is like in so many other cities just from sitting down next to fans from other teams.
There's just something about NFL Sundays.
Bars around the country are full of fans like me, spending $50 on beer and food every Sunday. These NFL Sundays are obviously very important to bars and restaurants.
If there's no NFL season next year, that business will just dry up. Few folks are going to trudge through the cold on their day off to sit in a bar and watch whatever sports fill the void -- NBA? NASCAR? UFL?
Some folks may go to the movies or some other form of entertainment, but they won't be sitting in the bars and restaurants downing beer after beer, eating wing after wing.
And the sports bars might as well just shut down on Monday nights if there's no season. Why else would anyone come out on a Monday night?
The beer business will take it on the chin even harder. Not only will there be less demand from bars and restaurants, breweries and distributorships will lose millions in beers sales at the games and to fans who drink lots of beer while watching at home.
As the season progresses into the playoffs and culminating with the Super Bowl, house parties grow bigger and bigger. Families and friends come together around the television to watch the games.
But just as they are willing to black out regular season games for fans in San Diego and Jacksonville and Buffalo and Oakland, NFL owners are willing to black out an entire season. The owners want the players to take an 18% pay cut. Whether or not they are justified in asking the players to take a pay cut, we don't know - the owners won't open up their books.
If NFL Sundays are important to you, it's up to you to demand that the owners and the players both commit to taking a work stoppage off the table. This dispute doesn't pit owners against players. It pits owners against players against fans. And unless the fans speak with a unified voice, their message that a work stoppage is unacceptable will be lost.
Please join the Sports Fans Coalition before our NFL Sundays are lost.
Brian Frederick is the Executive Director of Sports Fans Coalition. He holds a Ph.D. in Communication and lives in Washington, D.C. Email him at email@example.com.