Gigantic corporations don't care what you think, because they provide a product or service that nobody else does. In this case, there isn't another NFL. The idea that caring or not caring about the lockout is going to fix anything or change anyone's mind is ludicrous. I am personally not enabling anything. Sure, collectively I may be part of the problem, but the only way to truly affect a billion dollar business would be for EVERYONE to not have anything to do with the NFL until they fix the labor issues, and THEN to not embrace them when they came back. And this is impossible. Unless or until there is somewhere else to get the Green Bay Packers. And there is not. Nothing is going to change regardless of what I do.
And I will give Juice some props on this point. The NFL was able to survive a season by giving us replacement players....and we PAID MONEY to sit in Lambeau Field to watch them. Since those days, despite that egregious move on the part of the owners, the NFL has continued to grow into the most-watched sport in the nation.
In other words, the NFL may be too big to fail.
I may be idealistic and big-picture sometimes, so I do understand his point that, in the grand scheme of things, my personal opinion isn't of major concern to the gods that control our nation's economy. And just because I am unhappy with funneling money out of my local Wisconsin economy to fund Bentonville doesn't mean I stop going to Wal-Mart to save some money, also.
But I have a tough time buying in to the "we have no control" theory: ergo, we may just as well sit back and accept it. Maybe it's a little populist of me, but I don't like believing that the customers of this league have no power. Because, in reality, we do.
The problem is that we are reactive instead of proactive, but make no doubt that public opinion can create (and has created) major sways in the corporate world. As a result of the NHL lockout, the advances hockey had made in America, including a $600M network deal with NBC, was wiped out. Now, you might find the NFL on Versus, if you're lucky (or interested). The NHL has become primarily funded through attendance again, and that's no path to prosperity in today's sports world.
The NHL suffered from acute disinterest, but MLB suffered true fan backlash, with many fans acting out by "striking" against baseball. Incidents across the nation made headlines, with fans running out on the field and throwing money at players, throwing sticks onto the field, and, certainly not the least of the grievances, booing loudly throughout the games. More importantly, baseball suffered financially, with over a 20% drop in attendance post-strike, and after losing $300M by not playing, operating revenue was cut from $1.87 billion in 1993 to $1.2 billion in 1994 and didn’t reach its former mark until 1997.
Remember Bob Uecker begging us to "Come On Back" to the stadium? Yes, the fans had a voice and impacted the corporate world of professional sports.
The problem comes in that we, as fans, wait to have the worst happen to us. We beg, we plead, we threaten...but we never let the sports world forget that we revolve around them, not the other way around.
But, take a look at the major sports' work stoppages in chronological order:
Yes, in 1987, the NFL cancelled part of the season, and survived for the most part.
But in 1994, MLB had a strike and cancelled a season, and it took them years to recover financially.
In 1998, the NBA had a lockout and cancelled just part of a season, and ticket sales and television ratings took three years to recover.
In 2004, the NHL had a lockout and cancelled an entire season, and never recovered.
Seeing the pattern? Fans aren't putting up with it anymore. NFL (and NBA) are you paying attention? We don't WANT the backlash, but as society has changed over the last twenty years, so have what we have come to expect from our teams we support.
My point is that while I may agree with JuiceLaw that it would very difficult (if not impossible) to send a message NOW to the league that they will suffer if they cancel games, I disagree that a collective fan base cannot have a major impact.
But, going back to my original post, the first step would be to stop begging the players and owners that we will do ANYTHING for football. The longer that message is sent, the longer this will go on...until both sides realize they have to agree to save what they have, not holding out for that extra billion dollars.