April 18, 2011
P24 Designers: Miki Saiki & David Lawrence
Oh,please let there be football National Football League lockout has diehard fans on edge
On The Mark
with Mark Carpenter
MARK CARPENTER staff writer National Football League (NFL) experts on ESPN are still breaking down the upcoming draft. Radio talk show hosts are still predicting who will be in next year’s Super Bowl. Fantasy football magazines and NFL Network subscriptions are still being purchased. Seems like business as usual in the NFL off-season, but something’s amiss … the league is still in a lockout, which means there may not even be a season next year. Although many girlfriends and wives across America are rejoicing, diehard fans (present company included) are helplessly bracing for what could be an entire year without football. For the casual fan, a lockout basically means that the NFL (the league owners) and the NFLPA (the players union) weren’t able to agree on a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA), which is a contract that dictates such items as player wages, hours and benefits. One of the issues centers on revenue sharing and how much money should be split between the players and the owners. Another point of contention lies on the number of games played in a season. The owners are advocating for an increase from 16 to 18; something the players
are against because it potentially means more injuries. The lockout officially began when the old CBA expired in March,1and although both sides continue to negotiate, a new agreement has yet to be reached. To add insult to injury, the entire situation is getting uglier, and it doesn’t seem like there’ll be a new deal anytime soon. In a February meeting between league owners and a number of player agents, one agent, who wished to remain anonymous, sent a text to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. “Not close on one single issue,” the text said. “This WILL go into September.” New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who is among 10 plaintiffs suing the NFL, recently addressed the labor situation on his Twitter account. “To our fans – I give you my word that we as players are doing everything we can to negotiate with the NFL towards a fair deal … Football is more than just a game for all of us. We will keep fighting … always,” Brees tweeted. On the other side of the coin, leading the charge for the owners is Roger Goodell, who in his time as NFL commissioner garnered the reputation of being a hardnosed negotiator. In a recent “Sports Illustrated” article, “The Man of the Hour,” sportswriter Peter King described the beleaguered commissioner. “Goodell, sandyhaired and fit at 51, is the steward of this multibilliondollar juggernaut, having attained the job he dreamed about back in college ... make no mistake: This will
Darren Vorderbruegge HPU Athletics Director
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco has found a creative way to occupy his time during the league’s work stoppage. Web photo be a deal the commissioner drives,” King wrote. To cope with the work stoppage, players are keeping busy in a variety of ways -- good and bad. M o s t n o t a b l y, B e n gals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco recently garnered a spot on the reserve team for the MLS club, Sporting Kansas City. While Adrian Peterson, Santonio Holmes and Vernon Davis occupied some
time doing charity work in Uganda, Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant was thrown out of a mall for sagging pants. As players fill their season with fitness, charity work and dress code violations, what are the fans to do? No football means entire Sundays spent lumbering around the house with an empty feeling, and the only sports on will be baseball, tape-delayed UH
football games and NASCAR, which barely even counts as a sport. Mondays are going to be extra miserable because there’s not even going to be that extra cherry on top. As if dealing with the countless lawsuits, letters and tweets isn’t enough, maybe the players and owners can hear this plea: please come to an agreement soon, I don’t have time to learn a new hobby.
Most of you reading this probably know that President Chatt Wright is planning to retire this summer. He has served as president at HPU since 1976. Under his direction HPU began fielding intercollegiate athletic teams in 1979. He was involved in deciding which programs to start, choosing the mascot and colors, and what would be the university’s commitment and mission for athletics. Even his grand vision for what the Sea Warriors would accomplish during his tenure has been exceeded. HPU has won four national championships in over three sports in that time span. Last year HPU was crowned the PacWest Commissioners Cup Champions for having the strongest overall sports programs in the league. P r e s i d e n t Wr i g h t has guided HPU from a small college without athletics to the largest private university in the state, nationally recognized for athletic excellence. Thank you President Wright for understanding the value of education that happens outside of the classroom.