Wow, was that too much alliteration? Sorry. These posts about the lockout are getting boring so I’ve got to find some way to spice it up a bit. So there’s that.
And here’s this: Lions president Tom Lewand sent a letter to season ticket holders yesterday addressing the lockout. Apparently, the Lions think only fans with season tickets get an explanation, but whatever. Regardless, here’s what it said (with a little bit of commentary from yours truly mixed in):
In the interest of communicating openly with our most valued customers, we wanted to write to keep you updated on how the expiration of the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement may impact the 2011 season. (This bothers me. Many other teams wrote a letter to “fans.” Why are the Lions only concerned with season ticket holders. I’m seriously irritated by this.)
As you probably know, the Collective Bargaining Agreement Ã¢â‚¬â€the contract between the league and the labor union representing the players Ã¢â‚¬â€ has expired. The NFL is working hard to reach a new agreement with the players, and we hope the negotiation process does not disrupt this football season. You should know that it is no way disrupting our preparation for a great 2011 season. (If “working hard” means being “uncooperative,” then yes, yes you are NFL. Good for you. You should get a raise. Wait … )
In the event any games are cancelled, be assured we will provide you with a full refund, with simple interest, for any cancelled preseason or regular-season home games. We will provide you with the details of the refund program at the appropriate time should it become necessary. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the refund policy, or any other matter, please contact your account representative or any sales representative at (313) 262-2011. (I sense fine print here. They won’t forfeit a season without taking at least some of their fans money for no reason. OK, now I just sound bitter.)
We are sorry the CBA expiration has created some uncertainty during this offseason. We understand and respect that what is most important to you and to all of our fans is that we play football in 2011. (Well, duh! Shouldn’t that be the most important thing for you you, too?)
We share your passion for NFL football and your excitement for the upcoming season. Our coaches and personnel department continue to work diligently to prepare for the NFL Draft in April and to be ready as soon as the teams and the players are able to come to a fair agreement for both sides. (So in other words, once the players can no longer stand to not get a paycheck.)
Thank you for your patience and understanding. We greatly appreciate your support of the Detroit Lions and will continue to keep you informed of our plans for the 2011 season. (I’m remarkably patient about the situation. Understanding? Yeah, not so much.)
While I appreciate the letter, fans are smart enough to understand that this is public relations 101. Obligatory letters don’t make up for the fact that there may not be a football season in six months. And it doesn’t make up for the fact that the NFL and players are fighting about nickels and dimes — or should I say millions and billions. Still, I don’t doubt for a second that they do empathize with us a little. I just think we a football season for completely different reasons.
Here’s what some of the Lions players had to say via Twitter about the situation following decertification and the lockout:
"Unfortunate" is just one of the more mild terms I could use to describe the lockout.
For all you non-12-year-old girls, "smh" means "shaking my head," or something to that effect.
This one made me giggle.
You can find me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aerys_Lions or www.twitter.com/thecornerblog and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/barrysandersmemorialblog.