Right now I feel sorry for football fans. Next week I won't. Because we can bitch, moan, tweet, read columns, and blog posts, tune in to commentators, listen to interviews, sit, stew, and generally get more and more pissed off, or we can do something about it. Stop watching. If we really want something to be done about the replacement refs were going to have to speak up. And not with social media, but with our money.
We're gonna have to tune out. Trust me, I love football more than I love waking up the days a game isn't on, but right now it's not football were watching. It's some three-team sport where you have to hope an athlete makes a play and then an old chemistry teacher doesn't screw it up. The games are terrible. It's not fun to watch. It's not fun to be a fan. And there's only one thing in our power to change that. Turning it off.
It's like Steve Young said, and I paraphrase, the NFL doesn't give a shit about you. They just care about the shield, and how much money they can pack behind its protective face. Well, that shield is not impenetrable. In fact, there's a real easy way to make it obsolete. Look away. I know it's going to be tough. I know it's going to suck. I know it's not fair. But if you love something, let it go. And when they come crawling back because they realize they need your money, it will feel even more special.
We, the fans, are not powerless in this. In fact, we're complicit. We may not have Drew Rosenhaus, but we have agency. We have the ability to end this National Football nightmare. With the click of a button. Sure, it'll suck more than a vacuum to have to miss your team's game this weekend, and live in one, but that's what it's going to take. It's going to take all of us manning up, Eli, not Peyton, and boycotting. It's going to take all of us uniting together this Sunday to skip football and go see a movie or hang out with our significant others. As awful and terrible as that sounds.
Listen, I'm not trying to be all Che and power to the people and march on Washington here, I just want my football back. And there's only one way I see that happening: a mass black out. We can ease into it with the Thursday game, Browns vs. Ravens, which no one wants to watch anyway. We just got prime-time Ravens and the Browns are just the replacement officials of NFL teams. So no one tune in. See where that gets us. And then if we still have scabs heading into the weekend, we're going to have to sit out this Sunday. All of us. For the sake of the game we love.
Let's take a pledge right now. We will not watch professional football until the professional refs return. It's literally the least we can do. Unless we just want to complain, criticize and cry. Because that's totally in our power too.
Follow Gavin Shulman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/GavinShulman