Matthew24

Rant - What football league will you support in 2020

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I haven't paid any attention to the NFL since the scabs took the field in 1987, and I'm not about to start now.

 

The AAF has been very enjoyable so far; if it is still around for a second year, then I will certainly watch it with interest.

 

The latest version of the Arena Football League continues to chug along, after the real one folded following the 2008 season.  If it elects to buy time on CBS Sports Network, as it has done in previous years, then I will check it out. The National Arena League now has a New York team (playing north of the City in Westchester County); if that league is wise enough to make its games available on YouTube, as the IFL and the MASL are doing, then I will check that out, as well.

 

And the CFL certainly will be another interesting thing to check out. I particularly enjoy tuning into the local radio stations of the teams involved in the playoffs and especially the Grey Cup.

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16 hours ago, Ice_Cap said:

Why can’t I like multiple things?

 

The NFL is still the NFL. Love it.

The AAF has been a lot of fun. 

The XFL will have a local team. Of course I’ll check them out. 

The CFL will remain a favourite of mine. 

 

This isn’t an “all-in on one thing” situation. 

This is my thinking as well. Will I keep going to Commanders games? Heck yes because they are my local team. Will I go to XFL Dallas? Possibly if I get a discounted ticket. Will I watch them on TV? If they're on I'll likely watch it, possibly even seek it out like I do AAF and MLS games now. 

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Isn't going to be a local or regional team for me in any football league no matter how crazy they get.

Closest CFL or NFL is around 7 plus hours away.

 

I'll stick with the CFL on television. 

Might check out newer leagues if readily available on t.v.; might watch part of a NFL game while in a sports bar.

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17 hours ago, BringBackTheVet said:

If you "have" an NFL team and live in an NFL town, chances are you've been emotionally (if not financially) invested in them for a lifetime, and you're just not going to give that up in favor of some minor league team.  Doesn't mean you can't enjoy the other leagues, but it'll never be the same for you.  It's not even worth asking. 

 

Where it gets interesting is if you are a fan of an NFL team, but don't live near an NFL town, but do live in a minor-league town.  

 

I don't think it's possible to get too invested and supportive of a minor-league squad, because almost by definition, the players aren't going to be with the team for more than a season or two.  It's the ultimate example of rooting for laundry.  Also, the single-entity model really strips any hometown pride out of the equation, since it's not much different than rooting for a local branch of Target to out sell the branch in Birmingham.

 

I'll likely never be in that position, but if it's a binary decision, then I don't see how "alternative" football can possibly steal anyone away from the NFL.

I tend to agree with most of this.  Nationally, these leagues are no threat to the NFL (not that the poster is really suggesting they will).  Most football fans have an NFL team and, even if they live in one of the minor league towns will probably be more invested in their NFL team than their minor league team.  It might end up looking like other minor league teams.  I've lived in minor league towns where the teams draw OK due to the low cost and local presence but I've never really witnessed a lot of local excitement for those teams. If, say, Colorado Springs gets a team in one of these leagues, fans might go and buy gear.  But they'd probably trade a championship for a week 7 Broncos win.

 

I live in a major league town.  St. Paul has an independent minor league team (St. Paul Saints) that has a nice little new ballpark. They draw fairly well.  Last year a friend got free tickets for a playoff game and I went.  The place was probably less than 25% full...for the playoffs.  My best guess is that because it wasn't on the pocket schedule released in March, it wasn't on anyone's radar...That doesn't happen with the big-league teams.

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5 hours ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

I haven't paid any attention to the NFL since the scabs took the field in 1987, and I'm not about to start now.

 

The AAF has been very enjoyable so far; if it is still around for a second year, then I will certainly watch it with interest.

 

Having said that nobody is wrong the way they follow sports, I'm finding it really hard to reconcile these two statements.

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20 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

 

Having said that nobody is wrong the way they follow sports, I'm finding it really hard to reconcile these two statements.

 

The NFL hasn't had scabs since 1987. 

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51 minutes ago, Gothamite said:
6 hours ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

I haven't paid any attention to the NFL since the scabs took the field in 1987, and I'm not about to start now.

 

The AAF has been very enjoyable so far; if it is still around for a second year, then I will certainly watch it with interest.

 

Having said that nobody is wrong the way they follow sports, I'm finding it really hard to reconcile these two statements.

 

The NFL players had a great union that its players undermined by scabbing.  This came at a time when the MLBPA was enjoying remarkable solidarity; that union's work stoppages were supported even by players who had nothing to gain, players who were not going to become free agents again.  The MLBPA had had great solidarity since the arrival of Marvin Miller; even before free agency, Mickey Mantle agreed to delay the announcement of his retirement until the players' strike during 1969 spring training was over, just so that the players could benefit in the press from their association with him.  The most inspiring display ever of player solidarity came in 1994, when Matt Williams had 43 home runs at the time that play stopped, a pace that projects to 62 home runs over 162 games.  Williams never complained about losing a chance at baseball immortality.  (The baseball players' union eventually had to deal with its own scabs. But the baseball scabs were marginal players; and the scabs who remained in the big leagues were rightfully snubbed by the rest of the players.) As compared to the heroic MLBPA, the NFL players came off like sleazy dirtbags.

But this has nothing to do with the AAF, as that league's players never had a union to ruin. They are workers with no bargaining power whatsoever; this contrasts sharply with the NFL players, who had plenty of bargaining power, but whose biggest stars, Lawrence Taylor, Mark Gastineau, and Joe Montana, turned out to be dishonourable traitors who destroyed the whole strike effort and sold out their fellow players.

