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No one cares why

February 14, 2011
By MIKE MATHISON

Dear NFL owners and players,

No one cares.

At all.

No one cares why there will be a lockout.

No one cares that the owners want this and the players want that.

All we know is that you guys are fighting about splitting $1 billion, or something in that high rent district.

Players, we don't care about your health coverage. It is your choice to play in the NFL and the hazards that come with it.

Owners, we don't care about your PSLs or concessions or parking or revenues.

All we know is that the Super Bowl was the most watched television show in history and now you guys are getting ready to padlock the place.

These lockout talks started three years ago when Gene Upshaw was still the leader of the Players Association.

So, if this talk was started three years ago, why in the world should we care now about why you guys are willing to do?

We are tired of hearing that something will happen in the 11th hour, because it always does.

Here's something, how about getting something done now.

We don't want to hear of another canceled meeting because you guys are so far apart.

I sure don't want to see another Howie Long walking the streets of Los Angeles with a picket sign around his neck.

In a March 12, 2008, article by Lester Munson of ESPN.com, said Marc Ganis, a sports finance expert who has consulted with several NFL owners: "The profits are down to the point where the owners do not have the flexibility they need to grow.

"And the players believe there will be some sort of bonanza for them in the uncapped year.

"It won't be resolved until the players realize that there will be no big bonuses and no big salary increases in the uncapped year."

Remember, these are the same owners who gave Albert Haynesworth a $100 million contract.

These are the same owners who signed Scott Mitchell (Lions), Andre Rison and Jeff Garcia (Browns), Ahman Green (Texans), Javon Walker (Raiders), Adam Archuleta (Redskins), Jevon Kearse (Eagles) and David Boston (Chargers).

Thanks.

TaylorMade-Adidas Golf president and chief executive officer Mark King made some interesting comments lately about how golf is not growing.

This is a guy who used to be a really good player (I don't know how good he is now because I no longer live in San Diego and have no clue how much he plays.)

I have played golf with him.

He is smart, funny and likes to look at things differently.

"We are not getting new people to come into the game. If we're going to change their behavior, it's going to have to feel like it's completely radical," said King, during an interview at the PGA Merchandise Show. "Even when we do attract new golfers, they leave within a year. Do you know why? It's not because it takes too much time. It's not because it's too expensive. It's because it's no fun. It's really hard.

"And the new golf courses that have been built in the last 20 years are all championship courses. Those golf course aren't for you and me. We can't even play the damn things.

"Golf 20/20, Play Golf America, the First Tee - all of these things that were supposed to grow the game, none of them have worked. The game is shrinking. Golf courses are closing at an unprecedented rate. Less people are playing."

He's right.

First of all, the rules of golf are the rules of golf and are the same for you, me and Phil.

That has to change.

The rules of golf and the decisions on those rules are getting to be as big as the NCAA manual.

It's too confusing.

Stick with the original 13 rules of golf and let's play.

I watched the end of the Miami-Boston NBA game Sunday. The Heat took a timeout with about six seconds left in the game after the Celtics made two free throws and the ball was moved from under Boston's basket to the top of the key extended on Miami's end.

That's a different rule than college or high school basketball.

Why not take it a step further and have the USGA figure something out?

Second, golfers, as a whole, refuse to practice or take lessons. They just want to play. I get that.

They want to spend their money on some clubs and go hit it, even though actually learning how to hit it would be a grand thing and make the game more fun.

People take golf way too seriously. They think they are better than they are. I was in that category, but no longer. I am a scramble guy who can hit some really grand shots, and some really terrible ones.

The other problem is that most golf courses hate junior golfers. They don't want them around. Yet, it is those junior golfers who will be the next membership.

Mike DiDomenico used to tell me stories how his father used to drop him off at Belleview and he would spend all day there.

Is that happening today? No.

One of the best parts for me being a golf professional, especially at Steubenville County Club, was watching the kids being dropped off during the summer and having them spend all day at the club - chipping, putting, eating, swimming, hitting balls and playing.

Wow, as a parent, what is better than that?

You know where your kid is and you let the club pro take care of it if they are being idiots.

Don't worry Ohio State fans, your Buckeyes will be back. A loss to Wisconsin is OK for now.

But, your team has to play better defense when it counts and, when a basket is a must, please put that ball in Jared Sullinger's hands.

There were too many times when he didn't touch the ball and that's not a good thing.

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at mmathison@heraldstaronline.com)

 
 

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