 

 

27 minutes ago, GDAWG said:

The NFL hasn't had scabs since 1987.

 

No; but the terrible acts of the 1987 scabs has had lasting effects, one of which is the continued lack of guaranteed contracts.  Those dirtbags soured me on the whole thing; and I never had any reason to go back.  

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10 minutes ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

But this has nothing to do with the AAF, as that league's players never had a union to ruin. They are workers with no bargaining power whatsoever; this contrasts sharply with the NFL players, who had plenty of bargaining power, but whose biggest stars, Lawrence Taylor, Mark Gastineau, and Joe Montana, turned out to be dishonourable traitors who destroyed the whole strike effort and sold out their fellow players.

 

And this is what I have a problem understanding.

 

Your commitment to union solidarity is admirable.  But it isn't matched by a similar commitment to... unions themselves?

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28 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

Your commitment to union solidarity is admirable.  But it isn't matched by a similar commitment to... unions themselves?

 

Well, a policy of watching only those leagues that have unions would rule out attention to all minor leagues.  In such leagues, the players are unknown to the public; so, even if 100% of a minor league's players backed a union with a zeal equal to that of the members of Marvin Miller's MLBPA, the league could just get rid of all of them with no complaints from fans.  This is a luxury that the owners in the major sports leagues do not have (which is what makes the 1987 NFL scabs' act so egregious, in that they just stupidly gave away their bargaining power).

 

In a just society there would be federal laws outlawing such a mass firing and giving protection to unionised workers.  But we definitely do not live in a just society; so workers who wish to unionise take all the risks. And in minor league sports, those risks are insurmountable; so unions just aren't going to happen.  In the one case where a union did spring up in a small league, the league shut itself down in order to break the union: Arena Football League, 2009.

Maybe one day the U.S. will have the kinds of laws that the province of Ontario has, laws which would have banned the scab Blue Jays from playing their home games in that province.  (The team would have played at its spring training home in Florida.)  And, while we're dreaming, let's have a law banning the single-entity league structure.  But, barring such an unlikely flowering of good sense, the sad fact is that athletes who play in minor leagues will not enjoy the benefits of union membership.

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7 minutes ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

Well, a policy of watching only those leagues that have unions would rule out attention to all minor leagues.

 

Yep.  But I would expect that, if a commitment to unionization leaves you holding a grudge over a labor action from over thirty years ago.

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Gothamite said:
12 minutes ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

Well, a policy of watching only those leagues that have unions would rule out attention to all minor leagues.

 

Yep.  But I would expect that, if a commitment to unionization leaves you holding a grudge over a labor action from over thirty years ago.

 

The correct outlet for a committment to unionisation is to advocate for the legal reform that would change the power relations between employers and workers such that unionisation would become easier for a small league's players (and for all workers), not to completely deny patronage to small leagues and thereby promote the disapperance of those players' jobs.  It would not make sense to punish players in minor leagues for conditions that have been imposed upon them and that they have no power to change.

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Just seems kind of strange to me, choosing to patronize a non-union employer over a union shop.  Especially since the union members you're mad at retired decades ago, and the current union members have no connection to or responsibility for their actions.

 

But as I said, no wrong way to do sports.

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I'm excited each week to watch the AAF. Personally I'm sick of the NFL. What's the point of even wasting anytime watching it? Just go ahead and put the Patriots or Steelers in every Super Bowl and randomly draw a NFC team out of a hat.

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5 hours ago, OnWis97 said:

I don't think it's possible to get too invested and supportive of a minor-league squad, because almost by definition, the players aren't going to be with the team for more than a season or two. 

 

This is not true at all. What is more likely is players finding their level in the smaller league, and staying there. 

 

The Arena Football League had a mass of such players: George LaFrance, Calvin Shexnayder, Hunkie Cooper, Eddie Brown, and the incomparable Barry Wagner (the Babe Ruth of Arena Football). Then there are the quarterbacks who played in that league for a long time: Sherdrick Bonner, Ben Bennett, Clint Dolezal, Jay Gruden, and the amazing Aaron Garcia, the former Dragons QB who played twenty years in the league.

 

A consistent core of players gave the Arena League a distinct identity; and the same thing can happen with the AAF if it survives.

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Is it even a mystery what I will answer? 

 

CFL will always be my number 1 interest.  Yes, I may be that guy in the Roughriders gear at a BC vs. Montreal game in Vancouver.

 

I will follow U Sports football as I will always support the Canadian game.

 

Will always follow the NFL.

 

Will keep my eye on US college and the AAF.  Sadly, I tune into the AAF to see how small the crowds are.  I wish good things for the league.  I will keep an eye on the XFL with a curiosity.

 

I am a football fan, but I really don't like arena football.

 

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1 hour ago, Wade Heidt said:

Is it even a mystery what I will answer? 

 

Of course not.  By now, everyone knows you so well that your response goes without saying.  I just knew you were the guy in Roughriders gear.

 

Re: NFL union and guaranteed salaries - they players have had multiple chances to change that, and have opted in favor of a system that rewards the top guys with "guarantees" in the form of giant signing bonuses, while the little guys get nothing and can be cut in a year.  The football players union just seems dumb, as they continually agree to deals that benefit the 1%, despite the majority of members being in that lower 99% class.

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Probably the same leagues I support now. None of them. 

 

NCAA, to an extent because I went to a school with a fairly decent football program. But even that I'm finding harder and harder to follow. Football as a sport just doesn't hold my interest in the way it did when I was a kid. Hell, the way it did even five years ago. 

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The only of these leagues with a team anywhere near me are the NFL and NCAA.  I need a local rooting interest to pay even causal attention.

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